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

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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

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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

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Darlin Ukelele

A surprise package turned up in the post recently. This box was inside. It was a box of tricks. A silent music box awaiting the kiss of life. A limited edition Red Hornet ukulele kit from Jonny Hannah. Read more

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Iron Horses

In 1987 Kevin Atherton made a twelve-part sculpture comprised of cut-out iron horses positioned along the railway line between Birmingham and Wolverhampton to be viewed from a moving train. Thirty one years later the horses are still there and this little book is a record of what could be considered to be Britain’s longest sculpture. Here are a few pages.  Read more

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Bella Ciao

Tom Waits and Marc Ribot and an anti-fascist Italian folk song for the Trump era. Goodbye Beautiful.

“Bella ciao” (“Goodbye beautiful”) is an Italian folk song that was adopted as an anthem of the anti-fascist resistance. It was used by the Italian partisans during the Italian Civil War between 1943 and 1945 in their struggle against the fascist Italian Social Republic and its Nazi German allies. “Bella ciao” is used worldwide as an anti-fascist hymn of freedom and resistance. The song has much older origins though in the hardships of the mondina women, the paddy field workers in the late 19th century who sang it as a protest against harsh working conditions in the paddy fields in North Italy.

Bella Ciao – Wikipedia

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For Rachid Taha

One of the most memorable concerts I ever saw was by the French-Algerian singer Rachid Taha at the Barbican in 2007. It was loud and raucous and boisterous and energetic. It was fantastic! Halfway through the show the stage was invaded by a seemingly endless procession of girls from the audience who danced along with him. Then later Mick Jones of The Clash appeared on stage to accompany him in a performance of Rock el Casbah. It’s my favourite version. And then last week I heard he had died of a heart attack. He was not quite 60. I’ve been filling my workshop with his music ever since. Read more

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Go To The River

I’ve always liked this song, and it just sprung to mind because of the thread of river related posts. It’s called Go To The River by French-Israeli singer-songwriter Yael Naim, originally released in 2010.

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Fonte Ciane

Two days on the island was playing tricks with my head. Maybe it was the heat. But for our first outing we escaped the endless tourist stroll around the streets of Ortigia and headed for Fonte Ciane, and the promise of a gentle walk upstream along the banks of the river to its source. No more aimless wandering, now we had a goal, what could be more simple? The directions were straightforward, it was listed in all the guidebooks, we crossed over to the mainland and followed the signs. Read more

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