Pandemic Pondering#507

©PlymouthHerald

Smeatons Tower on Plymouth Hoe turns purple in remembrance of those who lost their lives on Thursday.

We were planning to go to The Hoe this weekend to see a World Premier of The Hatchling. A massive puppet requiring 14 human puppeteers to move it. From the Director of The Warhorse puppet,Mervyn Millar.

https://www.thehatchling.co.uk/

https://www.thehatchling.co.uk/

For obvious reasons an Uplifting Symbol of Freedom is hardly appropriate in Plymouth right now so the Puppetry/Kite event has been cancelled.

We still took a trip to the Hoe last night with friends/bobbers to take an evening dip.

The sea was extraordinarily kind to us and we swam to the new platform for some diving and jumping into the sea. It is pretty hard to see in this picture so below is a close up. For a while we had this great expanse of safe sea swimming and the platform to ourselves.

There was a reward for swimming in the evening. Fish and Chips and this beautiful sunset.

Sunsetting over Plymouth

Pandemic Pondering #505

This image is the beginning of an art project for an exhibition in October. The blog that went with it can be written another time. Last night there was a serious crime in Plymouth. It involves people, guns and death. Beyond that,as I write this,no facts are known. The story will unravel and reveal itself as today progresses. Containment unraveling and revealing was my planned blog for this photograph. Words, I’m sure, that we will hear very frequently as Plymouth wakes up this morning to the information that is released by the Police Press Conference. Speculation, sadness and sorrow will be a communal act today.

Pandemic Pondering #504

©Leonor Antunes – The Box, Sequences, Invertions and Permutations

Today was a serendipitous colour concatenation. I spent some time peacefully in the beautiful space that is St Lukes, part of The Box museum. My two periods working in this space had moments with no visitors.

©Leonor Antunes

This particular installation will be leaving the museum soon so I took the chance and took some photos with no people about. I also took some close up photographs of the glass lights.

Imagine my happiness when a friend posted the picture below of Compass Jelly Fish captured briefly in a blue bucket.

© Jess Rippengale. Compass Jellyfish at Portwrinkle

The colours are identical. That’s this blog done. Colour happiness.

Pandemic Pondering #501

©Nicola Beaumont Detail from Sunset over Bodmin

After 4 days of a glorious Summer Exhibition at Tavistock the sun has set on one part of the Drawn to the Valley #greatsummerofart. The next event will be Open Studios, a very different experience. Group exhibitions are a chance for artists to come together and show what a diverse group we are. Open Studios are the chance to visit individual artists or small groups in a variety of spaces. For this last blog of the summer exhibition I chose blue as the theme. Once again featuring details rather than the whole picture. There is actually a practical reason for this, many pictures are framed with glass which causes reflection problems for photographs. By choosing details I can crop reflections off and widen my choice. So off we go on a blue journey. From a blue sky at sunset ( above) the next picture has a blue sky reflected in water. Just to prove not all reflections are bad!

©Clare Law

Exhibitions are also a chance to meet other members, artists mostly work in their own little hobbit holes and just like the whole world we havent got out much recently.

©Geoff Dodds Detail from White Horses at Port Gaverne.

Geoff was an artist I had never met before and we had a little natter. Another coastal blue came from Gilly Spottiswoode someone I meet often, she gives fabulous nattering.

©Gilly Spottiswoode Detail from Breakwater

Gilly’s print leads me to another print, something a little more abstract from Stefania D’Amico.

©Stefania D’Amico Detail from Plantlife.

Abstraction returns me briefly to water with Janet Brady’s Drypoint.

©Janet Brady Detail from Nymphs at Play.

And finally a blue bird with a knowing look brings this blog to a close.

©Beth Munro Detail from Shoebill Stork

Pandemic Pondering #500

500 Pandemic Ponderings and the world is still in the grip of something that affects everyone. Currently our planet is still gripped and the Pandemic is far from over.Who knows how this part of our history will end.

@theoldmortuary, just like everyone, is in quite a different place at #500 to where we were at #1. No longer living at the actual Old Mortuary, that was never a plan!

Today though, beyond PP#500, is pretty average. We took a trip out to Tavistock in the rain. The rain gave me all the images for this blog. A rain swollen river + my silky water feature on the phone camera is as good an illustration for time passing as I could muster today.

We went to Tavistock to visit the Drawn to the Valley exhibition again and to visit the Saturday market.

We also had a Bubble Wrap popping and styling date with our grandchild in Hong Kong.

Not something we were planning to do in the street but that is where we were when the call came through. We had planned ahead and just whipped our Bubble Wrap out of a handbag and struck some poses and popped away. Passers by were certainly puzzled! A fine way to spend half an hour on a normal day with an auspicious number.

Pandemic Pondering #499

©Lesley Hoffman Detail from Freddy at Sunrise

Unashamedly another Drawn to the Valley Summer Exhibition blog . This one welcoming Saturday with the gorgeous colours of sunrise by Lesley Hoffman.

The colours of sunrise are all over the exhibition. Colour and texture combine in this lovely piece by Lyn Edwards.

©Lyn Edwards Detail from Seed Heads

Another flower head that grabs attention with the colours of a vibrant, stormy sunrise rather than a peaceful one is this.

©Jayne Ashenbury Detail from Seduction

These are the sort of pulsating colours that absolutely suggest seduction, assignations and fecundity. As this blog shifts from sunrise to symbols of fertility I am struggling to think quite how to link the last two pictures. While pondering that, I realise that all these works are by women. This is entirely accidental. Seed heads and passionate colours take me towards the last two pictures of this blog . Serendipitously hung together at the exhibition, these are the works of two Tessa’s

©Tessajane
©Tessa Sulston

Why did the curators of the exhibition hang these two works close together? For me it would be hard now not to see them together. They both take the dark colours of fecundity and also demonstrate the meaning of the word ” the ability to produce many new ideas” so perfectly they both include bright white that fizzes with potential. Together they have given me an earworm and the chance to share a favourite line of a chorus from a lyric.

