I was reminded of my visit to Kader Attia’s installation in Malaga last year, entitled ‘Ghost’, when I recently saw a photograph of migrants wrapped in emergency foil ‘blankets ‘. Attia’s work was created to depict Muslim women at prayer.
However, I found the similarity of his work and this photograph striking; and this similarity was more about the overall scene as opposed to the precise message; gallery visitors walk past the installation, casually observing it, rather like allowing the ‘migrant crisis’ to be passed-by and not addressed in any significant way.
Kader Attia’s – ‘ Ghost ‘.
Cemetery in San Andres, Tenerife
I really enjoy visiting cemeteries in dry regions; this one reminds me of cemeteries I’ve visited in the Atacama desert in northern Chile, near San Pedro. I think I would feel happier being laid in dry ground than lying in a hole in Wales in the cold, wet peat. This cemetery is within a few metres of a beach which is a quite odd colour; given the fact that Tenerife is a volcanic eruption in the Atlantic Ocean. Black sand for a beach doesn’t quite do it for tourists apparently; maybe too hot in strong sun? So, a number of years ago, 4 million sacks of sand from Saharan Africa where imported and made into a fine, yellow, sandy beach, overlaying the black one. It looks a little incongruous. Fortunately, the sand in the cemetery remains the native black colour. Talking about incongruity, the advertising hoarding facing the lovely white-washed walls, the simple mausoleum, and the black or white simple crosses, is great. I wonder what other messages appear here throughout the year.
Fortitude of nature and frailty of our constructs; or vice versa?
Wolverhampton – Flour & Provender Mill – 2012
Barry once vied for supremacy with Cardiff as a port for coal-exporting. Now this power station consumes coal. The sea seems to almost lap against the walls of the turbine halls and coal stockpiles.
Barry - sea and coal - January 2011
The close proximity of the graveyard to the power-station got me thinking! The guardian angel looks over the landscape – keeps an eye on all our loved ones in the ground. And the inscrutable power-station looks back at the angel. There is at once a safe and secure feeling engendered here; and yet there’s possibly danger too.
Port Talbot - January 2011