Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mountains & Fountains - Decatur Deja Vu

© Stuart Pearl 2012 - Click on Image for Slideshow

The first time I'd heard of Stone Mountain Ga was back in the 1970's.  Enroute to a Florida vacation, my parents stopped there to do some sight seeing.   My father Moses always used vacation travel as an opportunity to sketch new canvases for subsequent water color or oil paintings.  He made good use of the Stone Mt. visit.

© Moses Pearl - Oil Painting 1976

I didn't really think again of Stone Mountain until last month while on a trip to Decatur, Ga.  I recalled dad's painting and decided to visit the monument myself.  It's only about 30 minutes away from that city.  I wanted to create my own photographic interpretation of the giant carving and felt black and white would be a good approach. 

My goal was to view the mountain late in the day.  At that time the sun would be lower in the sky and cause more interesting shadows and textures to be revealed on the rock face. I wasn't disappointed. 

At a distance, the entire three acre bas-relief sculpture of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis doesn't give you a true sense of its size.  As you get closer though you see just how large it is, rising 400' above the ground.  The actual figures measure 90 x 190 feet and the carving itself was considered finished by 1972. 

Formed mainly of a substance called quartz monzonite, the dome of Stone Mt. is the result of a magma pushing up from the earth's crust.  It was created about the same time as the Blue Ridge Mountains.  When the magma cooled and solidified, it formed a miles deep mass of granite beneath the surface as well as in the mountain itself.

Fountains are great magnets for children.  This is especially true in hot weather when they afford a relaxing and cooling mist.  Decatur Georgia is known for some wonderful public art and the inspirational "Celebration"  by Gary Lee Price is a beautiful example of such outdoor sculpture.

Quoted from Gary's website:  "Imagine a world without limits, without boundaries, without prejudice and blame. Imagine an existence full of self?confidence, self?esteem and not only tolerance, but love for others regardless of color, socio?economic or any other standing. To me that is what the future holds. That is what children represent and that is the type of world I would like to help others imagine so it can come to pass." 

The apprciative viewer can easily see this in his "Celebration" fountain.

I originally photographed this statue three years ago during my first trip to Decatur.  It never ceases to be a draw for people of all ages.

Information source - Stone Mountain & Wikipedia.


Marlene said...

Fabulous pictures, as always. Your father would have loved this post - for so many reasons!

Stuart Pearl said...

Thank you Marlene - I appreciate the sentiment. But there is a personal mystery here. When Moses painted the monument only two of the men were represented in his finished work instead of the three captured in my photo. I can only speculate that he found the charging of the two front horses to be more dramatic. - Stu

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