” Til morning comes lets Tesselate”

The track ” Lets Tesselate” by alt-J is below

https://g.co/kgs/CLokiB

Rather a blogging rabbit hole today, enhanced by art from Drawn to the Valley. The Exhibition runs for two more days at Butchers Hall, Tavistock.

Pandemic Pondering #498

©AlanDax. Detail from Dartmoor’s Timeless Spirit

Life imitating art as I drove through typical Dartmoor weather to get to the Drawn to the Valley Summer Exhibition at Butchers Hall. Alan Dax captures the meh of Dartmoor perfectly. I have had nothing to do with the summer exhibition beyond some Social Media posts. So it was with a fresh pair of eyes that I made my first visit to the exhibition today. There really are some stunning pieces of work to be seen. This blog just contains snippets of some of the work. For people local to Tavistock you can pop along for the next three days to see the full glory for yourselves. For the sake of this blog I collected some images that can tell a story. The one above obviously tells the story of crossing the moor in the rain.

© Peter Davies. Detail from 8 minutes 20 seconds

How I wish this image was an album cover. I’m not sure what leads me to make this statement, but if I had a vinyl collection and this was an album cover this image would always be visible. Truth be told in my Vinyl/Album buying days I did just buy albums for the artwork.

©Sally O’ Neill Detail from Through the gate softly

I love the acidity of this painting It reminds me of home made lemonade on a hot summers day. I might not choose to pass through the gate softly, I could rest a while in the cool shadows, slowing down the day to a complete standstill.

©Simon Young Detail from Still Morning

Still morning is an image so familiar to me,until recently this location was my regular morning dog walk. I’ve seen this stretch of water on the Tamar in so many different moods, always busy and rarely still. Once I thought I saw a porpoise, cleaving the water in a distinctive way, no-one else was around to corroborate or simply tell me I was imagining things. Another time I slipped twenty feet on the slipway nearby( warning in the name that I failed to acknowledge.) I landed in the silky mud that the small orange boat is resting on, a friend who tried to save me toppled in headlong after me and we laughed like mad women because we could and because it was the only sensible response to two grown women doing something daft.

©Charlotte Sainsbury. Detail from Southdown Marina

I’m not yet hugely familiar with Southdown Marina but it is a planned walk in the future with the friend who accompanied me to the exhibition today. We are going to catch the ferry across from Plymouth and explore intriguing places. Helen is known for many admirable qualities and for the flash of turquoise in her hair. She is a Bobber and she loves turquoise, so this picture is particularly apt.

Maybe turquoise is a good place to stop this meandering. More tomorrow.

©Suzy Billing-Mountain. Detail from 1121 Ripples

Pandemic Pondering #494

Out with a bang, festival over our van was all packed up and ready to go as the fireworks fizzed and twinkled overhead. Just a few hours sleep before we made a swift departure, before dawn, in order to get an early morning swim at Lulworth Cove.

It was lovely to be somewhere quite so beautiful as nature stretched her sleepy limbs to start the day to a soundscape of birdsong.

Pandemic Pondering#493

I love this image from a set yesterday. The colours give it the quality of an Old Master. Yesterday the fickle Covid fairy had once again been looking over my shoulder to see which acts I had ticked on my festival running list. And Ping! Just like that some of my selected acts were zapped by the test and trace app and unable to perform.

My location at the main stage last night pretty much sums up the weekend. We use What3words to relocate one another after the inevitable trips to the festival loos or food and drink consessions.

© What3words

Offstage- self explanatory really, our chosen acts were off for Covid safety reasons.

Modifies- there is always something else at a festival. Yesterdays unplanned events included Joe Marler talking rugby and mens mental health and Steve Davis and Kavus Torabi talking Medical Grade Music. Which in turn led us to the Bollywood Stage at Camp Bestival just after midnight where we danced and had the surreal experience of watching drunk men mime a snooker match on a picnic blanket.

Sleep- an essential of Festival life.

Just like attending last Saturdays gorgeous wedding, this weeks festival has had us mingling with strangers, this time at a festival. Listening to people talk with real emotion when they describe their joy at our slow re-emergence into a more normal way of life and yet always reflecting on the losses and sadnesses that we have all experienced, appears to have given me my own version of Long Covid. My emotional carapace is not so tough. My eyes don’t normally ooze at weddings and certainly not at festivals. Every time someone makes a heartfelt soliloquy my newly sensitised and accesible soul makes my eyes sting and my heart feel a little sad. Just like Long Covid, I fear my sensitised carapace may be with me for some time.

Mindful of this feeling I tried to create an image of barely there festival goers to represent the millions for whom mingling with strangers is no longer an option at any venue at the festival of life.

Pandemic Pondering #492

Storm Evert and Covid are shaping this festival. Safety checks following the battering of overnight winds and the continuing winds determine when and if certain things can go ahead

The failure of lateral flow tests and family members with covid affect which bands and entertainers are able to put in an actual performance.

Festivals are not just about the planned events they are also about creating a fertile and fecund space for serendipity to capture the imagination. The next two pictures occured at a Bowie DJ set. The first is a piece of transient floor art. Twinkle from someones festival outfit landed on the floor near a crushed beer can. Momentarily looking like an embelished spume of excressence. Only to be kicked apart moments later.

The second is a moment of musical joy when a bloke on a windbag sofa lost himself in a moment of Bowie nostalgia.

A day of seeing and appreciating the unexpected because Covid still disrupts our lives and expectations.