Friday, October 28, 2011

In Rust I Trust . . .

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People trust in all sorts of things, but I trust in rust. What other process of transformation is so faithful, so relentless, so persistent, so natural, so honest, so powerful, and so inescapable for the iron and steel creations of man ? Creations that should have lasted centuries had their creators' dreams prevailed. But such architects and mechanical engineers, along with the miners and smelters and forgers and casters and welders who work with such materials, sculptors all, are barely in their graves, or even still breathing this earth's sweet air, when their works are brutally attacked by a simple chemical reaction occurring in the presence of oxygen and H²O, whereby a marvellously colorful form of cancerous seed is planted, which once started is fairly well irreversible in most cases.
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Some humans as they age or when they haven't practiced an art for some time may say, "I'm a little bit rusty..." as in, "oh dear, I haven't spoken French in too long, I'm getting rusty". As for me, as time goes by, I've been looking more and more often at rusty subjects, and am fairly often thoroughly amazed and mesmerized by what dramatic arts are being played out on rusting surfaces. What I would give to have time lapse photos of a rusting car over a period of several decades. Like watching lichens growing on a rock, one must be very patient to appreciate the progression of rust. But few such theatre of life type shows are more spectacular. So yes, as I said : In Rust I Trust, for rust has never failed me.
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In case you might have been wondering, these colorfully oxydized surfaces were once part of a large shipping container which had washed up long ago, no doubt in a storm, on the coast of a small island off the shore of north Brittany. There is something about salt water which adds another dimension to the rusting process, as these images attest. I'd like to blow some of these pictures up and see what they look like framed under glass in one meter by one meter size, for example. Might look nice on a wall in your living room, no ? :-) Part of the container number is still legible in this next one, and in the last one the rib cage of the defunct creature is visible. 
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39 comments:

JeannetteLS said...

Oh, my God, they are beautiful! they look like paintings, and yet they are as real, as elemental as it gets. Absolutely wonderful.

HOWEVER, I shall have to hurt you. I'm walking around my bedroom getting ready for bed, Mumbling "I must... I must... I must trust in rust.... I MUST... I MUST ... I must trust in rust.

I'll have that running in my brain as I try to sleep. Thank you very much!

Owen said...

Jeannette; oh dear, we'll have to rush down to the hardware store and get some anti-rust treatment paint to gloss things over ! I wouldn't want to cause any lost sleep...

I wish you colorfully rusty dreams...
:-)

For me it's : Rust or Bust !

Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle... said...

Seriously. What were you thinking, Owen? Like Jeannette, I will go to bed tonight repeating "In rust, I trust. In rust, I trust..." Sheesh. All joking aside, your photos are outstanding, bien sûr. Who would have thought rust was art in progress? Only you, Owen, only you. A bientôt. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

James said...

Rust really is interesting and it can be quite beautiful. I wonder if it would be possible to cultivate and arrange rust in an artful way. I can imagine having a workroom with beautifully rusted pieces of metal in different stages of decay. Maybe it's even possible to create pictures with rust by somehow controlling the process?

Steve said...

Only entropy is forever... or is it? According to scientists even that process will one day eventually stop.

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Wow, these are splendid studies, all that flaking and blistering and speckling... so many different textures and hues to Rust. I love the daisy in the bottom corner of one of the photos.

bicocacolors said...

awesome textures and colors, loooove all them!

mythopolis said...

love the shots....the composition of decomposition...

jeff said...

Tu m'étonnes qu'avec le temps qu'il fait tout se mette à rouiller ! ! ! Je vais pouvoir faire bientôt ce genre de photos par chez moi vu la pluie, les nuages qui assombrissent les journées !...:)

Tes "rouilles" sont vraiment superbes et ressemblent à des oeuvres dignes de la FIAC ! ! ! :)

A bientôt pixpot !
Amitiés :)

Nevine said...

It seems every time I manage to make it here from across the globe, there are photos of rust waiting to greet me! Am I complaining? Heavens, no! You know by now my fascination with rust, and especially how you render it so vividly in your photos, Owen. After all, it is not at all about the rust, but about how the rust is captured. Well, that is my belief, anyway.

I wish you a lovely weekend, Owen!

Nevine

Stickup Artist said...

Great colors, textures, and subject. What a perfect post for autumn! Love the abstract quality and the idea of there being a process at work here. My two faves are the one with the little white flower peeking in shyly from the bottom left corner, and the one with the bright orange #4. A very unique post!

louciao said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
it was good for me.
so very very good.

JeannetteLS said...

Still chanting, Owen...

And returning to look at those beautiful images yet again. Funny. I can understand the French response if I do not think about it. Too long since I spoke that beautiful language.

Anyway, thank you for giving me two days of looking at the beauty... and dealing with my new chanson!

Céline said...

Voilà un slogan qui me plait entièrement : le sens et le son !!! Et en plus, il y a l'image.
Pour répondre à ta question, c'est bien le Rhône qui coule sous le pont Morand, mais je connais pas de poème sur (sous) les ponts lyonnais. J'espère que le boulot va te laisser un peu plus de liberté, pour moi aussi c'est un peu tendu en ce moment.
Bon week-end Owen !

Pat Tillett said...

The colors and textures are just amazing!
A person would be hardpressed even coming up with these colors.
Remember...Rust Never Sleeps!

Roxana said...

yes, i wanted to say the same thing as Stickup, a very original take on autumn as i read this as an autumn metaphor, and one of the most brilliant ones as that! you should be proud (though i know you are too modest to bask in such a feeling:-)

K'line Bloom said...

Des très belles flammes de rouille...pour l'instant c'est moi qui suis rouillée avec l'arrivée du temps plus humide ! Bises Owen

Catherine said...

so pleased to see the lust for rust persists in your artwork photography - Greetings from the Riviera....

