I’m sitting on the train, homeward bound – up north. Can’t be far now, grey skies and rain and I’m feeling quite chilly. I had a great time in London, exhibiting at New Designers was a really great experience, and I am amazed at how kind and generous people have been with their time, and compliments. If you talked to me in the last few days, thank you! Your validation of my work has been am enormous boost
Today I went to Brantwood on the eastern shore of Coniston Water in the Lake District. Miserable start to the day, however, unlike the usual kind of day in “the lakes” – it was dry, and sometimes sunny. The house looks huge and there are a number of other original buildings on site too. The stables have been converted to a tea room (though I think it is actually a restaurant), the house which had been built for and occupied by Ruskin’s “Man” is now a holiday let, and there are quirky loos in one of the outbuildings too.
I was amazed at the size of the house, and as I approached looked forward to a long, leisurely wander around the many rooms. However, the rooms occupied by Ruskin, which form the museum/gallery were few (though large): indeed the dining room, which he had added to the original property was very large and filled with natural light from large windows. The conservatory of its day I guess.
The image here, shows the house on approach, though only the rooms on the left side (the 2-storey part) are open to the public. Inevitably, there was a shop.
I only just remembered I entitled my post “Brantwood Bugs” 🙂 The gardens here are lovely and informal, They rise from the house upwards and eastwards, so there are terraced paths leading up up up then across and down. One path is named the Ziggy Zaggy path. They are indeed ziggy zaggy, though at the top of this path is a rather ugly section of ground which has been covered in raw fleece in many colours, spray painted with squiggles and some rather large ceramic, bright red lips are poking out of the soil. These pouting pots are rather sexy in a nasty (rather than clever) way, I do wish I had been able to find an interpretation board: most likely my imagination has got the better of me, and they are symbolic of something quaint and interesting to children. Don’t get me started on symbolism…..
the bugs…. click on the pictures to see them better
We, the HNC Contemporary Constructed Textiles students, had spent the week at College in Bradford, and on the last day our Tutor suggested we took a trip to Salt Aire, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We were to tour the Cloth and Memory exhibition on the dis-used top floor at Salts Mill. Curator Professor Lesley Millar was on hand to describe and interpret the works. A stunning exhibition, of unbelieveable quality of work(wo)manship and so well staged.
It was a lovely day outside, but Lesley reminded us, that this floor of the building had no windows onto the streets of Salt Aire so workers, particularly in the winter would see nothing but the inside walls of the mill.
However, on the day we were there, the sun was in and out of the light cloud and at times, streaming through the glass panels in the roof onto the pieces in the gallery. I have blogged a couple of lovely images from the exhibition, and hope you feel moved to pay a visit to Salts Mill