Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Picture Puzzle

These photographs were taken at the V&A yesterday. I had a delightful day in the company of friends who had travelled into London from Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Kent and Northumberland, all by train, and the focus of our gathering was the Quilts 1700 - 2010 Exhibition, although as well as each other, we hoped to see more exhibits.

This images are not from the quilts exhibition, nor any of the other galleries. Can you hazard a guess yet? I think the patterns and colours are exquisitely fascinating and very inspirational.

They put me in mind of these gilding flakes, especially those lower down the page,

The only solution I will give is the photo below, which I hope Gill will forgive me publishing here (she kindly took it and sent it to me today). My friends insisted I must see this wonderful tiled convenience by the restaurant rooms before my visit could be considered complete.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Trip to Bath

Last Thursday I was reading Threadspider's excellent blog, and learned about an interesting exhibition taking place, finishing last Sunday. My younger daughter is home from university at the moment and she was up for driving me there, so off we went, on the most beautiful sunny afternoon, through the Somerset Lake District to the splendour that is Bath. We parked near to Pulteney Bridge and this lovely Victorian Post Box, and made our way to the gallery - except I'd got the wrong gallery! But, it wasn't really too wrong, because it was hosting another excellent show, by Edwina Bridgeman. I love the way she is able to envisage extraordinary potential hidden in driftwood and other found objects to create wonderful figuative sculptures with simultaneously a very stylised but primitive element. One day, perhaps, I will own one of her creations.

We then made our way to the Octagon Gallery, where our original objective was located. We passed this alley, home to the Sausage Shop, among others, and somehow managed to walk past the entrance below - I thought it was a furniture shop!

Anyway, eventually we found our way inside and saw some amazing textile exhibits by Carole Waller (who curated this show), one of Alice Kettle's massive embroideries, covetable wraps and felted hangings by Liz Clay, wonderfully-cut women's clothes by Terry Macey and other artists were showing a very varied range of textile works.

Then it was time to return towards the car, stopping for refreshment at the Bridge Coffee Shop, where we were able to enjoy drinks and chat at a table looking out at this view of Pulteney Weir.

The late afternoon spring sun made fabulous contrasts on the newly-greening tree branches

and lit up the water flowing from the fountain. There was plenty to gladden the eye.

I really should go to Bath more often! Thanks, Threadspider, for the nudge.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

After our long, cold and miserable winter, it's such a joy to see the season change into a time of blue skies, birdsong, sunshine, buds bursting into blossom and leaf, and colourful flowers appearing all around us. The narcissi above and forget-me-nots below are in our village library garden, a lovely surprise beyond the black tarmac carpark there.

The akebia on the side fence by our front door is in flower, it's pretty chocolate-maroon flowers in shy, subtle clumps contrasting well with the rich green leaves it sports.

These snowflakes are blooming away in the front garden, around the base of the deep secret rosebush, like something from the flower fairy books of my childhood.

Two more pictures of the akebia, because I love it. It looks so exotic.

Of course, spring would not be complete without bluebells. There used to be a lot of them in my garden when we moved here but they are few and far between now, sadly.

My purple Snakeshead Fritillary seems to have gone the way of most of the bluebells but the white one is looking gorgeous. I think some new bulbs would be a good idea when the time comes, because it's another favourite of mine.

Why do weeds grow so much better than anything else? You can see that the dandelions are flourishing! Will have to get to work on those!

Bindweed is growing faster than anything else at the moment - it needs a daily patrol to pull out the new shoots and every year it proves a losing battle - it would be great if this year was the exception to the rule!