The Anni Albers exhibition at Tate Modern begins with a handloom. It is a wooden instrument made of frames and strings and pedals, with a stool for its operator to sit on. Threads pass rhythmically to and fro, writing the score of warp and weft. It might be likened to a piano whose musical offerings are captured for posterity in recordings of woven textiles. Continue reading “Anni Albers”
‘Refuge – The Stone Garden at Weston’ by Clare Dearnaley is a 20 minute film about the art collector Ronnie Duncan’s love for stone and his philosophy on life and of ‘living through his eyes’. Shot over one year it is led by capturing light passing across the stones, which appears to animate them and by an absorbing conversation with Ronnie. The film gently examines stories; the creation of an environment, the nature of possessions and the reclaiming and reusing of materials. It seeks to capture the possible transience of the Stone Garden as much as the semi-permanence of the stones themselves.
Weston is a 17th century cottage in Otley, North Yorkshire, home to Ronnie Duncan, who has over the last 60 years quietly furnished it with a remarkable collection of paintings and sculptures. This film looks at the stones in the garden; for more on the contents of the house please see the earlier blogpost – More Love Than Money.
There is also a lovely book by Polly Feversham and Diane Howse – Weston, a necessary dream.
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. Continue reading “A Wildlife Window”
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.
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. Continue reading “Noto Antica”
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. Continue reading “Noto”
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.