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Sólfar (The Sun Voyager), Reykjavík, Iceland

This sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason reflects the fundamental importance of the sea in both Iceland’s past and present. The abstract ribs of the longship looked wonderful in the slighty wan autumnal morning light. On the far side of the fjord is Mt Esja, clad scantily in the first snowy wreaths of winter. Behind lie half-finished apartment blocks and penthouses: I couldn’t help but wonder how much demand there would be for such expensive dwellings in the wake of the financial crisis which has engulfed the Icelandic economy recently. Icelanders seem to be a pretty determined and tough people, so I have faith that this’ll remain a constant, despite the transience of some elements of the modern society all around. I suspect that Sólfar better typifies steadfastness and stoicism over largesse and materialism.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash or QuickTime format, or for more info in Google Earth.

The Brick Train sculpture, near Darlington

The Brick Train, by sculptor David Mach.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash or QuickTime format, or locate the scene in Google Earth.

O’Connell Street, Dublin at night

O\'Connell Street, Dublin including the Dublin Spire and the General Post Office

I’ve not been to Dublin for fifteen years. The whole city has changed greatly in that time, and O’Connell Street typifies those changes. Many of the cheap shop fronts have been replaced, the wide roadway has been narrowed to create a more pedestian-friendly boulevard, and the Monument of Light (the world’s tallest sculpture) now dominates the skyline. The wonderful facade of the General Post Office (Árd-Oifig an Phuist), scene for the proclamation of independence during the Easter Uprising of 1916, has been restored to its full glory, although you can still see bullet marks on the columns of the portico if you look closely enough.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash or QuickTime format, or locate the scene in Google Earth.

The Singing, Ringing Tree

Looking at the magnificent Panopticon on Crown Point, high above Burnley.

This spot offers a superb panorama to the viewer, from the Cliviger Gap in the south-east to Pendle hill in the north-west. The blurred grass in the midground only hints at how strong the wind was: there had been gales across the hills for the previous 24 hours, and I was lucky to capture this shot between fierce showers and gusts. This piece of public art channels the wind through its steel pipework and plays an undulating, harmonic tune to provide a background soundtrack to the wildness of the view.

“The design selected for Burnley’s Panopticon was ‘Singing, Ringing Tree’ by architects Tonkin Liu Ltd. It was selected in early 2005 through a public consultation exercise. Designs by three different architects were exhibited in six venues around Burnley and ‘Singing Ringing Tree’ was unanimously selected by the public and steering group to go forward for development.

Perhaps the most playful and innovative of all the Panopticons designs, this unique musical sculpture overlooks Burnley from its position high above the town on Crown Point. Making the most of the prevailing westerly winds, ‘Singing, Ringing Tree’ makes an intriguing, tuneful sound, audible only at relatively close range.”

http://www.panopticons.uk.net/burnley_story.html

This was my submission for the summer solstice 2008 WWP event. You can view (and hear) the full submission here.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash or QuickTime format, or locate the scene in Google Earth.

A weir, a fish, and a clock

By the Lagan, Belfast

By the River Lagan, Belfast

Standing by the Lagan on a sunny day, one can view the recently built Lagan Weir, a large ceramic fish scuplture, the Albert Clock, and the grand Customs House.

Click here to view a fullscreen Flash panorama of the scene.