Fast Cars & Ukuleles

A is for Apple. B is for Bike. C is for Cat. All three of these are in my new ABC book, ‘Fast Cars & Ukuleles’, but not where you’d expect them. The apple is under F. For the bike, look at V. And the cat is on an endpaper. I’ve always loved alphabet books. Continue reading “Fast Cars & Ukuleles”

Frames of reference

The Great Race

The Great Race is a book by Christopher Corr, first published in 2018 by Frances Lincoln. It tells the story of the Chinese Zodiac – Long ago in very ancient China, there were no years or days or hours… To find a way of measuring time, the Jade Emperor held a Great Race. Which twelve animals were the first to cross the river and have a year named after them? – It seemed like a good idea to celebrate Chinese New Year with an exhibition of the paintings from the book, and to invite Christopher to draw the zodiac animals directly onto our window. Continue reading “The Great Race”

Frames of reference

Refuge – The Stone Garden At Weston

‘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.

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. Continue reading “Knepp”

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.  Continue reading “A Book Of Trees”

Frames of reference

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.  Continue reading “Iron Horses”

Frames of reference

The Craft Beer Dictionary

This spectacular new book just arrived on my desk, courtesy of Octopus Books. It’s a delightfully illustrated guide to the world of craft beer by Richard Croasdale, with help from two of our favourite artists. Jonathan Christie was the creative director and Jonny Hannah was the illustrator. It’s an A-Z with a J for Jonathan & Jonny. Here’s a peek inside to whet your appetite. Cheers! Continue reading “The Craft Beer Dictionary”

Frames of reference

Passeggiata In Ortigia

passeggiata /ˌpasɛˈdʒɑːtə/ noun (especially in Italy or Italian-speaking areas) a leisurely walk or stroll, especially one taken in the evening for the purpose of socializing.”

Ortigia is a small island, just under 1km square, attached to the Sicilian city of Syracuse by three road bridges. “It forms the charming old town, best explored on foot and certainly the most pleasant place to stay in the city.” We were there for two weeks this summer and during our stay we discovered many circuitous routes as we strolled around its maze of ancient streets and alleyways. Continue reading “Passeggiata In Ortigia”

Frames of reference

To Win Green

Win Green From Berwick Down

We asked Howard Phipps to fill our window with a display of his wood engravings and linocuts. So it seemed like a good idea to go down and collect them, and take a walk around some of the places that had inspired them. We followed a circuit up to Win Green, a prominent landmark and the highest point in Cranborne Chase, crowned by a clump of beech trees on a Bronze Age bowl barrow. Continue reading “To Win Green”

Frames of reference

Unravelling The Ripple

A portrait of a Hebridean tideline by Helen Douglas, this beautiful visual book unfolds as a single photographic image flowing through the textures and rhythms of sand, wrack and wave.

This book, hiding on my shelf too long, is the perfect antidote to a stifling and muggy urban heatwave. It’s a cold flannel on the inside of my elbow, the fresh breeze of a Scottish shore held in my hands. Turn the pages slowly, take it at walking pace, listen to the ripple of the wave unfurling, cool your feet in its crystal waters. It will wash you clean around the island. But first, an essay by Rebecca Solnit. Continue reading “Unravelling The Ripple”

Frames of reference