Little Berkhamsted & Essendon

St Andrew’s Church at Little Berkhamsted is, like so many village churches, a place of worship surrounded by trees. Ancient trees are often found in churchyards. I imagine they’re vestigial survivors of the original forest, before it was cleared for farming and agriculture. Or planted as replicas of the Garden of Eden. A woodland glade is a naturally consecrated place. Continue reading “Little Berkhamsted & Essendon”

Frames of reference

Pharoah | Fall

I just found this, posted a year ago:

Choosing to remain in the shadows, and always searching for the perfect reed, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders is one of the unspoken giants of jazz. He is one of the few musicians to have had the honor, and virtuosity, of playing alongside musical legends Sun Ra, John and Alice Coltrane, Don Cherry, and Ornette Coleman. Together they transformed the landscape of jazz by rewriting the rules of harmony and rhythm.   Continue reading “Pharoah | Fall”

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Mantras & Yantras

This little book arrived just in time for Christmas. Page after page of joyful loveliness. It’s a collection of oil paintings and watercolours by Jon Groom, from December 2020 to September 2021. Colourful rhythms and rhymes to brighten our winter’s gloom. I had no choice but to take photographs and share them all here. It’s a feast for the eyes. Continue reading “Mantras & Yantras”

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Cutting It Fine

Cutting It Fine: The Art of the British Wood Engraver is an exhibition at Salisbury Museum, showcasing works by twenty-one of the leading British wood engravers of the last hundred years. All the prints are on loan from a single private collection. They include Gwen Raverat, Eric Ravilious, John Nash, Paul Nash, Leon Underwood, Rachel Reckitt, Gertrude Hermes, Monica Poole, Anne Desmet and Neil Bousfield. Continue reading “Cutting It Fine”

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From Ayot St Lawrence (Again)

Earlier this year (it was April, a week after we’d walked from Aspenden), and a walk that went unrecorded, in waybegone daze, that seems more like eight years ago now than just eight months. How can one year feel like so many more? We’d returned to Ayot St Lawrence again, but this time we’d been spun off in a different direction to last time. Continue reading “From Ayot St Lawrence (Again)”

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These Paintings Are Of Themselves

I am grateful to James Kalm for giving us a private view of this Brice Marden exhibition of new work in New York. I love it. I love these beautiful, shaky, trembling, late paintings. To look at them is to unravel them, to see how they were made, and witness the hand that painted them. These paintings are of themselves, but also of everything else. They’re calligraphies written with hand-held branches, they’re a web of tree-top canopies, they’re the mycorrhizal networks in the forest floor, they’re the internet cables that connect us and separate us, that tie us together and keep us apart, they’re the vessels that run through our bodies. They’re survivors of a world that is fast disappearing, they’re reminders of why we are here. Thank you Brice.

These paintings are of themselves

Frames of reference

In Siracusa

Long ago and far away. 2018, in the back streets of Ortigia. Before Brexit and before Covid, when holidays were not so unusual. I’m looking back at old photos as a kind of vicarious vacation, an escape from our day to day to yesterday. We’d been here for a couple of weeks, exploring the island and the countryside round about. On this day we walked from Ortigia back into mainland Siracusa to discover the Latomia dei Cappuccini and the Catacombs of San Giovanni. Continue reading “In Siracusa”

Frames of reference