Saturday, 4 August 2007

Entering The Convent

I thought I would post a few more photos from the convent we visited the day after the Mid-Winter Festival.

It seemed to be such a mixture of architectural styles. I guess it was built and added to over quite a number of years. I don't know the history of the convent. Strangely enough, I don't particularly want to know. It becomes like a painting - it is what it is, without explanation or interpretation.

Here is an upper storey verandah with a lattice covering which seems almost Moorish or Arabian. Hints of the harem?

And here is the end of a building - it may be a church or chapel. The syle seems almost Spanish Mission to me.

Then there are these two lots of stained glass windows, one in a downstairs room, the pair are on the staircase landing. They are definitely Art Nouveau styling. What's most remarkable and surprising is that they are stained glass windows in a religious institution, but with no religious iconography.
These windows would not have been cheap to make.
The cloisters have the beautiful deciduous tree in the centre. Although the photos were taken mid winter, there were still autumn-painted leaves clinging to the branches. The pointed arches seem medieval-Norman in style, while the columns have a Corinthian style capital.
That is the most Art Nouveau interpretation of acanthus leaves that I have seen on a capital. (acanthus, or 'bears britches' is the usual leaf ornamentation for Corinthian columns). The close-up should show this.

This is one of my favourite photos. It didn't turn out the way I had planned. Maybe that's why I like it.
I was trying to focus on the cloister columns in the background, and have the plants in soft focus in the foreground - peeking through to the secret place in the back.
The fool camera just wouldn't focus on the background. It was just the little camera (Olympus), and not my usual serious camera (Nikon D70 DSLR).

But, it is what it is, and I like the feel of it. The background becomes more moody, more mysterious.

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