Sculptures of Stockholm, Sweden

Posted on 1st March 2015 in explored, wandering

I always wish I knew or could remember the characters and stories that belong with each sculpture I come across and photograph. I know that a lot of them have information at their base… Perhaps it’s this public art that really makes a person feel like their walking with history.

As I wandered the ancient streets of Stockholm, Sweden I came across these pieces. Some were sculptures, some were probably moldings, and others were maybe pounded our of iron or copper. I distinctly remember saying to myself that I was going to focus on capturing as many arch details above doors as I could.

I’d love to hear if you recognize any of these in the comments below, and perhaps sharing the stories of them.

Stockholm, Sweden by Ned Tobin Click here to read more.. »

Statues of Budapest, Hungary

Posted on 5th January 2015 in explored, wandering

My brother got home from Europe today: Barcelona via a three day stopover in New York, USA. He has been gone a little over a year, and when I picked him up from the airport one of the first things he said as we were driving around was that Canada just can’t compare to Europe. I asked him what he meant and he pointed to Richmond City Hall as we drove past. He mentioned that, for example, the Barcelona City Hall building would have been around for at least a few houndred years, and sits as a glorious feat of architecture that tourist flock to from all over the world. “You just can’t compare.” I hardly noticed I had been passing the Richmond City Hall.

It is one of my wishes that throughout my ongoing European study of architecture and street art that we can share and learn about what history really means. That it’s not just a dusty text book taking up space, it’s carved in stone with expert hands hardened long before the age of the machine.

 

Statues of Budapest by Ned Tobin Click here to read more.. »

Statues of Riga, Latvia

Posted on 29th November 2014 in adventure, explored, wandering

I still believe I fell in love with Riga. A little piece of my soul exists there, and I hope one day to go back.

One day while out roaming around, I stumbled upon some statues just outside of a museum. The exact museum slips my memory, the but statues I’m sure still live there.

These statues really make you feel the Soviet/Russian influence, doesn’t it? I would like to know who they are depicting.

For the previous posts on Riga’s architecture see:

Architecture of Riga Part I
Architecture of Riga Part II

Riga - 201209 (576 of 605) Click here to read more.. »

Budapest, Hungary

Posted on 13th November 2014 in architecture, explored

Every new city or country that I go to I always make sure to get a map. Maps are a must-have as far as I’m concerned, but that may just be because I’m a map junkie. Just yesterday I had cause to look up Budapest again (I watched the movie Grand Budapest Hotel and was trying to find if I had walked close/where it existed in Budapest) and as per usual, I tried to remember the places I had been and the streets I had walked. As I was trying to remember, I realized that when I was in Budapest I had been treating SouthEast as North. I was almost 180 degrees backwards!

It’s all in how you look at a map.. To get an idea of where abouts I was roaming in Budapest, you can find the Liberty Statue, which is just above the cross photograph below overlooking the river and old town of Budapest here. I was staying around District III.

Funny that in my exploration/posts of cities from my trip through Europe in 2012 the next city up is Budapest.

Coming from places like Athens and Bucharest, Budapest seemed very clean and kempt. It’s really hard to judge cities when you compare them to North American buildings and streets. It’s an age thing I think. Everything seemed, to me, wise and old and beautiful. Buildings I know had seen wars and revolutions and kings and queens and knights and prosperity. Kind of like Brussels in a way, but Budapest felt most spread out though which could perhaps be accredited to the flatter terrain.

It was also in Budapest that my friend Gábor – whom I had met while in London – commissioned me to do a painting for him.

Budapest Architecture by Ned Tobin
Click here to read more.. »

My Family History Tour of Latvia, 2012

Posted on 4th March 2014 in adventure, architecture, explored, photojournalism

Latvia is a very special place in my heart, for many reasons.

One of those reasons is that my family has a very long history there. If you’re not familiar with Riga, I’ve made two posts on the architecture there (Part I & Part II). Riga is a very beautiful old city in an old country, with a lot of amazing history over the centuries, and a lot of very sad history too.

My family had estates scattered around Latvia that were lost sometime around the Russian Revolution(s) ~1917. For so long Latvia was behind the Russian Iron Curtain, but within the last 10-20 years everything has changed making it accessible to us foreigners. While I was there I rented a car and tried to visit as many of the old family estates as I possibly could.

I received such beautiful hospitality when I was there in 2012 from a few people who made my family history tour possible: Gerda Berzina, Imants Lancmanis, & Ojars Sparitis, who all went out of their way to extend their services to me. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities they presented to me, and in fact I’m a little ashamed it took me so long to write this post as a token of my gratitude.

If you’re interested in seeing a map with pins (markers) where I visited, head to my family genealogy site, tobyns.com,where I’ve made an interactive map.

My trip went from Riga -> Schleck -> Edwalen -> Pope -> Ugale -> Riga on day 1. On day 2 I went to Mežotne -> Rundāle -> Elley -> Vilce -> Jelgeva -> Riga.

This is what I saw.

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

Schleck Church (lv. Zlekas)

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