There is a statue theme for Sepia Saturday 220 which, in some ways, should be an easy challenge for me as I have a brother who is a professional sculptor. I don't, however, come from a long line of sculptors and therefore most of my photographs of my brother's work are recent ones. To get the right sepia feel I am going back to the old family albums and to a photograph taken back in the 1930s by my Uncle Frank and it is a photograph he took in Plymouth in Devon.
Anyone familiar with the early days of computing will remember the so-called Mandelbrot Series - that wonderful series of computer generated patterns which you could keep zooming into and discovering new, complex patterns and shapes. I have always thought of old photographs as being a bit like a Mandelbrot Series once you scan them and start examining them in detail. So from the original photograph - which was no larger than 8 x 6 cms - we can zoom in on the figure of that great circumnavigator, Sir Francis Drake.
The statue is based at Plymouth Hoe overlooking Plymouth Sound from where he left in 1577 to undertake his famous circumnavigation of the world. It was at the same location he was supposed to have been playing bowls eleven years later when the Spanish Armada was sighted and where he chose to finish his game before sailing off to defeat the Armada. The sad truth is, however, that it was the weather that defeated the Spaniards and that Drake probably wasn't playing bowls at all.
Photography has the wonderful ability to turn us all into statues. Whereas the sculptor slaves away with chisel and hammer, with stone and with bronze, the photographer has life easy : one click of the button and the subject is captured for posterity (as the younger, lazier brother, perhaps this is why I am happy taking photographs whilst my brother creates bronze statues). So, Uncle Frank not only took a photograph of the statue of Francis Drake, he also took a photograph of some statuesque people who had strayed into the edge of the shot. The inhabitant of that pram may still be walking around this world today, unaware of the fact that there is a statue of them in an old dusty photograph album. And now, visible to the entire world, on the internet.
For more sepia statues, take a look at the Sepia Saturday Blog and follow the various links.