Hidden Places Around Portsmouth: Sturnus Vulgaris

Local resident and photographer John Callaway gives us a glimpse into Portsmouth’s hidden places with his stunning photography. This week, he heads down to The Hard and despite his best intentions, can’t help but find deeper meaning in the landscape.

There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky; that is the interior of the soul…

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables.

…and sometimes there’s great joy to be had chasing the light and the gathering clouds over the city. And I promise, (more or less), not to look for metaphors in gathering clouds, impending storms, beached dinghies and a murmuration of starlings that seemed as restless as the weather.

The Hard, Portsmouth [Image © John Callaway 2020]
Instead, I’ll just say how I spent a good twenty minutes or so watching starlings fill the skies in and around the Hard.

Starlings [Image © John Callaway 2020]
Obviously there’s no symbolism whatsoever in a slipway leading into a dark and mysterious sea, whilst the silhouette of Gosport appears to be being swallowed up by storm clouds…

Slipway [Image © John Callaway 2020]
Nor is there any subliminal message to be found in clouds that tower over the blocks of flats in the distance, whilst the foreground is littered with partially discernible shapes, whose seaworthiness is uncertain from the information in front of us.

So, I promise absolutely not to enter into any dystopian narrative or thought process.

Gathering storm [Image © John Callaway]

This article was originally published on John Callaway’s website, Ideas & images from Portsmouth and beyond. You can read more of John’s writing on his website and also see his live music photography.

Images by John Callaway.

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