In Como

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A walk around the narrow streets of the città murata, Como’s walled old quarter, a dense network of narrow, pedestrianised lanes at the centre of the city. An aimless wander through the maze of streets and some random photographs for souvenirs, mementos, frames of reference. Read more

Frames of reference

Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage

I discovered this film thanks to Caught By The River and Nowness. A brief evocation of Prospect Cottage and its endless garden by Howard Sooley, photographer of Derek Jarman’s Garden.

Busie old foole, unruly Sunne,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windowes, and through curtains call on us?
Must to thy motion lovers’ seasons run?
Sawcy pedantique wretch, goe chide
Late schoole boyes and sowre prentices,
Goe tell Court-huntsmen, that the King will ride,
Call countrey ants to harvest offices;
Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clyme,
Nor houres, dayes, moneths, which are the rags of time…
Thou sunne art halfe as happy as wee,
In that the world’s contracted thus.
Thine age askes ease, and since thy duties bee
To warme the world, that’s done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
This bed thy centre is, these walls thy spheare.

from The Sunne Rising by John Donne, 1633.

Frames of reference

More Love Than Money

I recently discovered this lovely film via a recommendation from Kettle’s Yard. It’s a visit to the home of Ronnie Duncan and his art collection at Weston in Otley near Leeds.

The art at Weston – which includes works by the likes of Roger Hilton, Alan Davie, Trevor Bell and Terry Frost – ‘lives’ there with Ronnie, it is not simply exhibited. Unlike Kettle’s Yard, however, Weston is unlikely to be preserved; the works within will one day be dispersed: donated to public collections across the country, and the cottage will return to the possession of its owner. A generous and sociable man, Ronnie frequently welcomes visitors to Weston to experience the collection first-hand. He asked me to make this film in order that this may continue, in some small way, even when the works are being appreciated anew in smart galleries on freshly painted wallsJared Schiller.

Frames of reference

Resistance Rising

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The 18th of November is European Antibiotics Awareness Day and the start of the American Get Smart About Antibiotics Week. Read more

Frames of reference

British Folk Art

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After a trip up north to see my folks it seemed like a good idea to see some folk art on the way home. We’d missed British Folk Art when it was at the Tate, but now we had a second chance. Read more

Frames of reference

Jitterbug Waltz

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Here’s a wonderful new album by the Frank Harrison Trio, recorded live at The Verdict in Brighton. It’s not very hi-fi, Frank simply put his digital recorder on the stage and pressed the record button, but it manages to capture the enthusiasm and the energy and the empathy between the three musicians. It’s available free from Frank’s website, but if you want my favourite track you should buy the CD. And there’s a great drawing by Andrew Walton on the cover. Here’s a little taste…

Jitterbug Waltz: Frank Harrison, piano; Dave Whitford, double bass; Enzo Zirilli, drums.

Frank Harrison Trio | Live At The Verdict

Frames of reference

Wittenham Clumps

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A couple of weeks before our walk around Burnham Beeches, I walked to Wittenham Clumps with Andrew Walton. We’d done the same walk five years earlier and afterwards Andrew had painted this little watercolour as a memento, here brightening up my sad old workshop wall. That was in the days before this blog; now I was keen to retrace our steps and record them for Frames of Reference. Read more

Frames of reference

Burnham Beeches

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A couple of weeks earlier we walked in Burnham Beeches, where, according to England in Particularthe largest assembly in the world (of pollarded and coppiced beeches) still stands… acquired by the Corporation of the City of London in 1880 to protect it from development. Read more

Frames of reference

Autumn Song

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A walk on Hampstead Heath a couple of weeks ago, just as the leaves began to turn, trying to catch the low sun shining through golden leaves, the dappled light that takes your breath away. Read more

Frames of reference

Bellagio & Bicycles

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Bellagio is smack dab in the middle of Lake Como, at the top of the Triangolo Lariano, the triangle formed by the lake’s two southern branches. Think of Lake Como as an upside-down letter Y and Bellagio is nestled in the crotch between its striding legs. If Lake Como is a cyclist then Bellagio is its saddle and there were lots of cyclists climbing the road up from Bellagio to Monte San Primo. Read more

Frames of reference