LACP#202 – Minimalism/Maximalism, Simplicity/Complexity…

Sofia has chosen a very interesting theme for this week – please visit her blog for more inspiration! Personally I might go for Simplicity/Complexity for the most part, but the labels are not easily set… So, let’s discuss them – and I will start with a quote of my liking:

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.

– Bertrand Russell

The first two images could go for simplicity/complexity as well as minimalism/maximalism – but, I feel there is a certain difference… do you feel that too? Sofia wondered if it had to do with the subject – and I think it might.

The first one shows an old boatsman’s cottage, sparsely furnished in light, Scandinavian colours. The second one is the abandoned cottage of Åke, the man who made Kyrkö Mosse famous for its car graveyard in the forest. Do you think his single room could be called complex/maximalistic? It is sparsely furnished… but abandoned and left in a mess of details and colours – which also could be a description of what maximalism is about.

To me, the first photo shows a scenery for my eyes to rest on, and in the second photo my eyes are immediately drawn to strange details instead.

You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.

– Vernon Howard

The second couple of images might be minimalism/maximalism if you compare them, but the white dress is still detailed and elaboratedly made. Simplicity? Maybe, but the right one, a man’s dress, could easily be labelled both maximalism and complexity. Both outfits were made for great feasts but in different countries of Europe.

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.

– Hans Hofmann

Last week we went for a couple of days to the small town of Västervik, where we wanted to see graffitti from three years of festivals. In an art museum, they also had some old Cirkus posters from one of the world’s greatest collections exhibited. Because of their fragility though, they were now being digitalised before going to the archives. (6000 of them were already there.) Some were as old as late 18th century. In the early history of cirkus some established artists, such as Tolouse Lautrec, were engaged to make the posters.

I would call the first poster minimalistic and the second one the epitome of maximalism. The Cyrk posters were made in Poland, and Trolle Rhodin held his famous cirkus shows in Sweden. Notice the US theme. I find the Polish poster very artistic, and still telling us the story perfectly well – what it is all about – without many details.

My last example is the beach – the first one the way I like it best, and the second one I would never visit. So, what does that tell you about me? I guess I am more minimalistic then, but I still like details… And how did I manage to take the second beach photo? Well, I went there just for a photo of the incredible crowd…

Finally, like Sofia, I will end with a scene that once blew me away – a poster for a fashion exhibition by our world famous designer Lars Wallin. I still find it so ”clean” and delicate.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

– Leonardo da Vinci

Thank you, Sofia, for making me question my thoughts on the essence of these words, and what I really like the most. An eye opener.

I would like to thank you all for the wonderful challenge responses last week. Magnificent, so many inspiring and innovative triptychs! As for this week, Sofia invites us to think of which fits our narrative best, simplicity or “more is more”, minimalism or maximalism, or does it depend on the subject? We’re looking forward to seeing your posts. As always, use the Lens-Artists tag and link to Sofia’s original post.

Next week the brilliant Anne at Slow Shutter Speed will host so make sure to have a look at her blog.

If you want more information about the Lens-Artists Challenge, please click here.

Thursday Thoughts – A favourite again!

One more glimpse of one of my favourite cities – Gdansk.

On the water – always fascinating and picturesque.

The medieval crane, built in the 15th century, is very impressive and a landmark of Gdansk.

The new architectural style fits in perfectly with the old one. So pleasing to the eye. I love this city – and I’ll be back…

Lens-Artists Challenge #173 – Interesting Architecture

Tina’s challenge this week is all about interesting architecture. As I guessed you would all have fantastic examples of modern buildings, I decided to focus on the birds and the bees…and only a little about human buildings. The opener shows weavers’ nests in the Amazon, Ecuador.

I am always impressed by magnificent woodpiles – and my grandfather was an excellent builder of these. But, while they often are set behind houses or hidden in a barn in Sweden, I found this special display in Switzerland. Elegantly leaning against the house and beautifully framing the window. One of a kind.

To me, one of the most interesting Nordic building is Hállgrimskirkja in Reykjavik, Island. It looks almost like a spaceship icicle with smaller icicles attached to it. Everytime I visit Iceland – it is a must see again.

In Sweden we only have one skyscraper – Turning Torso by the famous architect Calatrava. I never liked it – despite it being beautifully built, it doesn’t fit in among the older buildings in Malmoe. I believe storks have better ideas about how and where to build a high rise building…Modern too – electrified!

Magpies often build high as well, and their nests are very intricate. They are durable, domed structures made of sticks and twigs and contain an interior mud cup and lining. Every nest has got two entrances – one close to the top and one from the side or under – and it can reach more than 1 meter in height. Not the nest to the far right though, that is a small but sturdy bird’s nest found during a winter walk.

The three middle pictures show the enormous European hornet’s nest we had in our summer house last summer. A fantastic and elaborate construction. Finally, my last image is from Bhutan and a monestary covered in bees’ ”pouches”. As the Buddhist monks care for everything living, they were happy to have the bees and their nests hanging there.

We thank you for your beautiful responses to last week’s “A Day in My Week” challenge – what a terrific variety of amazing days you shared with us!

We hope you’ll join us this week with some interesting architecture from around the corner or around the world. Be sure to use the Lens-Artists tag to appear in our reader, and to link to Tina’s original post.

