16 June 2022: New Exhibition
A feast of blackbird action at the moment in our garden. The evening is a cacophony of high pitched ‘here I come/here I am’ chirpings. Territorial pronouncements, worm transportations, fledglings taking their first tentative hops in the last of the daylight. Summer.
The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold;
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.
Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.
The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron
Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying
And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.
-Louis MacNiece ‘Sunlight in the garden’
Besides jumping in the sea, staying cool is virtually guaranteed by contemplating northerly climes:
If that doesn’t work, the next step is to northern oneself even further:
Or cast yourself adrift completely…
At Kingfisher Point the cob swan is sizing up myself and the dog…
Of course WBY loved the Galway swans
The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.
The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water,
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?
Wild Swans at Coole by W B Yeats
I love what Laurie Steen says of the places she draws:
There is a fondness and a knowing when revisiting familiar places and a comfort in walking these small lanes. It all feels very personal. I draw places that are familiar, and places that fill me with anticipation to explore or surprise me most unusually with the change in lighting or time of day. There is newness in everything; even places close to home. I would like to make visible a ‘humanness’ I see and feel in the landscape by rendering it. But mostly to show that it has been remembered.
Laurie Steen We are a Shape the Wind Makes, Conte and Pencil on Mylar 102 x 146 cm. (framed)
Meanwhile at Kingfisher point I realise the reason for the earlier solo reconnaissance mission.
Not far away from Yeats’s beloved swans is the flaggy shore that Heaney wrote of (near the Cliffs of Moher)
And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you’ll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.
With Monday the anniversary of Yeats’s birth, Today is Bloomsday, celebrating the work of James Joyce.
Below is the order form for a first edition of Ulysses. I wonder if he finished it !!
Please email or phone the gallery to purchase or make further inquiries, or if we can help in any way.
Thank you for reading.