RECENT NEWS > Sampling the delights of Chile!

Sampling the delights of Chile!

Jeremy Richards returns with a feast of photos!
Returning speaker, Jeremy Richards led our regular Thursday Zoom session on 12th November. Several members of Warminster CC again joined us for what was a fascinating historical, geographical and geological tour of Chile, from its misty coastline, climbing through plains to the Atacama Desert and the lakes and volcanoes of the Plata region.

Jeremy’s stated aim is to “capture the world as it truly is” and his photography certainly transported us to a world of sweeping, barren terrain, covered in coarse grass and soft rock formations that are weathered by melting snows. Inhabited by numerous varieties of Alpaca or Llama like camelids and rabbit like Vizcacha, these landscapes to those of us at home on the Mendips, are unfamiliar in the extreme. The sheer scale of the desert landscape topped by snaw capped volcanoes was awesome, as was the extent of the dereliction and decay of the abandoned mining areas and railways of a bygone mining era. These contrasted starkly with the modern Observatories and Radio Telescopes of the Paranal region, dominated as it is by the domes and paraphernalia that are controlled by satellite and computer from afar. Only in the cities were there signs of anything but sparse populations, and only in the lower valleys, or after a rare downpour, was it possible to observe the beauty of the flowering desert, or the vineyards, irrigated as they are by waters from on high.

These barren areas are harsh conditions in which to survive, and the coastal ports and the cities are where the people are. This is where they gather for the festivals of dance and music that abound in celebration of the Sun, drawing performers from Bolivia and Peru and providing a colourful feast for photographers like Jeremy. He skilfully captured the colours and the moods of the indigenous people and the detail in their traditions and finery, and finished his talk with a glorious collection of graffiti and more formal artworks adorning the buildings of Valparaiso the Jewel of the Pacific. It was a wonderful tale of decline and change in a country far removed from most of our experiences. We hope Jeremy will return in 2021 with part two of this fascinating journey.

Our Open Competitions will be judged on Thursday 19th, and Graham Nicholls will be preparing in earnest for his evening on 26th November. In the meantime, members are experimenting with landscapes and portraits in the November Challenges, and their efforts are filling up the gallery daily.

Jenny Short