Friday, 12 April 2013

Smidgeshots - 3 - Man and Nature

As I walked along the river bank and down the side alley I began to notice how close nature can be in an urban world. The following are a series of photos I took which reflect the concept of Man and Nature, our entanglement, our need. Where is one, the other hides.

Man's Leaf

The shamrock, the symbol of Ireland, greenery, nature; here broken, tilted and rusting. Like an actual leaf in the midst of autumn, the sign shows how time has beaten it down, torn its gleam and left it dangling from its branch. This image perfectly reflects how Man often sees itself as above Nature, as somehow superior. We build houses against wind, farms against hunger, and yet our attempts to subvert nature are foiled time and again. We are no more above nature than that sign is a leaf, and the fence a tree.

Through the Glass

Maybe he walked home post-argument with the misses, maybe it was a sunny day by the river and he slipped, maybe a friend's joke went too far and a brawl ensued. Whatever the reason, a shard a glass, a beer top, lodged itself in the ground and, despite everything, a shoot grew in the most unlikely of places. This is a simple reminder, like the vines on the side of a wall or the weeds from the cracks in the pavement, that Nature is always just below the surface, struggling to undo Man's Great Works.

A Barbed Bud

Here, as ever, Nature shows how triumphant its gradual growth model is over our staticism. The wire is slowly being engulfed by the branches, and while the line is tipped with barbs, the branch is tipped with buds. The buds will grow anew while the barbs will rust. Nature triumphant, Man inglorious.

The Imperfect

Yet, let us not be fooled, for nature too has its dark side, its poisons, its spikes. And, remember, while this leaf will die and move on, the picture, Man's picture, will remain immortal. So long as the cloud doesn't disperse...

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