Owen said...

Hi Véronique, well if the magic lantern is keeping people awake thinking about it, that could be a good thing, up to a certain point. But if truth be known, part of my rusty brain problem may be caused by my rust colored hair. I used to tell people that it is strawberry blond. Now I just call it rust...
Roux et rouillé... ce n'est pas loin, d'ailleurs...

Owen said...

Hey James, may be worth a try... though I've had some rusty scraps around our yard for a rather long time, and you have to be extremely patient to see any changes going on... But yeah, it would be cool to set up a rust room, warm temperature, very humid, some saltwater mist in the mix, and then a collection of cast iron art to test... maybe boosting the oxygen content of the air would help it go faster ? Well, another project to add to the list !

Owen said...

Well Steve, I doubt any of us are going to live long enough to see that happen... so, a thank you to the scientists, but I think I'll keep my trust in rust, at least we can almost see that happening...

Owen said...

Dear Lady M., yes, a lot of flaking going on there, which really is quite surprising when you think of the seemingly hard solid object it started as. I was wondering if anyone would notice that tiny white flower there, but with your gardening instincts I shouldn't be surprised...

Owen said...

Hi Bicoca... muchas graaaaaaciaaas ! :-) Cela me fait plaisir de te voir passer...

Owen said...

Well said Mythop, compositions in progress, hard iron composting itself... iron to rust and rust to dust...

Owen said...

Salut Jeff !
Et oui, si seulement j'avais eu une grue à disposition, montée sur un bateau en Bretagne, j'aurais pu soulever ces morceaux en décomposition rouillée, et les monter sur une peniche, et puis mettre le cap sur la bouche de la Seine, remonter la Seine jusqu'à dans Paris, et les installer dans un coin des Tuilleries pour le FIAC... bon, peut-être l'année prochaine ? D'ici un an la rouille aurait avancé encore plus...

Les couleurs sont vraiment en harmonie avec l'automne, n'est pas ?

Et j'ai cru comprendre qu'il ne pleuvait plus dans le grand sud, très jolie ta photo sur FB... Bon, en te souhaitant une excellente semaine toussaintienne... Ciao...

Owen said...

Nevine !
A true pleasure ! That is a subtle difference, between the rust itself and how the rust is captured... very quickly could lead us into some philosophical zones concerning the observed versus the observer, and does the rust exist anywhere else than on my retina which sends the upside down image to the visual processor in the cranium... (if the transmission wires haven't rusted through). I hope all is wonderful with you, working hard I'm sure...
All best wishes from here to there...

Owen said...

Hi Stickup... I'm thrilled if you enjoyed this little Autumn Color show of rusty projections from the lantern. I'm willing to bet that in your wandering in ghost towns and old mining sites in the California mountains that you have come across some marvellously rusted old hardware... Hope to see your take on rust one day... As no two people ever see the same subject the same way, I'm sure you will come up with something fabulous...

Owen said...

Lynne ! Ahem !

Would you care for a cigarette ?
:-)

But are your tetanus shots up to date ?

Owen said...

Dear Jeannette,
Still chanting ??? It's a good thing the mantra is "I trust in rust", and not "I lust for rust"...
:-)

Owen said...

Bonjour Céline...
Bon, les images vont rester ici juste un certain temps, après elles se désintegrent complètement, et deviendront simplement un petit tas de poussière de rouille en bas de chaque cadre d'image...

Bon, quant aux ponts et poèmes, visiblement il va falloir en écrire un, dans ce cas...

Sous les ponts de Lyon coule le Rhone,
faut-il que je m'en souvienne,
que là dedans sont aussi les eaux de la Saone
Augmentées par le Doubs après son passage à Besançon...

Owen said...

Hi Pat, Though an artist might have a challenge to recreate these exact hues, perhaps a way could be found to distill these rusty surfaces into a new line of oil paints... Rusty Autumn Orange #3 ; or Burnt Chestnut Rust #7....

Owen said...

Chère Roxana, I hope your autumnal season is being good to you, I know you're swimming in the infinite realms of ideas and language, history and poetry, images and art, sifting all through the tea strainer of your clear vision... Am simply and quietly pleased to see you out and about, taking a breath of air outside, pour changer les idées, comme on dit... be well, when I saw your blue flowers I was thinking of the Blue Danube...

Owen said...

Ah K'line, et oui, tout ça a pris feu... c'est fou les variants de ton entre oranges, marrons... la nature qui se marre à créer des couleurs les plus inouies... oui, des gerbes de flammes...

Bon, ne te laisse pas rouiller; il y a maintes façons de se dérouillé les jambes et l'esprit... :-)

Il y a même des traitements anti-rouille...

Owen said...

Hi Catherine, et oui, the lust for rust in which I trust will never turn to dust, at least, not before I do... :-) I MUST have RUST !

louciao said...

By some lucky coincidence, and this it the absolute truth, I did happen to have a tetanus shot 2 weeks ago!

Owen said...

You must have seen it coming, part of your medicine wheel turning... yes, there is powerful medicine in the air these days...

Peter said...

It’s amazing how even decay can be seen as something attractive, nice, positive… with the right eyes! Some kind of comfort when you start to feel a bit rusty yourself!

Lydia said...

Ever since becoming a regular at your blog, and being swept away by your posts about rust, I now think Owen whenever I see an interesting rusty piece!

These are spectacular, and especially the one with the fragile white flower. That one would definitely be beautiful framed on a wall.

Pastelle said...

En photo j'aime tout particulièrement ceux qui ont le pouvoir de transformer le "laid" et l'"ordinaire" en oeuvres d'art.
C'est ton cas ici. :)