Thursday, 29 September 2016

Compelling Contrasts.

This is a picture by a French-born photographer called Clémentine Schneidermann. I hope she’ll excuse me posting it without permission, thus breaching her copyright. It’s just that she is obviously a woman of keen awareness and sensitivity to the nuances of contrast, a quality I appreciate and to which I wholeheartedly relate. I admit to being selfish in wanting the picture to grace the pages of my blog, but at least I don’t make a penny out of it.

It’s from a study she did of Abertillery, a Welsh ex-mining town brutally stripped of its function and tradition, a place which was always a little stoically dour, but is now tragically depressed. It’s about the contrast between now and then, and how the young instinctively compensate for the stifling greyness in which they’re trapped. I thought of writing a commentary on it, but it would have been pretentious. Besides, pictures shouldn’t be described in words. You either get it or you don’t. There is, however, one feature that particularly intrigues:

There are several levels of contrast presented here, and one is the contrast between the two girls. While one is sub-pretty in pink, the other is anonymous and the very essence of style-in-blue. Where did they get their outfits from? And in particular, where did the girl in pink find a top with Chinese-style water sleeves? I’ve never seen such a thing in Britain, which must say something about levels of creativity as well as contrast.

I hope that wasn’t too pretentious. Apologies if it was.

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