"When I light the candles in the three Moroccan lanterns, I think of something the artist Roger Ackling said to me, quoting Thoreau: ‘Electricity kills darkness, candlelight illuminates it." Roger Deakin, Wildwood
Image Of The Week
On My Photo Stories Site
A rare occasion where I was able to climb scaffolding and get cheek by jowl with the hammer beam angels of a remarkable chapel. Full story in link.
From The Shop
A little bit of design DNA - a Greek Revival classical motif in a bold red colour from the door of St. Pancras New Church, London.
From The Blog
Came across this field barn whilst walking from Linton to Grassington in North Yorkshire. It was such a delight to photograph – the route I took circumnavigated the barn and so I was able to capture all of its elevations. Check out the blog for more photos.
The van is a lifeline for me - it gets me into special places and keeps me there. More often than not, I'm able to stay close by the buildings I'm photographing and monitor the light. It's also great for my mental health - having another place to tend and inhabit. To that end I'm trying to furnish it with nice stuff - such as this lovely hand made chopping board made of oak with a leather strap from the Royal Oak shop on Wood (!) Lane in Grassington. The knives are hand made and from the Community Cutlery shop in Ilkley. More about these places in Hotspots below.
A bit of the Cold War in West Sussex this week. Parked up behind this behemoth of a truck which has been lovingly converted into an overlander rig. It was built in 1978 in Russia and finished its service in Czechoslovakia. The owner (a digital nomad) is taking it down to the Mediterranean. Can't see this turning up at a Starbuck's drive thru (though I did see a tank pull up outside a cafe in Ripon one day - chap in the turret had a cappuccino).
On My Coffee Table
📸 Bought this book in The Grove bookshop in Ilkley. It's scrumptiously illustrated with the ephemera of an artists life. I'm fascinated by Bawden and the Brick House artists (inc Ravilious).
I visited his house at Great Bardfield a couple of years ago and sketched the church at Lindsell. These types of books feed into my work - the composition and design, the workings of an artists mind.
Painter and illustrator Edward Bawden's five scrapbooks, assembled over a period of more than 55 years, contain everything from stamps, photographs, cigarette cards, Christmas cards and letters to newspaper cuttings, drawings and autographs, amongst other fascinating ephemera. Beautifully designed and illustrated with over 250 images taken from these books, Edward Bawden Scrapbooks reveals this wonderful and at times eccentric collection and provides a new insight into one of the most popular artists of 20th-century Britain.
Edward Bawden’s Lindsell Church linocut.
From The Charo's
Poems by Samuel Bamford from a 2nd hand bookshop in Littleborough.
Samuel Bamford was a radical from my home town of Middleton. It was largely his accounts of Peterloo (1819) that influenced later discourse on the events that took place on the day. He was gaoled in Lincoln. Bamford was also a fervent advocate of Lancashire dialect and wrote poems that highlighted spoken and unwritten traditions of Lancashire life. I studied Bamford for my first thesis. I'm revisiting his words as a wider study of the Songlines of Aboriginal culture - the way that indigenous cultures link place with memory through the spoken word.
When in Ilkley do as they do - coffee and Danish from MMB's.
Then a trip to one of the best independent booksellers in the country. The Grove bookshop.
I spent £90 and got a free bag (I know...).
This is Gareth Heaton, founder of the Community Cutlery shop at Ilkley. Here he recycles stuff and sharpens the community knives.
Gareth's shop interior is beautifully designed - it's a work of art in itself - as is his calling card below:
Linton (near Grassington) is a delight - on the Linton Beck with a ford and two bridges, a lovely pub and the most remarkable almshouse designed after Vanbrugh. Oh, and there's one of the most polite warning signs I've come across....
FROM THE HOLIDAY FELLOWSHIP
FRIEND, WHEN YOU STRAY OR SIT AND TAKE YOUR EASE
ON MOOR, OR FELL, OR UNDER SPREADING TREES,
PRAY, LEAVE NO TRACES OF YOUR WAYSIDE MEAL,
NO PAPER BAG, NO SCATTERED ORANGE PEEL,
NOR DAILY JOURNAL LITTERED ON THE GRASS,
OTHERS MAY VIEW THESE WITH DISTASTE AND PASS.
LET NO ONE SAY, AND SAY IT TO YOUR SHAME,
THAT ALL WAS BEAUTY HERE UNTIL YOU CAME.
Grassington has the feel of a 'hub' town. It has plenty of tourists, but still has an agricultural edge.
📸 Looking forward to visiting this exhibition in Plymouth next year.
On until 27 Feb 2022. An award-winning exhibition from National Museum of Australia.
Wooden objects provide the most precise dating yet of a Norse settlement in Newfoundland.
📸This is a lovely story. How do you repair a fabric that is a family heirloom and has real sentimental value? Read Rowan's story below.
Out of the blue I was approached online about a potential commission that instantly grabbed my attention. The piece in question was a beautiful camel wool coat that had suffered some moth damage.
📸 Madonna Griffin describes Songlines as navigational pathways encoded with data, knowledge, moral guidance and much much more. There are faint echo's here of how my grandparents ordered their world through stories about place.
Songlines are ancient energy lines that run between places, animals and people, criss-crossing the entire Australian continent. Far more than just navigational pathways, songlines contain vast amounts of knowledge and information in Aboriginal society.
"In every way mosses could seem plain, dull, modest, even primitive. The simplest weed sprouting from the humblest city sidewalk appeared infinitely more sophisticated by comparison. But here is what few people understood, and what Alma came to learn: Moss is inconceivably strong. Moss eats stone; scarcely anything, in return, eats moss. Moss dines upon boulders, slowly but devastatingly, in a meal that lasts for centuries. Given enough time, a colony of moss can turn a cliff into gravel, and turn that gravel into topsoil. Under shelves of exposed limestone, moss colonies create dripping, living sponges that hold on tight and drink calciferous water straight from the stone. Over time, this mix of moss and mineral will itself turn into travertine marble. Within that hard, creamy-white marble surface, one will forever see veins of blue, green, and gray - the traces of the antediluvian moss settlements. St. Peter’s Basilica itself was built from the stuff, both created by and stained with the bodies of ancient moss colonies." Elizabeth Gilbert, The Signature of all Things.
Woody and The White Horse at Uffington.
This week was jam packed with more travel - from West Sussex to Oxfordshire. I took this shot of Woody driving past the White Horse at Uffington. More from this area next week (including a church with the most remarkable oaken effigies).