#1307. Reclaiming the Elbow

By Ian Varkevisser | Art & Creativity

Aug 26
The elbow is a much under appreciated part of the body. Its often ignored. Look at them closely and you will see they are all unique and they are everywhere you look.

You may be forgiven for thinking I am about to give you the elbow but you would be right.

No man lives without jostling and being jostled; in all ways he has to elbow himself through the world, giving and receiving offence. Thomas Carlyle

Recently I viewed Stepen Leslies Show and Tell Ep 19 where he explains his elbow fetish and how interesting it is to see how elbows manifest themselves.

A certain amount of discussion arose in blog #1302 around the merits of producing a photographic series, so I decided to keep the ball rolling after Nancy's recent wonderful abstract series.

Whereas Stephen has compiled a series spanning 20+ years I have only started embarking on a journey and who knows it may develop over time or not.

The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice. Martin Luher King 

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  • pascaljappy says:

    Ian, two things 😉

    Part of what I love about your photographs is that you always seem on the edge of taking the mickey while porducing serious work. There’s a sort of brilliant irreverence towards the lofty concepts of art, us, and probably yourself, that is very refreshing.

    Secondly, the thing that appeals to me most in this series is how the simple theme distracts me from what may otherwise have been my center of attention. The watch? Nope, the elbow. The diagonal composition? Nope, the elbows. The body shapes? Nope, the elbows. The layering? Nope, the elbow.

    All of those things are there, but only work on the individual image. The theme of the series, present in the name but also clear in all the images, adds a layer to everything. Very cool.

    • Ian Varkevisser says:

      A light hearted gap filler , irreverent maybe , but what is life without a sense of humour. In a series once you see them you can’t unsee them. The possibility of a long term series just means when you are out there anywhere taking photos and perhaps things are not working there is always one more alternative to be on the lookout for.

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Straight out of the mouth of my hero, Garfield the cat – “Expect the unexpected!”

    I hope you put an age limit across this one, Ian – by the time an elbow reaches my age, it’s a kindness to others to conceal it in a sleeve of some sort.

    It’s interesting to note that the demographic that scores the greatest number of tattoos isn’t the Millennials or Gen-Z – more into Gen-X – the young fry must still be saving up for that too (not just for their first home!)

    • Ian Varkevisser says:

      Straight out of left field as the Americans might say. One does wonder though and question the sanity of the logic of body decorations considering the substantial cost it involves – I have also been lead to believe it is not that cheap

  • Nancee Rostad says:

    Emotional elbows, swinging elbows, resting elbows, playing elbows, supporting elbows, old elbows, young elbows…..you’ve covered every angle on elbows except the funny bone! What a wonderful group of images, Ian, all tied nicely together during a day at the beach. Kudos!

  • Lad Sessions says:

    Ian, Interesting as always; you have brightened my day! I can imagine forthcoming series on other body parts…

    Nit picking: Don’t you show forearms as much as elbows?

    • Ian Varkevisser says:

      ‘forthcoming series on other body parts’ – i have been warned this is a family channel so probably not

  • Jaap Veldman says:

    Love it.
    Also love the timing.
    Got a sister with a broken elbow in the house.

  • Mer says:


    A bit of unexpected fun. I like the way you’ve armed(npi) yourself with a topic for your walkaround and photograph. Always impressed by the way you don’t shy away from photographing people. Not always easy when you’re out and about, but results are worth it.

    Also – thanks for the mention of Stephen Leslie, great photos and new to me. Like you, he obviously enjoys getting out there and seeing what people are up to. All good stuff.


    • Ian Varkevisser says:

      Stephen has a delightfully dry sense of humour ( irreverent some may say ) – to get the drift behind his channel I would recommend starting with his very 1st episode and working through then in chronological order. There are not that many of them yet and they are short and punchy.

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