Spode heritage Centre is closed at the moment because they are choosing photos for the 3 counties open photography exhibition. I had a quick glance as I was meeting the man in charge of the space to make arrangements for a show I’m holding there in May/June this year.
I have some paintings ready, but I might use photos from the Spode shop as inspirations for new paintings. I’ve been doing a lot of Blue and white work and the ceramics there are very striking. I also like looking through cabinets or windows to the view beyond. Using them to frame the subject.
Anyway my suggestion for today for you is “stay curious!”.
When you visit somewhere it’s always interesting to look at odd little views, like the cupola seen through a broken window of a derelict green house, or mirrors placed under helibores so you can see their open flowers that usually hang down and hide their beauty. Smoke coming out if the little gift shop chimney (the shop had a warm wood fire burning in the hearth) a picture of a small pool. The fountain was not running. A sculpture of a jumping fish, a grey handle on a grey background. Light through the clouds and a curved turf covered roof to some sort of culvert.
Why not look at those odd sights and take a picture, they may not make a perdect composition but they may spark some thought.
I love clouds and skies, and when you multiply them and twist them you can create really interesting images.
Since I know what the objects are the title is pretty obvious. A church spire, or a terraced house roof floating in the sky can look very spooky though. Odd edges to the original photos create little details floating above or to the side of the main object. The best photos to use are mainly sky with the foliage or building in one corner.
The cloud scapes also help give atmosphere (pun intended) to the pictures.
I did consider making these black and white but I think the colours help.
Things are changing at the old Spode factory site.
Old buildings that don’t have much historical merit are being demolished and older buildings , or more architecturally important ones are being released from their imprisonment in brick, mortar, chip board, steel and concrete.
Like an archaeological dig tipped 90 degrees, new surfaces and entrances are being uncovered. Courtyards with windows newly on view. Stacks of saggars piled on shelves up at those windows, small or large, flat or square ….the weight of the saggars must be tremendous. I wondered if the shelves are rotting and if they could collapse .
I remember seeing a film called “solarus” or “solaris” once years ago. By Tarcovski? A Russian film maker. The character’s moved through a post industrial nightmare, and I can’t help thinking Spode uncovered would make a brilliant film set.
A recent film called “jawbone” was filmed at Spode. They recreated a boxing gym in the China halls there. So many new views. ….
walking along the new pathway to the studios there, I wonder at the air we are breathing in, dust everywhere…how do we know there is no asbestos or other contaminants?
The feral cats of Spode can be friendly. A grey and white Tom cat was hanging about next to the Hulton art pottery. We were told that someone is thinking of rehoming him. He had water and food….my partner wanted to take him home. But we already have two of our own cats. I think he will be OK. I have nicknamed him Maurice. ….
I was going to try and play my trumpet at the pub tonight, but of course I haven’t had time to practice, and although I had a lesson recently….well it just doesn’t sound very good….
So do a song…again…I have been so busy…..I haven’t learned anything new. A lot of the time I will just sing something that I have done before…
When we got there the band was playing, but there is always a section of the night where the audience can sing or read poetry while the band take a break.
I decided to sing “Scarborough fair” but I started a bit too high. I have sung it before, maybe two years ago, so I wrote the words down and sang from some scribble on a peice of paper…..
“are you going to Scarborough fair, parsley sage rosemary and thyme, remember me to one who lives there, she once was a true love of mine” etc….
I took a couple of photos, but my camera phone doesn’t work well in the dark so I have had to put them through some filters.
A friend had brought some paper and pencils, so while the band and audience played music I drew some of the customers at the pub. I have posted the drawings here, some worked better than others. In a rapidly moving crowd you have to try and get an image down quickly. Especially if people are playing instruments!
Leaves unfurl and block the view, the sky is shaded out, green and orange, and yellow too, they cast their shade about.
Atop a hill, those huge trees grew, their roots spread wide no doubt, and round their branches… true delight I see the fields sprout.
Now came old autumn, when leaves flew, they were madly strewn about, the world is seen as if anew, and “slumber trees!” I shout.
I’m not good at rhyming. I prefer blank verse, but I thought I would have a go at making a more traditional poem.
“View” and “Out” are such simple words…you can probably think of far more rhymes for them than I can. The poem is based on a visit to the Dorothy Clive Garden today. The leaves are starting to fill in the gaps between the branches and twigs, and some views will disappear until the leaves fall again in October or November, when the world beyond them will be revealed again. I think you can see three counties, Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire can be seen from the top of the quarry garden there.
It’s a beautiful place if you feel like visiting it.