A Wildlife Window

This month our window is home to a gathering of wildlife. There were just a few creatures here to begin with, but as the days go by and word spreads, more and more are turning up to congregate and bear witness and share the spotlight of our communal window. It’s become a wildlife refuge. Read more

Frames of reference

Rompo I Lacci

Here’s a lovely thing. A video by Tilda Swinton featuring her dogs, five Springer Spaniels, Rosy, Dora, Louis, Dot and Snowbear, frolicking on a Scottish beach, set to an aria by George Frideric Handel sung beautifully by countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo. Six minutes of pure joy.

Frames of reference

Noto Antica

The original city of Noto was 12km further up the valley of the Asinaro River from where present day Noto now stands. It was relocated after the devastating earthquake of 1693. The original site is now an overgrown ruin, reclaimed by nature and slowly sinking back into the earth. There were buildings here from the 17th century and all down the ages back to Greek antiquity, but now they’re mostly just stones in the undergrowth, but for one or two exceptional and magnificent survivors. Read more

Frames of reference

Noto

Noto is perhaps the most interesting of the 18th-century Baroque towns of Sicily. It was built after the earthquake of 1693 when the former town (now known as Noto Antica) was abandoned. An excellent example of 18th-century town planning, the local limestone has been burnt gold by the sun. The inhabitants call their city ‘il giardino di pietra’, the garden of stone.  Read more

Frames of reference

Le Quattro Volte

Six years ago I posted a trailer on Frames of Reference for this magical film by Michelangelo Frammartino, Le Quattro Volte (The Four Times). Now, at last, here’s the whole thing. It’s a film unlike any other. Time passes slowly from one to another. These are some words from the trailer…

We each have four successive lives within ourselves; each one contained within the others. We are mineral; we are made of salt, water and organic matter. We are vegetable; like plants we breathe, reproduce and nourish ourselves. We are animal; we have imagination, memory and knowledge of the outside world. In the end we are rational beings; we possess will and reason. We each have four distinct lives within ourselves… and so we must discover ourselves four times.

Frames of reference

A Walk In The New Forest

The other side of this sign warns WATCH OUT Day and Night and it’s just where five donkeys came out of the darkness into our headlights as we arrived the night before. We saw the donkeys but didn’t see the sign. But that’s not why I took the photograph. I was curious about the holly, at first sight it’s a tree but then higher up it’s more like a vine reaching for the branches of the oak tree. High risk root. Read more

Frames of reference

Knepp

Karen had just finished reading Wilding and was recommending it to everyone, saying it was the best book she’d read in ages. It’s the story of an experiment to rewild a West Sussex farm, restoring the land and its wildlife. It’s written by Isabella Tree who, together with her husband Charlie Burrell, is the owner of the Knepp Wildland Project. Dominic said he’d visited Knepp Castle many years ago, so as a surprise, whilst he was away in Spain, we arranged a works outing for when he returned. Read more

Frames of reference

A Book Of Trees

When Anne Davies brought us the paintings for her window at The Rowley Gallery she also brought a couple of small Moleskine sketchbooks, both crammed cover to cover with rhythmical drawings like musical notation, each one a potential painting waiting to be sung into life once the book is opened. This is the first double-page of the second book, page after page riffing on a theme of trees. There are 90 pages, all as energetic as this one, some maybe more so, each full of trees, parks, orchards, woods.  Read more

Frames of reference

Little Village

We’ve got a fresh window display at The Rowley Gallery, full of bright new paintings by Anne Davies. Blocks of colour stacked like walls, their stones inscribed and daubed with patterns of lichens and mosses that turn into streets and trees and fields and houses. Lyrical maps of remembered journeys. Read more

Frames of reference

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Returning home from a family gathering in the North West we took a detour from our usual route, and despite the dark clouds and pouring rain and the warnings of queuing traffic and closed roads we found our way over the Pennines to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It was our first visit and it was long overdue. The way was slow and wet and windy, but as we approached the sky cleared and by the time we left the sun was shining again. And in between the park was a revelation.  Read more

Frames of reference