A moment for a little reflection

The UK is now in lockdown, more or less. Everybody who can works from home and all non essential trips out of your house are prohibited, although, as yet, we don’t have the military on the streets enforcing these restrictions. With the ensuing quiet I have found myself more reflective than usual.

Now here’s a flitting stream of consciousness: . . . how did we get here . . . who is marshalling the NHS response . . . oh yes, that bloke who looks like a rabbit in the headlights, what’s his name . . . Hancock, yes, Matt Hancock . . . isn’t he the MP for West Suffolk, yes he is . . . other side of Bury St Edmunds . . . mmm, Bury . . . I wonder whether Blackthorpe Barn will run its Christmas Craft Fair later this year . . . that part of Suffolk is beautiful in winter . . . melancholy Suffolk . . . melancholy pines . . . ah the lonely Lady Drury and the Hawstead Panels.

Part of Lady Drury’s painted closet originally at Hawstead Place, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

Now there was a woman who knew about reflection and meditation and solitude. Her solo endeavours, her painted closet, installed in the now temporarily closed Christchurch Mansion, is a visual expression of living a contemplative life.

The first scarf I sold from my online boutique back in 2013.

I have not been spending this disconcerting time on too much introspection, although I have been slowly working my way through my thousands of photographs, a process which turns out is intermittently thought-provoking. During this task I have come across pictures of earlier work I had completely forgotten as well as old rather poor quality photographs that I took when I first launched my online shop back in July 2013.

Another early piece I had forgotten about from 2013 inspired by a Wedgwood Fairyland lustreware candlestick.

One or two of the old photos had captured a look, an expression that was worth saving. Six or seven years ago, and particularly before my week’s photography course, I hadn’t realised how much tidying up, enhancing and, well to put it bluntly, cheating could be achieved with Photoshop.

Some light touching-up and colour adjustment using Photoshop.
Two old photographs merged with the help of Photoshop – obvious cheating!

Nowadays, with a solid five years’ plus of amateur experience under my belt, I am so much better at getting the photograph I want (eventually), but sometimes the circumstances defeat my grand intentions. This was the case on a visit last month to the ‘Handel & Hendrix in London’ Museum. Not quite the tightly focussed, intriguing image I was hoping for, but I can always blame the delicate distortions of the fine, antique eighteenth-century mirror.

Last month, February 2020, distorted reflections. An 18th-century mirror hanging in the ‘Handel & Hendrix in London’ museum, Brook Street, London, W1K 4HB.

Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

10 thoughts on “A moment for a little reflection”

  1. I can see that your photo have become more professional, but those early ones are pretty good too. I guess your life will change less than some, give that you work from home in any case. This dreadful illness will bring about so much social change. Let’s hope much of it will be positive… but I’m not holding my breath …

    1. I don’t know about you, but I first came to taking photos later in my life after my divorce. My ex-husband had been a professional ‘design’ guy and owned several fancy cameras along with one of those lightweight metal cases full of lenses. He naturally took all the pictures. I didn’t start taking photos until required when I needed to send pictures of our daughter to him in the Netherlands after I came back to Suffolk. Of course, that was all before fast broadband and smart phones – now, how easily we adapted to all that change. It would be so, so very uplifting if out of all this horror we adapted to an existence where we truly valued people and society and the natural world more than endless growth and greed. (Sorry, think I am having a glass half empty day again and am certainly not holding my breath either.)

      1. I too keep wondering whether we’ll be able to build on the positives in all this – and there are some: community support, working together for a common good, finding pleasure in small, simple things, noticing th natural world, lowered pollution. There, I said the same as you, pretty much – but with a glass half full!

  2. I can see your photo development has improved but your artistic eye always captured a mood or composition. Now that Johnson has had NHS experience, I wonder if he will be pushing for their budget in future, and whether Hancock will still be the preferred minister. So many ways to ponder our future . . .

    1. Thanks re photos, but nothing makes you look and look again like taking an Art History degree and dissecting other people’s creative output and then applying that to your own work.
      Funny you should mention Hancock today – I listened to him on the morning breakfast radio show and he momentarily lost it. First time he’s lost his cool in public during the crisis. The social care system here is in meltdown with over 2000 residential homes caring for elderly patients now infected with Covid 19 and staff with little or no PPE (personal protective equipment – masks, gowns etc). Hancock’s little gem was that we recognise and honour them as a valued profession by giving them a badge. Yes, you read that correctly a badge.
      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/apr/15/hannocks-shiny-badge-emblem-of-a-scamper-into-tigger-mode

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