Visiting Summerlee yesterday, I was pleased to find there was an interesting photography and art exhibition, courtesy of PhotoMedia Studios, who have a studio at Summerlee. Encompassing various photographic themes, the prints on display were actually very good and I was pleased to see two pieces by a friend of mine at my Camera Club, Joanne Deas. Amongst the work being exhibited, there was an art installation which was an audiovisual look-back at the history of the local area.
The installation was contained within a small booth, in which were four chairs. This immediately attracted my interest and I considered this might make an interesting image in it’s own right.
Cambusnethan Priory was originally built in 1819, as a replacement for an earlier manor house, which burned down ten years before the Priory was completed; and this manor house was built close to the site of the original Norman tower house which had stood on the site. The priory is one of the few remaining examples of early 19th Century gothic mansions, and an even rarer example of the semi-religious style of architecture.
Sadly, the Priory is now nothing more than a ruined shell, a lingering memory of better days and of the glorious house it once was. Visiting today, it was sad to see the terrible state of disrepair in which the mansion now stands. The barest remnants remain of the upper floors and the original oak staircases, which once bore the crest of the Lockhart family. Even the pinacles have had to be removed for fear of them falling.
The images here tries to capture something of the desolation of the house, the brooding sky bemoaning the ruination of the place.
One of the features at Chatelherault is the Parterre Garden, with its miniature box hedges forming their tiny swirls. Inside this part of the building is the ballroom and the Duchess’ Chamber. This view through the garden was perfect for some selective focussing to lead the eye to the building which is the focus – literally and metaphorically – of the photograph.
The Hamilton Mausoleum is probably the most recognised erection on the Lanarkshire skyline. Building began in 1842 at the instruction of Alexander, 10th Duke of Hamilton, who modestly liked to be referred to as ‘El Magnifico’. The Mausoleum is actually a chapel with a burial chamber in the crypt. Unfortunately, once work was completed, the chapel was entirely unusable due to an anomaly of the architectural design – the interior produced a marked echo; indeed, at fourteen seconds, it is the longest echo in Europe. Within the chapel there is a black marble sarcophagus, bought in Egypt by Alexander in preparation for his eventual death and interment. Not put off by the original occupant being somewhat shorter than he, the Duke had the sarcophagus interior carved out further to accommodate his height. Here he remained, while seventeen of his ancestors lay buried in the vault below, until the coffins were finally removed to a nearby cemetery after the vault flooded. Originally, the Mausoleum stood within the grounds of the Hamilton Palace, built in 1695 and demolished in 1921 because of subsidence. The Mausoleum is all that remains now, apart from the Chatelherault hunting lodge high above Hamilton, with its line of vision looking directly down toward the Mausoleum, once a marked by rows of trees connecting the two.
This is a reworking of an archived shot, converted into monochrome to accentuate the tones and contrasts. I have also used graduated blurring to give the effect of a tilt and shift lens and to draw the eye to the Mausoleum itself.
This was an old image from my archives which I reprocessed. The image had a lot of potential for processing in different ways and while the original colour version was fine, I preferred it in monochrome. The trick was doing it in such a way that the building detail was accentuated. Silver Efex Pro to the rescue.