Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Decorated boats in Ramsgate harbour

I took a walk along Ramsgate harbour to see the boats that have been decorated for Christmas. The Royal Temple Yacht Club with the Ramsgate Marina Association have been running a completion for the best dressed boat for Christmas.

As the light faded more and more boats switched on their lights and made a lovely display for a lot of people who were also walking along and taking photographs as I was.

Along with flashing lights were the yachts with lights lighting up their sails standing out in the marina.

A very enjoyable way to spend a while and get into the festive spirit. I hope it continues to grow year on year.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Rochester's Dickensian Christmas Festival.

I visited the annual Rochester Dickensian Christmas festival this year for the first time. When I lived in Rochester many years ago, the whole Dickensian aspect to the city had yet to appear and I hadn't managed to go back to see the new festivals untill now

There are a lot more buildings that have been smartened up in the town, though also a lot more charity shops.  The town was a city when I lived in Kent having the imposing cathedral next to the high street, but has now lost it's city status which is a shame.

There were dozens of  people dressed in Victorian costume when we arrived and thousands of people crammed into the narrow streets during the day. We watched as people arrived for the procession of the seven poor travellers headed by the Christmas pudding which  paraded from the Victoria and Bull hotel to the Six Poor Travellers House.

 This parade celebrates the Dickens short story, The Severn Poor Travellers based on his own experience. I was impressed by the ammount of detail people had put into their costumes and the time it must have taken to make some of them.

  The Severn Dials Rapscallions were a great group of Victorian low life characters based around a campsite and fire. I liked the inclusion of the ordinary characters including, policemen, drunken soldiers and pedlars in the festival, which gave the event a more rounded feel.

I walked down to the start of the main parade along the high street and took my place with hundreds of other visitors lining the street. A Fagin Character entertained us while we waited, then the main parade started and we watched as Dickens characters and Victorian figures all strolled past, including a Miss Haversham and dignitaries.

I really enjoyed the day and would recommend it as an entertaining day out.  Link to festival website  here

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Winter Exhibition at The Beaney

I spent the day last Sunday at The Beaney in Canterbury among the Winter Exhibition as an artist in residence.  It was good to spend some time looking at the exhibition and there is a lot of good work in the show.

The exhibition runs till January 18th 2015 and The Beaney,s website is here.  There's a good cafe in the museum /gallery and other rooms to visit  and a programme of events too.

Talking to some of the visitors was interesting, hearing which pieces they liked and pleased that some people mentioned my work too.

It can also be fun to just watch people in a gallery, how long they take to look around, what work draws them etc. Some people just came in for a minute, someone came in and said this is all modern and walked out, other people looked very carefully at every piece. Couples rarely agreed on which pieces they liked best and children were either bored or commenting on lots of work.

 There is a good mix of work in a variety of mediums, perhaps because I do not use some mediums like, glass and ceramics,  I am drawn to those sorts of work. Jeanette Cook's  Wintery Vale, is a glass piece that I really like and Aya Mouri's Canterbury plate with it's painted map and birds is lovely. Kate Baker's mosaic Starry Winter's Eve is also beautiful.

Other work includes prints,mixed media and photographs. Tracie Piesley's Ice Queen is quirky and iconic and Helen Beeken's Summer Sleeping has similar mythological themes as does Ghosts of the Winter Solstice by Cornwall Jones. Jill Holder's Winter's bones is a thought provoking work and a reminder in my mind of the power of winter.

 Ruth McDonald's concertina is another work I like very much, the black and white landscape with trees evoking the winter theme and the concertina book form giving different views of the landscape.