I see stairways and steps in one of two ways. Given my arthritic knee, big flights of steps are something of a challenge (not to mention the size of my butt if we are talking a narrow winding staircase). But my eye enjoys the symmetry of stairways and steps and that is what I am going to focus on in this blog. How something as mundane as stairways and steps can create beauty.
Stairways and Steps
Beautiful Old Steps
In some of the local towns and villages here in Central Italy there are some beautiful examples of old stairways and steps.
This image shows a typical Umbrian town house with stone steps and metal handrails. This is a view of a street in Panicale, a picturesque medieval hill town with fabulous views and marvellous architecture. But the steps make the image here.
Functional Stairways and Steps Can Be Beautiful
How can functional stairways and steps be beautiful? Well, let’s look at this stairway leading up to a maintenance area on the M25 motorway in Southern England. Let me quickly say I was on a coach that was stuck in traffic an so was able to safely take a photograph. The M25 is not called ‘the car park’ without reason. Actually I wrote about the M25 in one of my earlier blogs.
What caught my eye in this image was the juxtaposition of the handrails to start with. But then I saw the zigzag pattern of the shadows on the steps cause by the handrail. Tell me that isn’t pleasing to look at!
Another example of functional stairways and steps that are beautiful in their own way is this external stairway at Stansted Airport.
I took this shot from the train platform below, you can see the overhead cable for the train in the shot. I loved the contrast of the steps with the building behind. When the man in brightly coloured clothing started to come down them it made a perfect shot.
Stairways and Steps With a Hint of Mystery
Finally, let’s look at a stairway that has atmosphere .
This image is a shot looking up the stairway from the middle floor in the Palazzo Baleschi in Paciano, Umbria. There are bare walls but a wonderful interplay of light and shade. The steps, and their handrail, lead your eyes upwards but where do they go? What is round the corner when you get to the top of the stairway?
Having explored things from my viewpoint, maybe you will start to see stairways and steps in a different way?
All of the images in my blog today are available to purchase as prints. Just click on the image and you will be taken to the relevant sales page.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!