Keith Water

A small film about a small river.

I’d seen this delightful little film on Caught By The River, and when I asked Jonathan Gibbs if we might share it on Frames of Reference his reply was Yes, absolutely, great! Isabella spent all of lockdown with us, during which time she filled her bedroom with twigs, branches and other bits and pieces that you will see in the film. She made the herons out of wire and wood, and carved many small fish which swim through the film from start to finish. And then he showed me a website I’d not seen before, called Psyche. The words below are taken from their anonymous post. Continue reading “Keith Water”

Frames of reference

100 Days

#100

Earlier this year, on May 23rd, Jonathan Gibbs embarked on an ambitious series of small works, a hundred meditative variations, one every day for a hundred days and each one posted regularly on Instagram. He was inspired by the 100 Days Project, an initiative started by Emma Rogan in 2011 to repeat a simple creative task every day for the duration and to record each day’s efforts. Continue reading “100 Days”

Frames of reference

For Kai

photo: Alastair Grant

Kai arrived at The Rowley Gallery over 30 years ago, I can’t be sure of the exact date, but her name back then was Kathy. And to all who knew her in pre-Rowley days she always remained Kathy. But there was already another Cathy at The Rowley Gallery so she abbreviated her name to Ka. That was her Chinese name. But pronounced Kai, so that was how she spelt it thereafter. To avoid confusion. Continue reading “For Kai”

Frames of reference

In The Bleak Midwinter


A bright window packed with small beauties for these dark days, a fast-moving festive feast for the eyes. As works sell they will be replaced by more in an ongoing ever-changing pageant of delights.  Continue reading “In The Bleak Midwinter”

Frames of reference

To The Jade Emperor’s Mountain

This richly textured puzzle-picture wood engraving is not much bigger than a large postage stamp but it is crammed full of intriguing detail. A stepped path winds through a grove of trees amid a cultivated chaos of cross-hatched herring-bone earth. How is it possible to get so much into so little? This tiny concentrated memento is a leitmotif for our July window display – To The Jade Emperor’s Mountain and other works by Jonathan Gibbs. Continue reading “To The Jade Emperor’s Mountain”

Frames of reference

Table Work

In my Scottish studio, I work on a table. Constructed in pine, it is rather battered but stable and came from a farmhouse in Gloucestershire. It was given to me by Lily Messenger, who had lived in Rodmarton before moving to Amberley, the village where we lived at that time. As our next-door neighbour, Mrs Messenger also lent me an attic room in which I worked for several years until we moved to Scotland in 1990. Before marriage, she had been Lily Bucknell, from a family of blacksmiths and wood-workers and who belonged to the Guild of Gloucestershire Craftsmen. This is only significant because my own Guild membership led to meeting highly skilled artists and craftsmen from whom I learned much concerning materials and ways of making things. Continue reading “Table Work”

Frames of reference

To The Horizon

IMG_0323

As a birthday treat Sue took me for a walk on the Dengie Peninsula on the far eastern shore of Essex. She had her eyes on the horizon. We arrived via Burnham-on-Crouch, a pretty Georgian estuary town but with the saddest fish & chips and a clown to scare the children. His car was parked next to ours. We made our escape towards Southminster, but we got ensnared by the Burnham Loop where we revolved time and again around the endless fenlands (afeared lest we contract Dengie Fever from the mosquito-infested swamps) until finally we saw the error of our ways (a misplaced signpost) and we were at last expelled to Tillingham and ultimately onwards to Bradwell-on-Sea. Continue reading “To The Horizon”

Frames of reference

A River Sutra

001

I was looking on the bookshelves for a book that wasn’t there. I searched high and low only to find it had disappeared, but as I searched I was distracted by an old favourite. I took A River Sutra from the shelf and briefly considered immersing myself in its healing waters, but I went on looking. Next I saw Minnow On The Say and then it just happened, wherever I looked there were more tributaries, and so I stitched together a river of waterborne books. Continue reading “A River Sutra”

Frames of reference