In the incongruous setting of London’s Southbank, among all its heavy-duty architecture and its everyday hustle and bustle, there is a safe arbour in the concrete jungle, a quiet sanctuary of beauty and harmony where we can remember the trees. The Hayward Gallery’s surprising exhibition Among The Trees reminds us of the many ways in which we have forgotten our close arboreal connections. Continue reading “Among The Trees”
The top floor gallery at Annely Juda Fine Art is one of my favourite spaces and when the sun shines in through the skylight on an exhibition of sculptures by David Nash it’s just about the best place to be in all of London. Wood · Metal · Pigment continues until 7th July. Continue reading “Wood, Metal, Pigment”
High in the mountains of southern Corsica, on the road above Zonza and the Hippodrome de Viseo, described as Europe’s most elevated racetrack, we came to a hamlet of stone shelters with corrugated iron roofs, a collection of summerhouses and sheepfolds nestled beside the pass. We left the car at the Auberge du Col de Bavella, with the promise of a hearty meal upon our return. Continue reading “The Forest Of Bavella”
This modest, immensely enjoyable documentary is about one of my favourite books, ‘The Rings of Saturn’ by the German poet and critic W G Sebald, who was born in 1944, taught for much of his adult life in this country, mainly at the University of East Anglia, and was killed in a motor accident in 2001. It was first published in German in 1995, translated into English three years later and is an account of a walking tour of Suffolk, the people he meets, the places he visits, and the historical and literary reflections prompted by what he sees and senses, taking his mind around the world. Suffolk becomes a sort of palimpsest for his eloquent, precise, lugubrious, often drily witty meditations about war, death, destruction and decay, about memories and continuities and the feeling that nothing entirely disappears.
Grant Gee’s film should make anyone want to read ‘The Rings of Saturn’ and the rest of Sebald’s relatively small but exquisite oeuvre, some eight or nine books in all.
I found this thread on Twitter, from Francisco Cantú. I asked to share it here and he said ‘Of course!’
I spent the last 3 days walking 24 miles across East Anglia, following the footsteps of W.G. Sebald in THE RINGS OF SATURN. It was strange, sad, and wonderful, like living inside a dream about your favorite book. For fellow Sebald fans, here’s a thread with some of what I saw. Continue reading “In Sebald’s Footsteps”
Shepherd’s Cottage was a surprisingly elusive place for a rendezvous. I thought I knew where it was, just off the road by Staverton Thicks, the rambling old woods we’d visited a couple of times before. I knew it as Thicks Cottage, but I thought that was just another name for the same place. So when we arrived on the doorstep a bemused woodsman put us right. “The Shepherd’s Cottage is back up where you’ve just come, then left along the track. Careful though, it can be a bit sandy down at the bottom.” Continue reading “Another Walk In The Woods”