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”
This green cathedral is at Jacks Hill, Epping Forest. It was October 2020, the last time it was safe to go walking in the woods. The Covid beast has been at large and we’ve all been advised to stay at home. But deep in the forest, away from the crowds, is perhaps the safest place to be. I’m writing this in late March, the sun is shining outside and I am missing the trees. Continue reading “Walking In The Woods (3)”
Selborne was the perfect rendezvous, being halfway between London and Salisbury. We came down and Howard Phipps came up and we met in the middle, in a field just off Gracious Street, the car park of the Gilbert White Museum, where we transferred the contents of Howard’s car boot to ours, in preparation for his exhibition in the Rowley Gallery window. But not before a lovely sunny walk around the outskirts of the village. And this map, embedded in the vicarage wall, dated 2 June 1953, is as old as I am. Continue reading “Selborne”
‘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.
Palazzo Pitti & Forte Belvedere, one of a series of paintings of Medici villas by the Flemish artist Giusto Utens from 1599. The fort was built nine years earlier, on the highest hill of the Boboli Gardens to protect and watch over and keep an eagle-eye on the city of Florence down below. Continue reading “Forte Di Belvedere”
I don’t know if Samuel Beckett ever visited Orford, but when we were there – I took advantage of being at the seaside to lay in a store of sucking stones. Click on the play button below for an excerpt from Molloy spoken by Jack MacGowran. It’s one of my favourite pieces of Beckett tomfoolery.
Soon after I first arrived at The Rowley Gallery, maybe in 1988, I took advantage of the opportunity to use the shop window. I started making small drawings specifically to sell to benevolent passers-by. I began with a sheet of paper which I carefully tore and cut into pieces, each piece was worked on separately, lines inscribed/impressed into the paper, rubbed with layer upon layer of wax crayon, shaved with a Stanley knife blade then reassembled as a single sheet again. Continue reading “Scullery”
Samuel Beckett rehearsing Endgame and ‘having an idea’ with the San Quentin Drama Workshop at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith in 1980. I worked there intermittently in those days, even had a small exhibition of my paintings there, and the house photographer Chris Harris, knowing how much I loved Beckett, gave me a print of this photograph for my birthday. Continue reading “Beckett At Sixty”
One of the many highlights of our recent trip to Cornwall was one that I took with me. Just a couple of days before we left London I received a copy of Holloway, a book by Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood & Dan Richards. I kept it unopened in its Jiffy bag with Dan’s handwritten label and best wishes until we arrived, so that it became a part of our holiday. Inside, when I finally opened it, was a beautifully printed and illustrated book that told of the search for an ancient Dorset holloway, previously visited by Macfarlane with Roger Deakin. They were looking for the hide where the hero of Geoffrey Household’s novel Rogue Male went to ground. I’m not sure which I knew first, Household’s book or the film with Peter O’Toole. The abiding feeling was not so much of threat but of the safe harbour to be found beneath trees. Continue reading “Holloway”