Out Of The Wood

73 Hambledon Hill

Hambledon Hill

Out of the Wood is an exhibition of wood engravings by Howard Phipps at The Art Stable, Child Okeford, Dorset from 16 April until 7 May 2016. The gallery is situated in the courtyard of Gold Hill Organic Farm, next to the farm shop, and looks out towards the iron age hill fort of Hambledon Hill.

Frames of reference

The Arborealists

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The Arborealists will stage their third exhibition at St Barbe Museum and Art gallery, Lymington, 23rd April – 4th June 2016, featuring new works by 35 artists. Each will show just one work to emphasise the diversity of art practice prevalent within the group – in terms of size, medium, style and philosophy. Read more

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Trees On Leaves

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I’m fascinated by the structural qualities of leaves. The veins convey the lifeblood to the leaf and often echo the physical structure of the tree – trunk, branches, twigs – in miniature. These fractal-like qualities inspired me to paint trees on dried leaves, which were collected last autumn. Some were pressed, while others were left to dry in their natural shape. Read more

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Alde Valley Spring Festival

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The Alde Valley Spring Festival 2016
A four week celebration of food, farming, landscape & the arts
Saturday 23rd April – Sunday 22nd May 2016
White House Farm, Great Glemham, Suffolk IP17 1LS

Festival Exhibition – Open 10am-6pm, Tues – Fri, Sat & Sun + Bank Holidays

Stuart Anderson, Melanie Comber, Daisy Cook, Marchela Dimitrova, Peter Dibble, Laurence Edwards, Alice-Andrea Ewing, Richard Elliott, Meriel Ensom, George Farrow-Hawkins, Tobias Ford, Jason Gathorne-Hardy, Emma Green, Jelly Green, Maggi Hambling, Roger Hardy, Mercury Hare, Craig Hudson, Nienke Jongsma, Tory Lawrence, Ffiona Lewis, Otis Luxton, Caroline MacAdam Clark, Freddy Morris, Becky Munting, Tessa Newcomb, Sarah Pirkis, Ruth Stage, Leszek Zielinski.

The watercolour illustrated above is Leaves in an English Wood (151 x 29 cm) by Jelly Green.

Alde Valley Spring Festival

Frames of reference

Otmoor: Moonlight & Myths

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I was born just after WW2. My parents had moved to Noke when they married in the early 1940s. We lived in a tiny cottage totally lacking modern amenities. No electricity, water from the well and an earth loo in ‘The Elm Barn’, a shed with a grand name, all set in a third of an acre of orchard. An artist’s retreat from the hurly burly of war torn London. This was my world – apple trees to climb, a stream to splash in, a duck pond beyond the gate where my brother and I launched catamaran boats whittled from elder sticks. The village was a place apart – a road petering out on the edge of the moor, smelling of cows and cow parsley, deep ditches fringed by pollard willows and a huge sky. This is the place my life started. Read more

Frames of reference

TTB @ NPR

The Tedeschi Trucks Band recorded live last month at a Tiny Desk concert for NPR’s All Songs Considered. These intimate performances produce some great music and this is one of my favourites. We saw them last year at the O2 where they gave us the best music of 2015. They’d earlier celebrated Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen, and they performed some of those songs along with their own expansive blues/jazz/soul/gospel jams. They’re a great live band. This video gives a taste, but also try Tedeschi Trucks Band Live: Everybody’s Talkin’.

Frames of reference

For Gato Barbieri

Gato Barbieri died last Saturday, 2nd April 2016, at the age of 83. He was a great and memorable saxophonist with a big-hearted sound (later celebrated as Zoot, the saxophone-playing puppet in The Muppet Show). I first knew him from recordings with Charlie Haden and Carla Bley, particularly Liberation Music Orchestra in 1969, an album that opened the door to so much influential music. This live recording of Brasil is from the 1971 Montreux Jazz Festival (released as El Pampero) with Lonnie Liston Smith on piano, Chuck Rainey on electric bass, Bernard Purdie on drums, Sonny Morgan on conga and Naná Vasconcelos on percussion and berimbau. It may not be completely representative of his best work, but it is wonderful and impassioned and a good way to remember him (I chose it for my daughter who is presently in Brazil, dancing capoeira and playing berimbau).

For a fuller tribute see Gato Barbieri 1932-2016 by Richard Williams.

Frames of reference

San Gimignano

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A roadside coffee stop en route to San Gimignano. They serve the best espresso macchiato I’ve ever tasted. Immediately refreshed and we’re watching out for our destination’s distinctive towers, checking the horizon for their silhouettes, easily confused by the outlines of countless cypress trees. Read more

Frames of reference

Living Tree

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It’s said they planted trees by graves
to soak up spirits of the dead
through roots into the growing wood.
The favorite in the burial yards
I knew was common juniper.
One could do worse than pass into
such a species. I like to think
that when I’m gone the chemicals
and yes the spirit that was me
might be searched out by subtle roots
and raised with sap through capillaries
into an upright, fragrant trunk,
and aromatic twigs and bark,
through needles bright as hoarfrost to
the sunlight for a century
or more, in wood repelling rot
and standing tall with monuments
and statues there on the far hill,
erect as truth, a testimony,
in ground that’s dignified by loss,
around a melancholy tree
that’s pointing toward infinity.

Living Tree by Robert Morgan from Dark Energy, Penguin Books 2015

Frames of reference

Ankerwycke

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Ankerwycke is a small corner of riverside farmland and historic parkland on the north bank of the Thames at Runnymede. Planes fly over constantly, in and out of Heathrow and there’s a continuous drone from the M25 half a mile downstream, yet this place still remains a hidden green sanctuary. Runnymede gets all the visitors and Ankerwycke gets overlooked. Read more

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