Tate Modern View

Sumner Street, London

‘Residents living in flats overlooked by the Tate Modern on London’s Southbank have lost their High Court bid to stop “hundreds of thousands of visitors” looking into their homes from the art gallery’s viewing platform.  Mr Justice Mann dismissed their claim at a hearing in London, saying: “These properties are impressive, and no doubt there are great advantages to be enjoyed in such extensive glassed views, but that in effect comes at a price in terms of privacy.”’ Evening Standard, February 2019

Maybe less grandiose housing to meet the needs of the not so super rich would have produced fewer complaints.  Anyway, it’s the street views, not sitting rooms that are worth looking at.

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Fen Landscape 36 – Long Drove, Cottenham

Long Drove, Cottenham

Long Drove runs north-east straight for two and a half miles from Cottenham into the Fens; add another mile and a half of dog legs and you end up on the bank of the Great Ouse.  Drove: a herd or flock of animals being driven in a body; a drovers’ road for moving livestock on foot from one place to another.  There’s little livestock in Cottenham now; arable fields stretch to the horizon and trucks and tractors trundle along the Drove.

Land on the way to the Ouse carries anachronistic names from a pastoral Fenland history: Mason’s Pastures, Green End Cow Pastures; The Lots, Mitchell Hill Common, The Undertakers, and Chear Fen.  There was a pastoral way of life that produced Double Cottenham, a blue-moulded cheese, creamier in texture and a little flatter and broader in shape than Stilton.  Its unique flavour was supposed to have come from the wild thyme rich grass on which the cows grazed.  No cows, no thyme now.

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Anglesey Abbey Colours

Anglesey Abbey, October 2019

Anglesey Abbey is holding its ‘Nature by Night – Nature by Light – Winter Lights’ celebration at the end of November and beginning of December.  Past experience suggests that it will be beautiful and spectacular, weather regardless.  But more beautiful than the natural autumn colours of the Abbey grounds?

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The Art of Innovation – Science Museum

The Art of Innovation at the Science Museum today – no pictures , but a few interesting quotes.

‘A new world of sights and wonders, was indeed, opened by photography, which was not less astounding because it was truth itself.’  Photographic News, 1882

‘I’m enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination.  Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination circles the world.’  Albert Einstein 1929

‘For [Cornelia] Parker this process [photographing AE’s blackboard] gave her a greater understanding of Einstein’s work, explaining that “looking so closely at his chalk marks…helped me to comprehend what was previously unintelligible.”’

‘These illustrations were as much images of persuasion as they were evidence of observation – they could be considered both as artistic “studies of nature” and as scientific data.’  On cloud studies by Luke Howard (1772-1864)

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Blue Gate

Wilsmere Down Farm, Barrington, Cambs., October 2019
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Take a Seat – Take a Moment 20

Musicals, Takis, 1985-2004: Comprises nine wall-mounted panels each with hidden magnets that pull steel rods against instrument strings to produce a single ringing note and its reverberations; Takis called them ‘space sounds’.  Tate Modern, October 2019

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Takis’s Gong

Gong, Takis, 1978: ‘Within the Takis Foundation is an open-air theatre space featuring an ensemble of Takis’s works arranged around a central gong.  This giant musical instrument is made from the rusted wall of an oil tank.  In a shift in energy, this container of fossil fuel is now an instrument for producing meditative and resonant sounds.  Inspired by Zen Buddhism, Takis’s work often relates to his contemplation of the individual’s connection with the universe.  “In the greatest solitude I feel the greatest happiness,” he has said.  Photo: Tate Modern, October 2019

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Fire Fighters and Ginkgo

National Fire Fighters Memorial and ginkgo, Sermon Lane, London, October 2019
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Cambridge Station

Cambridge station yard, October 2019
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Take a Seat – Take a Moment 19

Cindy Sherman exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London, September 2019.

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This gallery contains 3 photos.

Finding pleasure in contemplating decay is perverse, according to Christopher Woodward’s In Ruins.  But pleasure there seems to be, hence the queues at palaces, temples and castles around the world.  Are we subconsciously facing up to our own inevitable demise, … Continue reading

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Gogs Farm Shop, Cambridge, October 2018
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Hawkweed, Magog Downs, Cambridge, October 2019
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100 Photographs Draft

The first draft of the 100 photographs book has gone to Blurb for printing.  It is now called Undertow and runs to 126 pages – 96 black and white photographs, four in colour and other printed and visual material.  I await the draft – knowing already that there is one error I shall have to correct!

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