“There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.” ~ G.K. Chesterton
It’s been awhile since I’ve had additions to any of my ongoing series. However, during the last couple private workshops I led, conditions worked out in my favor.
Most recently I created a new image for my Cloudscrapers series. The most important condition to creating work for this series is nice, fluffy clouds. While I was in the loop a couple weeks ago I noticed the clouds reflecting in these two adjacent buildings. I liked how on the left side it felt pixelated. Yet, not-so-much on the building on the right. My intent was to position myself so the buildings seemed to touch each other and the clouds ran from one building to the next.
Since it’s been awhile, and I’m not sure I’ve ever shared the project statement with you…here’s a little background:
In the city, we tend to keep our heads down; these photos invite us to look up. Each of these images is structured by bold juxtapositions — between the built environment and the natural world, between rigid city grids and fluffy white clouds, between the spectacular and the spooky. Powerful, rational structures appear haunted by something fragile and ephemeral.
We’re accustomed to seeing something inspiring and expansive in images of great, glittering cityscapes and photos of beautiful blue skies dotted with fluffy clouds. But here, the city and the sky jostle for space. They seem almost too big for each other.
Buildings. Clouds. The basic elements are unmistakable. The contrasts may seem familiar. But as we linger, the contrasts become more nuanced, even a bit disorienting — it’s not always clear which way is up, or what is sky and what is reflection. Windows become mirrors, open spaces are hemmed in by hyper-rational grids, the natural and the man-made collide.
Are these skyscrapers blocking our view of the sky, or do they extend our sight like monumental periscopes? Perhaps the imposing structures that often block our view of the sky have become tools for finding it again.