Thursday Thoughts – The Iceberg

Aarhus again, and the Iceberg Building area. Fascinating architecture.

From the pictures I had seen before, it looked gorgeous, innovative and a must see.
As we passed the first building, we admired the apartements close to the water.
A modern Venice?

On reaching the Iceberg, we realised it clearly is best seen from the sea.

But, I just have to post on some of the area anyway.

No easy angles here… and I was a bit disappointed that they were building a high tower right next to this complex – see this in the first photo.

The area is well worth a visit – and I enjoyed walking there for an hour or two.

Thursday Thoughts – Läckö Castle

We visited yet another castle on our tour to old friends some weeks ago. Läckö Castle, once voted the most beautiful Castle in Sweden.

I must confess I did not find it as interesting as Tjolöholm, but of course the looks of Läckö is maybe more of a castle with a princess waiting inside.

First we had a lecture in the King’s Hall, about the history of the castle, and then we were left to read ourselves and walk the tour on our own. There was not much of the original furniture left, but I did find a Narnia cupboard …

In the 17th century Sweden was a country of great power, so many of the paintings were from famous battles. Not my kind of art.

I found the floors to be an absolute dream though. They were laid like no other floors I have seen, and in fact this type of fitting the boards is called Läckö after the name of the castle.

There was a lovely walled garden too, and more of Miss Willmott’s Ghost (Thank you, Jude), a plant I have already ordered for my own garden next season. I just love this extravagant flower, and the story of the lady Willmott too – secretly dropping seeds of this flower in other people’s gardens…

The last picture shows a piece from the treasury at Läckö – the decorative vases used for single flowers in those days.

Thursday Thoughts – A Swedish Tudor Castle

Tjolöholm Castle is in many respects a fairytale castle. The castle was built 1898-1904 by James Fredrik and Blanche Dickson. In fact it was Blanche who finished it, as her husband died shortly after the plans were ready.

The young architect, Lars Israel Wahlman, combined the Tudor style with modernities from the turn of the century such as showers with circularly flowing water, electricity, central heating, and a vaccuum cleaner (so big and heavy that it had to be drawn by horses). The intention was to create a home that was both comfortable and dignified.

Parts of the castle were being renovated when we visited, which of course made it more difficult to take decent photos.

Some of the most impressive ideas and rooms were the bathrooms with the special showers. All ordered from Liberty in London – the worksmen as well!

I also loved the fashion exhibition, grand royal 19th century, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert depicted from majestic festivities to the family’s private sphere. The Dickson family had moved from England and bought Tjolöholm to build a new home. The style is Arts and Crafts, and the whole interior is intact. A very unusual thing – rather fantastic. The furniture, tapestery and almost everything indoors was bought from Liberty in London – a company that still exists.

The lady’s riding costume certainly makes for the side saddle…

Rooms I really loved seeing were the children’s rooms and the flower arranging room.

Then…rooms with very special things in them or special thoughts guiding their interior decoration.

I especially want you to look at the green carpet room. The entrance to the room was meant to lead the eye along the (very) green broadloom (?) and through the window, out in the green of the garden. To create a feeling of wholeness – indoors and outdoors nature. The player piano or pianola in the last picture, is one of the last existing, working pianolas. The many boxes on top of it contains pieces of music for the instrument. The lady, one of the guides, offered to play the pianola for us. It worked perfectly well!

There is much more to be seen in this charming Tudor castle, so I suggest you visit yourself someday.

There will be one more post from me on the Castle – and the beautiful castle garden. Hope you enjoyed a piece of the cake – I enjoyed your coming along with me!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #126: –Subjects That Begin with the Letter A.

An Alphabet challenge! This week Patti invites us to share images that feature a subject on the letter A. We can also include signs and graffiti with the letter A. For an added challenge, Patti suggests capturing an image that illustrates a concept with the letter A, such as alone, abstract, or afraid. 

I have chosen Art, Arch, Architecture and Abstract.

The Rila Monastery in Bulgaria had me enchanted for many hours – and every time I look at the photos from that day…I remember the surprise that hit me when we entered the courtyard. Silence, and unbelievable beauty in the elaborately handpainted arches.

When it comes to impressive new artwork, one of my greatest favorites are The Kelpies in Scotland. We visited in 2014 when they were just put in place. The Kelpies are 30-metre-high horse-head sculptures depicting kelpies (shape-shifting water spirits), located near Falkirk, standing next to a new extension to the Forth and Clyde Canal. The Kelpies were designed by sculptor Andy Scott as a monument to horse-powered heritage across Scotland.

Abstraction indicates ”a departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art”. This departure from accurate representation can be slight, partial, or complete. Many abstract sceneries are absolutely natural…while others are manmade. A frosty car mirror in the header and an autumnal lake with reflected leaves above.
David Hockney – ”Me draw on iPad”, Louisiana, Denmark.

Thank you for all your inspirational entries for Tina’s challenge last week! A beautiful highlighting of the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi.

We are looking forward to seeing your new choices – please include a link to Patti’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so that everyone can find your post in the WP Reader. We hope you will join the fun!

Finally, stay tuned for Amy’s challenge next week – and until then, stay safe and well.