Sunday, 22 January 2012

Assignment 3 – another idea bites the dust

One of the potential sites I identified for Assignment 4 was a shot or two of the church at Newton Arlosh, but that has become redundant as I’ve re-thought the assignment.

However the church itself is historically interesting, being fortified to help protect villages against Border raiders. It has extremely thick walls, crenellations, arrow slit windows and a door that is only wide enough to admit one person at a time. It also has a defensively designed tower. To me all these things add up to a good reason to take some photos – which I duly did – thinking that they would make a good study for Assignment 3. Sadly, the more I think about it the more I have to admit it isn’t going to work either.

To start with, it’s a church. I know the assignment says I can choose whether or not to include people, but the fundamental purpose of a church is to allow people to come together to praise God. I’m sure that with good use of light it is possible to catch the idea of praise or divinity, but it wont capture a congregation – and the bottom line is I’m not personally prepared to interfere with a religious ceremony in order to capture a group of people at prayer – as I would inevitably have to do in a church this small.

The assignment also says ‘describe…the way in which (the space) is used’. Even if I stretch it to ‘was used’ I still can’t effectively show people hiding in the tower and defending their families and livestock. I can show defensive features of the church, but without the people I don’t see how I can provide sufficient context for the idea to hold together. Maybe I’m getting hung up on wording, but there are plenty of other building to work on for the assignment, so I’m going to post some images here to show the key points of the building as another project for Exercise 16: Exploring Function.

First up a couple of exterior shots to set the scene and show the crenellations, and the relatively small scale of the doorway and general absence of windows:

Newton Arlosh church (i)  Newton Arlosh church (ii)

These clearly establish the unusual design, and are more suggestive of a castle than a church. The next three are really about trying to capture the thickness of the walls, the confining nature of the entrance way and the military appearance of the windows.

   Newton Arlosh church (iii)  Newton Arlosh church (v)  Newton Arlosh church (iv)

And there it is. I’m finding this ‘sticking to the brief’ quite tricky but I’ll get there in the end. I have a few more ideas up my sleeve yet.

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