THANKS TO ALL OPENING EVENING VISITORS
A big thank you to everyone who came along last weekend to meet the artists and help us drink our entire supply of rosé and prosecco- what a lovely evening it was, with one of Bath’s spectacular sunsets to finish off the day’s festivities. It is lovely to see the university students gather on Bathwick Hill and Sham Castle to see the sun sink behind Bristol. What a sight. In these early evenings it is also a delight to see the young cricketers in their whites play on Bath Cricket ground with the spire of St. John’s church, and the verdant foliage of Prior Park and Beechen Cliff as a backdrop. It is such an aestheically pleasing sport especially in this glorious setting (though it may look less alluring to a batter facing a quick bowler).
A mayfly flies
In May or June.
Its life is over
Far too soon.
A day or two
The Mayfly Douglas Florian
It was nice to see Laurie Steen up from Devon. Here she is with one of her beautiful drawings on mylar paper:
Laurie Steen An Immense World, Conte, Pastel, Pencil on Archival Mylar Paper 103 x 137 cm. (framed)
In the twilight of May mornings and evenings, in garden or park, and I imagine in the Devonian foliage depicted in Laurie’s drawings, one customarily hears the disputacious blackbirds insisting on their territory. P.J. Kavanagh wrote vividly about these restless birds..
Blackbird in Fulham
A John the Baptist bird which comes before
The light, chooses an aerial
Toothed like a garden rake, puts a prong at each shoulder,
Opens its beak and becomes a thurifer
Blessing dark above dank holes between the houses,
Sleek patios or rag-and-weed-choked messes.
Too aboriginal to notice these,
Its concentration is on resonance
Which excavates in sleepers memories
Long overgrown or expensively paved-over,
Of innocence unmawkish, love robust.
Its sole belief, that light will come at last.
The point is proved and, casual, it flies elsewhere
To sing more distantly, as though its tune
Is left behind imprinted on the air,
Still legible, though this the second carbon.
And puzzled wakers lie and listen hard
To something moving in their minds’ backyard.
All the way from Dublin we were pleased to see Comhghall Casey
Comhghall Casey Toy Train (Fisher Price Circus Train 991), Oil on Canvas 41 x 107 cm. £4,800
Surely no-one has written a poem to the humble turnip…? Well….
In an age of bare hands
and cast iron,
the clamp-on meat-mincer,
the double flywheeled water-pump,
it dug its heels in among wooden tubs
and troughs of slops,
hotter than body heat
in summertime, cold in winter
as winter’s body armour,
a barrel-chested breast-plate
on four braced greaves.
‘This is the way that God sees life,’
it said, ‘from seedling-braird to snedder,’
as the handle turned
and turnip-heads were let fall and fed
to the juiced-up inner blades,
‘This is the turnip-cycle,’
as it dropped its raw sliced mess,
bucketful by glistering bucketful.
The Turnip-Snedder, by Seamus Heaney
Also at the gallery on Saturday was Jane Sheppard.
Jane has been coiling and smoke firing ceramics for three decades. She worked for many years as a lecturer in art specialising in ceramics and finds inspiration in Neolithic landscapes and artefacts. Living in the Somerset/ Wiltshire border provides rich source material.
Jane Sheppard 11. Big Earth Vessel, Hand-Coiled, Smoke Fired Ceramic with Copper Leaf 48 x 45 cm. £2,500
Unable to attend as she is on furlough in Japan, we have on display the work of Mizuyo Yamashita.
When the doctor suggested surgery
and a brace for all my youngest years,
my parents scrambled to take me
to massage therapy, deep tissue work,
osteopathy, and soon my crooked spine
unspooled a bit, I could breathe again,
and move more in a body unclouded
by pain. My mom would tell me to sing
songs to her the whole forty-five minute
drive to Middle Two Rock Road and forty-
five minutes back from physical therapy.
She’d say, even my voice sounded unfettered
by my spine afterward. So I sang and sang,
because I thought she liked it. I never
asked her what she gave up to drive me,
or how her day was before this chore. Today,
at her age, I was driving myself home from yet
another spine appointment, singing along
to some maudlin but solid song on the radio,
and I saw a mom take her raincoat off
and give it to her young daughter when
a storm took over the afternoon. My god,
I thought, my whole life I’ve been under her
raincoat thinking it was somehow a marvel
that I never got wet.
The Raincoat by Ada Limon.
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Thanks again for reading,