Immagine

Lost..in old pictures

Searching. Discovering. Finding treasures.
Imaging myself in others’ stories, in other history.
In a city that now is almost invisible, or at least well hidden. Forgotten.

Bowman Lane, looking west. Hunslet, Leeds

Bowman Lane, looking west. Hunslet, Leeds

It looks so real and intimate to me.
Enjoy leodis.net a photographic archive of Leeds.

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Citazione

“Obsessed as we have been in Leeds with mimicking the success of other ‘great’ northern cities, we seem to have lost our way in ensuring that the city develops in keeping with its unique geography, culture ans architecture, and it is this which perhaps defines our current dilemma.

..

Can we transcend the ‘meaningful cities shopping list approach’ and concentrate  instead on ensuring that Leeds develops in its own unique way?”

Jonathan Morgan, “City Living: is Leeds really missing out?”

Citazione

Meeting with professor M.A. Hann

Euclide using compasses in "Scuola di Atene" by Raffaello

Euclide using compasses in “Scuola di Atene” by Raffaello

Some weeks ago, following Steve’s suggestion we met professor M. A. Hann, teacher at University of Leeds and director of ULITA (University of Leeds International Textile Archive). He was pleased to hear from us, also because he has deep interest in Leeds’ History and since our first meeting he gave us some materials and he invited us to his lectures.

He told us that his researches have brought him around the world (except Italy, where he’s like to come) especially t the far East (China, Korea, Japan…). He studies patterns, structure and their relationship with culture. He’s also deeply interested in mathematics and how numbers series is related to pattern and module in architecture and design. But,it’s better to go in order. He has two different courses here at the University, linked one to each other.

The first is Patterns and Culture. In those lecture Prof Hann go through paleolithic art, caves’ paintings, Mesopotamian evidences to find similar structures, pattern, use of symmetry trying to understand their meaning in those cultures and how they spread in the world and why. In relationship with trades, religion, route of communication and people migration. The aim is to give a framework to examine arts and to understand the way of cultural diffusion and the discover the innate capability of innovation of different communities.

The second one, named “Design theory 2” is for older students, and it’s about universal principles governing structures, forms and performances in design and architecture. He kept saying that it could sound a lot about mathematics and boring things but, actually, symmetry and basics geometry is the starting point of every pattern. So he went through many existing pattern in building, and old paintings trying to answer the same questions:

How they can be rationalized?
How the space is divided?

We will discuss both two and three-dimensional stuff, try to individuate equilateral triangles, squares, hexagons an the rules that organize them: symmetry, rotation, repetition.. And that why he started his lesson showing us the Scuola di Atene, by Raffaello, whit Euclide drowning with a compasses. The key is to find a rule in the complexity, the regular basis on which a particular element is repeated.. Thus you’ll discover that from minimum inventory you’ll get maximum diversity.

I’ve linked prof. Hann’s books to the course names for any further information.

Lazy light and star stickers

Wall stickers

Sometimes the colors’ world can be a kind of cryptic. A lot of numbers, measurements, acronyms tightly bind with discoveries, conventions and physics.

Today we went to visit Steve again, to have a little explanation about how to use the spectrophotometer he lent us but as usually, that became an occasion for a little colors lesson. Of course he taught how to make the zero calibration (3 times toward an open space light) and the white calibration of the instrument and then he passed to explain the meaning of the display’s numbers. D56 refers to the daylight. While, for example, the letter “A” stands for an artificial source of light such as tungsten.

Furthermore: CIE 1931, 2° refers to an experiment the misure the vision angle of people looking to a coin they handle, so at an arm-distance. While the convention CIE 1946, 10° refers to the same experiment but with a bigger coin, so the vision angle is wider.

Then, some other acronyms: if do a measure SCI you’re including the specular light, if it’s SCE you want to exclude it (it’s particularly important for glossy surfaces).

He made also al lot of charts trying talking about amount of reflective lights vs the incident light and at [dunno how] we end talking about phosphorescent and fluorescent material. Basically is a question of time. Fascinating how color can be relating with every sort of aspects! Easily speaking, when the light arrive to an object, this object suddenly reflects just a specific wavelength’s range, that is the colour we can see; and the non-reflected amount of light is converted in other energy: heat. But. Not every surface reflect the wavelength immediately, some delay can occur and, moreover, the late reflection can have a wavelength that is different from the initial one.

So, it’s the lazy, latecomer light that makes the stars stickers on my room ceiling bright at night.

Galleria

Riboud’s experience

“I love towns, they’re like friends to me. When I haven’t seen them for some time, I miss them ad I want to see them again to find out if they’ve changed.”

Mark Riboud

And that’s exactly what he did. In a inspiring way.

The young Marc Riboud, following Robert Capa’s suggestion, first met Leeds in 1954, to makes pictures of it for the Picture Post. At that time, the magazine were publishing a series of pictures entitled “The best and the worst of English cities” an Leeds was the only town that left. 50 years after, in 2004, Marc Riboud, now a famous Magnun photographer, came back to Leeds to re-photograph it. So they became a book and a exhibition.
But it found difficult to duplicate his earlier photograph.
The city’s been growing and changing. And now, after only 10 years since his last visit, what could he find?
But nowadays anyone has a camera. The knowledge is share and spread.

What if anyone could try this experience? And hunt for those “lasting moments”?

Citazione

“In the early Seventies Leeds had thirteen mills. In 1980, only six firms are listed in the Leeds directories as manufactures of cloth.

The old mill buildings lie empty. Some have disappeared and have been replaced by multistory flats, others house a multiplicity of small businesses. Some lie in wait for the vandals and their matches.

Who would have thought a century ago that the hanging fleece, so proudly displayed one the City’s coat-of-arm, was ironically prophesying the death of the city’s earliest and greatest industry?”

Barbara Nelson, The woolen industry of Leeds. D&J Thornton, Leeds, 1980.

Leeds Coat of Arms