Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chelsea Fringe and street art.

Along side the Chelsea Flower Show this time of year there a few other events including the Chelsea Fringe and Chelsea in Bloom. As part of the Chelsea Fringe  website here  I went down to St Leonard's church in Shoreditch to see their entry, the church yard decorated with oranges and lemons. St Leonard's is the church mentioned in the traditional nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons, "when I grow rich said the bells of Shoreditch"
Link to the history of the nursery rhyme here   Mediterranean plants, astro turf and oranges and lemons decorated the pillars of the church and front courtyard. there were deck chairs and a fruit drink to enjoy while looking at the books for sale. The church can seem a bit forbidding, but the new garden was bright and welcoming.

I went for a walk around the Old Street/ Great Eastern street end of Shoreditch looking for the changing street art. There were some great murals which I photographed. While in one of the car parks taking photos a workman asked me why I was taking photos of the art/graffiti. I said i was interested in street art and took  photography on the streets. He went away a bit bemused and I could see him chatting to his mates and looking at me as I carried on taking photos. I can sometimes forget that not everyone shares my interests!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mr Punch's 350th birthday celebrations.

Part of the mass photoshoot with an Indian professor and his Punchand Judy.
Earlier in the month I went to Covent Garden to watch and photograph the celebrations for Mr Punch (from Punch and Judy) 350th birthday. It was Samuel Pepys who first saw Mr Punch in Covent garden in 1662. I am interested in our folk traditions and Punch and Judy have been part of our culture for a really long time.

The only Japenese professor with his Mr Punch.
It was interesting to see the same looks of fear and apprehension on some childrens faces at some of the many styles of Mr Punch and the scarey crocodile. I remember being scared of the crocodile as a child watching punch and Judy at the seaside.
The Bournemouth Carnival band leading the procession.

There was an international gathering of professors as they are called and the colouful striped booths set up in the courtyard at Covent garden. The Bournemouth Carnival Band lead a procession of the professors and puppets around the market. They later gathered for a mass photo shoot and performances went on during the day.

The Dawn Chorus

I got up early one morning on retreat and recorded the dawn chorus. The blackbirds usually start their singing about 4.30am and then the robins, wrens, tits and other birds join in. At the Seekers Trust their singing went on till about 10am and the birds were still active and calling all day.
There is something quite magical standing outside as the sky starts to lighten and the birds are all singing. I'm always surprised at how much noise a small bird like a wren can make!   link to video of the dawn chorus.
I also wrote a number of poems including one about the dawn chorus while I was there.

The Dawn Chorus

From every hedgerow, every field,
from every tree and every weald,
 sounds forth a salutation to the sun
as night times travels now are done.

Blackbird, robin, wren and thrush,
notes pour forth in tidal rush,
linnet warbler, sky lark high,
choral practise in the sky.

Lime tree filled with bird and song
or birdsong shaped as lime tree strong.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

E17 Designers market Friday 11th May

I have been busy for a while getting things together for the next E17 designers market, details above. It's still taking some working out to print my artists book, Fragments of Blue and White. I am also producing some small concertina books, one with a poem for the market.
Other new items include some pendants incorporating my photos and some new art work taking the idea of collecting butterflies, but mine are made of paper.
It's a good evening out with live music, wine and a great cake stall too. Look forward to seeing you there

Friday, May 04, 2012

Retreat at the Seekers Trust

Last week I was at the Seekers Trust for a personal retreat. I used the time to sketch, write, meditate and study. I love the energy and atmosphere of the Seekers, with it's gardens and woodland and the healing chapels. Link to the Seekers website here

The weather was a mixture of sun and rain with some dramatic skies. I made some sketches and took some photos  of the skies. We seemed to escape most of the torrential rain that the rest of the country around us were getting and I was able to go for walks most days in sun and cloudy weather.

One morning I got up very early to hear and record the dawn chorus, the blackbirds seem to start the chorus at about 4.15am at the time, followed by the wrens, robins and then other birds. The chorus really is loud, it's hard to believe such small birds can make so much noise. I love that period before the sun comes up, not that I'm usually awake to see it very often. It's something about the light gradually building and the landscape becoming clearer and clearer.
More pages from my small sketch book. I have been writing a bit of poetry over the last few months and was inspired at the Seekers by the natural world. Original draft on my sketch book page at the top of the post.

The South East Wind

The South East wind blows through the trees,
cherry blossoms fall, confetti pink,
to celebrate events unknown, unrecognised.

Small nest shook free from fir trees, on the grass,
fine twigs, moss and feathers
built to last more than April showers,
could not withstand the Jet stream's dance
between Atlantic waves and land.

Tossed high above the church's tower,
jackdaws call in feathered disarray,
and bees sweet dance has other steps,
blown from the daisies far away.