Thin layers of ice

29th January 2019

Thin layers of ice coated the sand and cracked quietly beneath my boots. Viewed through a camera, the formations of ice became micro worlds; curves, ridges, paths and tracks.

This week’s work is a reflection of engagement with my surroundings, but also an exploration of fragility on different levels; the fragility of meaning, the fragility of the natural environment; the transience of being.  The ice creates a translucent surface through which other worlds are slightly visible. Layer on layer on layer.

Man Ray’s image Dust Breeding was perhaps an inspiration here. I have always found interest in this image. The accumulation of dust on a glass surface is in some ways similar to the accumulation of frost on ice.

 landscape by julie dawn dennisPhotographing digitally gave me the option of seeing the images without colour shortly afterwards. In black and white, the ridges and peaks gained a startling whiteness and their shape is emphasised.  Other images from the same walk were less appealing to me, on review.  

I explored with and without colour but their content gave me less room for imagination.  Here – I don’t really know why –  what came to mind was what is often attributed as the first colour photograph, by James Clerk Maxwell in 1861.  

This may be because I was moving between black and white / colour, but also because the surface looked more like gel than ice, almost alien.

ice-mono2-contact-sheet_web_Julie-Dawn-Dennis_DSC_2726 ICE BLUE