I just love The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd. She distils nature writing down to poetic essentials. The simplicity and beauty of her writing is breathtaking, the words are insisting to be read aloud. The entwinement of human and nature is all pervasive.
“Each of the senses is a way in to what the mountain has to give…All the aromatic and heady fragrances – pine and birch, bog myrtle, the spicy juniper, heather and the honey-sweet orchis, and the clean smell of wild thyme – mean nothing at all in words.”
Learning about composed freedom from the mighty John Golding…
Re-store, re-new, re-member
I have returned once again to my treasured Ivon Hitchens book by Peter Khoroche. I met the author briefly at an event at Kettle’s Yard, but could not afford the book at that time. A White House Surrounded by Trees no.1 has me in ecstasy, and Summer Duckweed is a perfection of pink and blue and white.
“Painting is to do first and foremost with paint…In a good painting one should get pleasure from the paint…”
Ivon gives much pleasure.
The Ruskin Gallery in Cambridge is an exciting little space putting on a diverse range of exhibitions. I can never quite understand why it is so quiet when I visit…but I am not complaining! It makes a refreshing change to the crowd jostling and artwork glimpsing of the popular London galleries!
Until 20th May you can see Transformation by Annie Cattrell. Here we have a fabulous amalgam of sculpture, dance and art history. The experience deepens the more you become mesmerised by the movement of the bodies.
There is a beautifully produced little booklet to accompany the show with an insightful conversation between the artist and Marius Kwint, Reader in Visual Culture, University of Portsmouth. I respond, in what seems to be the most fitting way I can, with poetry.
Eros and Heartwood
I have seen Apollo and Daphne
At twice remove,
In a moment of pure bliss
Glanced in bark
Echoed from marble
With bare needs rapt.
These bodies twist
And sculpt my sight.
Finger to branches,
Muscle to leaves.
Bide With Me Awhile In Slumber / A Thousand Hearts
I have been introduced to all manner of weird and wonderful craft beers lately. Last night the Bradley Apple Saison reminded me of cider (obviously), summer meadows and fresh sea breeze. I am beginning to think that this game we play of describing beers in three words or phrases might be usefully applied to abstract art.