Tuesday 7 March 2017

Where the Magic Resides

“A great motivating force is to be able to discover
the treasure of each place, or where the magic resides.”

- Carme Pigem, 2017 Pritzker Prize Winner

The Spanish architect Carme Pigem, along with her colleagues Rafael Aranda and Ramon Vilata at RCR Arquitectes, were recently named winners of the 2017 Pritzker Prize, architecture’s Nobel Prize. Specializing in ‘slow architecture’, they spend considerable time listening to the land on which their projects are to be built before they begin the actual designs. (Here's a YouTube clip where they
discuss their design philosophy.) A wise approach, methinks.

Ms. Pigem’s eloquent words resonated with me on the bitterly cold weekend we’ve just experienced. Let me explain…

It is no secret that I do not like the winter. I’m “perpetually cold,” as my dear husband says, one of the reasons our bed is piled high with his beautifully snuggly quilts. At the same time, however, I am trying to find ways to engage with the winter and find joy in it.

Which brings me to Belleville’s marvellous Downtown DocFest, the annual late winter festival that brings dozens of brilliant documentaries and hundreds of film lovers to Belleville. It was held this past weekend. The films were fabulous, but the weather was frigid. Ironically, three of the films I saw shared cold-weather locations: Samuel in the Clouds high in the Andes of Bolivia; Angry Inuk in Nunavut; and The Eagle Huntress in Mongolia’s Altai Mountains. Although I enjoyed all three films, I couldn’t help but shiver constantly. And I even got a nip of frost bite on my left index finger while walking back to the car on Friday evening. Le grand chill…brrr!

Then, on Sunday evening, I drove to Wellington for the monthly meeting of my dear Prince Edward County Photography Club. I decided to leave home early because a gorgeous sunset was shaping up, and I wanted to do some photography on the shores of both the Bay of Quinte and Lake Ontario on my way to the meeting.  And, yes, Carmen Pigem’s words were resonating with me. “Try to find the treasure and the magic in the cold,” I kept telling myself. And so that’s what my camera and I set out to do. I was shivering, but I was also bathed in beauty. My complaints subsided, replaced with awe.

I hope you enjoy these images of finding magic.

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