banal ball(s)

Writing in today’s Observer newspaper, Laura Cumming’s review followed the headline (at least in the print version) ‘These swings don’t mean a thing’ describing the Superflex installation in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern as ‘by far the worst Turbine Hall commission in the history of the Tate Modern’, and went on to suggest that, if she were Hyundai (who sponsored the commission), she’d ask for her ball back.

I am no art critic, but I wonder if her review missed part of the essential point of the Tate Modern? It is an open expansive space, much of which can be viewed freely. A space where those unfamiliar with art can have their eyes opened, their lives changed. The vast expanse of the Turbine Hall is indeed a challenging space for any artist to fill, no matter how sweeping their ambition or profound their talent.

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the ongoing moment

Everyone was nowhere to be seen
― Geoff Dyer

During all my frequent flying, I’ve finally got round to reading Geoff Dyer’s The Ongoing Moment, which I purchased in The Tate Modern Bookshop well over a year ago.

I’ve been particularly fascinated by the hatted figures in raincoats which feature in the work of Kertész. Blurred, and often awkwardly placed within the frame, strangely compelling, we share a fleeting moment in the life of these strangers.

This morning, as I nursed a cup of strong coffee after an overnight flight from Accra to London, I also lingered over an image of a group of people on a bench, World’s Fair New York 1964, made by Garry Winogrand.

I was about to delete the image above (too blurry and clumsy), but there was something about the group of people, the interplay between them, the connections, the role played by the pictured photographer unaware of her own involvement in another photo, something that made me stop pressing the delete button.

So, this image, blurry and unsatisfactory though it is, is my homage to Geoff Dyer for opening my eyes and encouraging me to learn from the work of some of the greatest photographers.

pedestrian (a modern reflection)

beautiful insane
in the rain
― Jack Kerouac, The Subterraneans


Everything but pedestrian, for WordPress weekly photo challenge.

Today, I finally bought my own copy of The Americans by Robert Frank with a sublime introduction by Jack Kerouac.

The perfect blend of photography, writing and poetry.

Inspired by one of my sporadic visits to the Tate Modern.


*Shot with Fujifilm X100F with fixed 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) lens at ISO 800, f/5.6 and 1/200s with edits applied in Lightroom CC and Analog Efex Pro 2*

darker | side | thursday | 2

I gaze across at the trees.

Brittle branches blurred by the breeze, leaves coalescing into a swirling, suppurating soup in front of my aching eyes. You couldn’t make it up. Could you? Or maybe you could. Me, I don’t know. Don’t really know much right now.

I feel pressure in my eyes, darkness enveloping me. That old cliche. Gets them every single time. When I try to describe it to them. The feeling. Hell, I can barely describe it to myself. So how to them?

My fingers feel numb. My ever present and faithful companion (not the bumblebee this time), the pain in my back, ebbs. Hey, that’s good, don’t knock it. There has to be some positive side to all this. No? No, probably not. But I digress. I flow.

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pedestrian

…places where, if you die, you may simply die with the knowledge that your killer was in the wrong
― Lucy Wadham, The Secret Life of France

For WordPress weekly photo challenge – pedestrian


*Shot with Fujifim X100F with fixed 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) lens at ISO 200, f/4 and 1/120s with a smidgen of editing in Lightroom CC and (my old favourite – and free – plugin) Analog Efex Pro 2*

darker | side | thursday | 1

My finger is red raw, bleeding. Distracting, debilitating.

The index finger, on my left hand.

The nail is torn, blood oozing from the tip and running in a slow, painful rivulet. A stinging, insolent, rude and raw pain. I want to peel the torn nail off slowly, feel the parting of flesh, the slicing agony. Need that. Want it.

My fist clenches. Fingers dig into the splintered wooden table top, slivers of fresh twisted wood piercing flesh, sliding under my nails.

I shift uneasily. That empty, roiling feeling inside me making me anxious, again. I can not sit still. Can not focus.

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windows

Strangely transparent, they seemed like windows to a world beyond, but however long I peered into their depths, there was nothing I could see
― Haruki Murakami

For WordPress weekly photo challenge – Windows

There are a lot more windows here and here.


*Shot with Fujifilm X100F with 23mm (35mm fixed frame equivalent) fixed lens, ISO 200, 1/140s at f/5.6 with some added mystery applied with Affinity Photo which, along with Affinity Designer, I’m exploring as a credible Photoshop CC replacement*

out in the midday sun | 5

This is the latest in what was intended to be a weekly collection of essays themed as ‘out in the midday sun‘, which instead, has become a place for me (in or out of the sun, midday or otherwise) to write at random, and increasingly infrequent, intervals, on whichever subject seems worthy of note at the time.

I have not posted as much here, or  perhaps more perplexing, not shot or published as many photographs as usual, for the better part of the last year. The principal reason (excuse) for that has been (hold the front page) the intervention of the real world. I have travelled (too) much on business, between Europe and Western Africa, although I have found time to write up some of my adventures on nigeriastreets. I’ve recently switched working countries from Nigeria to Ghana. I’m not done with Nigeria yet, and the seductive siren song of other adventures already calls. More (perhaps) about that in due course.

I’ve also been busy learning new stuff. 

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