The Rag Bag Gallery
(A confused collection, a jumble - O.E.D.)

This is a place where one puts odds and ends, or so perhaps most people probably would think. So here is where I decided to put images which weren't really related to each other, where there wasn't any particular connecting theme. They're mostly pictures I've happened to like, found interesting for one reason or another or are just a bit unusual in some way. I've never aspired to be an Adams, a Cartier-Bresson* or some such of the greats; rather I just like making pictures which appeal to me. I hope some of them will strike a chord with you too. A rag bag tends to a repository into which things are constantly put, hence from time to time I'll be adding more images which take my fancy. So please come back now and again, for you may find something new and interesting.

* Vistors may not have heard the sad news, but Henri Cartier-Bresson died on 3rd August, 2004. During his long life, he created very many striking and famous images, and less obviously, was influential in establishing and securing recognition of the status of the photographer as a profession. He was a founder member (with Robert Capa, David Seymour and George Roger) of the famous Magnum photo agency.

Many people acquire their pictures whilst on holiday or otherwise globe trotting. So whilst globes are in mind, here are three that I thought curious.

Dublin Globe

This little one is to be found in the gardens of Trinity College Dublin. I'm not altogether sure of its significance but it was not far from other geodesic symbols so maybe it has some terrestrial symbolic meaning. And it really does have pieces missing !

FontainbleuFarther afield I encountered this one in the Library at the Palace of Fontainbleu, not far from Paris. I'd never seen such a globe as this so large before, nor a setting quite like it. I'm told this Library or really a Gallery was a particular favourite of Queen Marie Antoinette. It's long been one of my favourite pictures too.

La Vilette Quite a leap of scale this time... This in fact is a cinema, to be found at La Vilette, in the NE of Paris. The area at one time held the city abattoir which fell into disuse; the buildings gradually deteriorated until eventually most were taken down as the area was redeveloped as the site for the Cité de Science. This is now a showpiece demonstration of science and technology and is a must see if you have any kind of interest in matters scientific. It must be said though that a good working knowledge of french language is an asset to get the most from a visit. This giant globe contains a large screen cinema seating hundreds of visitors at a time.

James Joyce M Malone Two well known Dublin characters... The celebrated writer, James Joyce, was a familiar figure in this part of the city during his lifetime. He is here commemorated in bronze in a characteristic pose. Whether Molly Malone really existed, I'm not sure, but her memory is enshrined in the famous song 'Sweet Molly Malone' with her barrow of cockles and mussels.

The lake at sunsetOne evening whilst staying in the Mallorcan resort of Puerto Pollença, I was strolling along the promenade on my way to dinner. Not long before the sun was about to set, I passed a little lake just inland from the beach reached through an narrow inlet from the sea. I hadn't really looked properly at it before, but it suddenly seemed very beautiful in the low angled sunshine. I captured it in passing and went on my way, but I was delighted to see it again long afterwards at home as a reminder of this quiet place.

Cranes"Cranes are flying..." Not very original I suppose but it seemed apt. Ship building was a mainstay of the Tyne for centuries but today has almost but not quite become extinct. One or two yards have managed to hang on - just. Swan Hunter is probably one of the best known, their yard at Wallsend (right at the end of Hadrian's Wall) has just managed to survive, but the cranes are frequently mute and silent, waiting for the work that comes rather too infrequently.

balloon"Up, up and away..."

VerticalOn looking at the negative I wondered at first just what I had done. So I printed it - and liked it as a vertical composition. I hope you do too.

But to give the secret away, it's just a bus station...

TreesA study in trees...

Contre Jour (Against the Light) can be very effective sometimes.

A mid-winter composition at Newcastle Racecourse.

RiverFinally, for something rather tranquil. A scene one might see in many parts of northern France and depicted in the works of many 18 & 19th. C painters - Corot comes to mind. Here we are not far from Rouen in Normandy; surrounded by woods, quiet rivers, farms and small villages which never seem to alter, the landscape seems to exude peace itself. Sadly that hasn't always been so, for some of the most violent episodes of war have occurred not far from here where there are plenty of reminders still to be seen. But for now, we can enjoy....

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© Stuart Hill August, 2004