These examples of Art are from my collection “Coffee Shop Art”. Snippets of daily life in coffee shops, helped, or otherwise, by a simple sepia filter. This first photo (right) takes the name of the collection, and introduces you to the contents. A simple mug, albeit intricately patterned, and a sugar bowl, in sepia. This was taken in The Dark Side Cafe, now sadly defunct. But it set me upon my quest for art. I took quite a few more photos of mugs, cups and other tableware, some of which I shall present here. I also managed to find many other examples of art, hidden in the cafes and coffee houses of Leicester, and hopefully these shots will go some way to explaining The Wizard’s Art.
A second mug, again in sepia. This time, as you can clearly see, from The Crumblin’ Cookie. Still a fine establishment, it now has an extended basement for music and comedy gigs. Not that I attend them. I just like their coffee! This is clearly an in-use mug, not full, yet not finished, alluding to the perennial question of how full it is. From this angle, we are unable to tell. The background, although mostly obscured by the centrepiece, is split between a view of the outside world and the interior of the cafe. This creates a duality of emotion regarding whether to have another cup, that is best summed up by The Clash.
This glass is definitely empty. It is also the latest in a long running theme of pictures of empty glasses and bottles, started back in 1989 with “Life Through an Empty Bottle”. While that was taken through a Newcastle Brown Ale bottle, pointed at a fire, this was a downward shot through a straight-sided pint glass at rest. Although a sepia filter was not used here, the reflections of the wooden table give it the same hues, and it fits well with the other images. Evocative, and yet purposefully obscuring the wider view, this range of pictures leads the audience into the mind of the Artist, asking what could be held within the glass, and where the emptiness takes him.
A wider view of a Coffee Shop, this encapsulates the setting well. The sepia captures the feel of The Nook Corner Coffee Shop, Anstey, which brings all of the good feelings of an old-style cafe. The artistically-inclined composition considers a head tilted askew, as if in thought.
The cup is empty, but the menu is there, yet closed. Has it taken so long to decide? Or was it a change of mind to order food, once the important business of drinking coffee was done? Was it just idle curiosity, or checking the menu for a possible return visit? The viewer is invited to make their own story from the available clues.
And to finish, I present two shots of the same piece of window dressing, one with sepia filter, one without. Fitting the theme of The Dark Side Cafe well, these black lace curtains certainly lent atmosphere to the place, and I found their texture and lines quite absorbing.
Even though the Cafe is gone, I still look in through the windows of the building, and imagine the curtains still there, giving an odd twist to the current occupiers' display!
While there is much more in this collection, I think these are a representative sample, without delving into the more esoteric, maybe even abstract, shots.