Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Just Before Sunset

I turned this photograph of the man made dunes at Waxham into the one below by messing about with PaintShopPro and the Virtual Painter plug-in.

Playing about with art programs into the small hours of the morning is, to say the least, addictive behaviour and (in my case at least) often produces unnecessary flummery.

My own feeling is that I may have lost the mystery and loneliness of the sand-dunes at evening and replaced it with a twee sub-Watership Down mock 'countryness'.

Norfolk's ghostly dog Black Shuck could inhabit the first photograph; Only the Tellytubbies could live in the second. The darkened countryside the view looks out on is not only inhabited by the demon dog but is also the site of one of the many spectral mad hunts that haunt England.

The savagery of the local legends (seeing the dog or seeing the hunt is a premonition of your own soon to be violent death) is reflected in the ephemeral nature of human habitation locally. The land is farmed only because of a series of pumps and dykes keep it drained and within living memory the sea has broken through the man made dunes and killed hundreds along the length of the coast.

Global warming (yes. It is happening NOW not in the future) has led to the decision this year to raise the water table by two metres. Eventually the one mile deep strip of farmland along the coast will become saltmarsh again and then finally sea. Remember the story of King Canute. The sea always wins. And that is why I prefer the original dark photograph of the flood protection barrier; it is simply more true.

Just Before Sunset

No comments: