Sculpture of a bronze wheel decorated with figures, buildings etc
CFFC,  Squares,  Themed galleries

Gallery: turning wheels and circles from my past

The wheel is come full circle

William Shakespeare, King Lear

I’m coming late to Cee’s shapes challenge this week, Circles and Wheels, but I couldn’t resist joining in as I love to look for shapes in my photography. I’ve trawled through the archives of photos taken at home and abroad, and found what I hope is an interesting mix!

My featured photo is of the ‘Wheel of History’ in Socorro, New Mexico. This bronze sculpture was created in the late 90s to illustrate the history of the town.

There are circles everywhere, in nature and in man-made objects. According to a 2011 scientific study (quoted by the BBC’s Science Focus magazine), a preference for circular shapes is deeply ingrained in all of us from birth. The study found that at five months of age, before they utter a word or scribble a drawing, infants already show a clear visual preference for contoured lines over straight lines.

The same website tells as that:

In a 1921 study conducted by the Swedish psychologist Helge Lundholm, subjects were asked to draw lines representing a set of emotional adjectives. While angular lines were used to depict adjectives like hard, harsh and cruel, curved lines were the popular choice for adjectives like gentle, quiet and mild.

So if circles seem to create more positive emotions, here are some for you to contemplate and hopefully enjoy. And I’ve also squared my images for Becky’s Past Squares challenge as all were taken some years ago (dates in the comments):

Sculpture with circular hole framing view of beach and lighthouse

A sculpture in South Shields, near the mouth of the River Tyne. The quote is taken from a traditional Northumbrian ballad, ‘Blow the wind southerly’.

Photo taken in 2015

‘Blow the wind southerly, southerly, southerly,
Blow the wind south for the bonny blue sea.
Blow the wind southerly, southerly, southerly,
Blow, bonny breeze, my lover to me.

They told me last night there were ships in the offing,
And I hurried down to the deep rolling sea.
But my eye could not see it, wherever might be it,
The barque that is bearing my lover to me.

Blow the wind southerly, southerly, southerly,
Blow, bonny breeze, o’er the bonny blue sea.
Blow the wind southerly, southerly, southerly,
Blow, bonny breeze, and bring him to me.

Is it not sweet to hear the breeze singing,
As lightly it calms o’er the deep rolling sea?
But sweeter and dearer by far when ’tis bringing
The barque of my true love in safely to me!’

Futuristic round black and white seats

Seating at the foot of the Television Tower in Tallinn.

Photo taken in 2014

Faded decorative clock on a green painted wall

On the wall of a house in Tallinn, near the Kadriorg Park.

Photo taken in 2015

Two traditional Japanese hats hanging on a wall

In the Hakone Checkpoint museum, Japan. This is a replica of the sekisho, where travellers had to show the permits that were necessary to allow them to travel the Tokaido Way, which connected Edo (modern-day Tokyo) to Kyoto.

Photo taken in 2013

Metal globe sculpture on a lawn

Sculpture, Sfera con Stera, by the Italian Arnaldo Pomodoro, at the Hakone Open Air Museum, Japan.

Photo taken in 2013

Close-up of bright orange pumpkins

Pumpkins for sale in Santa Fe, New Mexico (almost perfect circles!)

Photo taken in 2011

Front part of a bright blue motorbike

A Harley Davidson bike in Roswell, New Mexico (was it ridden by aliens?)

Photo taken in 2011

Turquoise painted beam with various signs hanging from it

Signs in Madrid, New Mexico, on the Turquoise Trail scenic byway

Photo taken in 2011

Wooden sign of the Rocking Horse Bakery

Coffee shop sign in Winthrop, Washington State, a cool place where we got a very good breakfast!

Photo taken in 2017

Round plaque with engraving of covered wagon

Sign at the Oregon Trail Memorial in Wyoming

Scanned from a 35mm slide taken in 1997

Rocks with deep groove carved in them

Not a wheel but a groove carved by many wheels: wagon wheel ruts at the Oregon Trail Memorial in Wyoming.

Scanned from a 35mm slide taken in 1997

Woman in pink sari guiding oxen turning a large wheel

Walking in circles at a traditional well in Rajasthan, India

Photo taken in 2015

I’ll finish with another quote which I came across and really like:

The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours.

Black Elk, ‘Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux’

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