4 June 2022: Brightness, Bank Holidays, Bodies of Water
The bank holiday crowds are flocking to Bath. The wind is chilly but the sun is out and the queues for ice-cream stretch around the block. Meanwhile out at Kingfisher Point the River Frome meanders into the Avon, and a moorhen squawks at the cows who have come down for a paddle.
Fragments of music and voices drift on the air from narrow boat revellers on the nearby Kennet and Avon canal.
Middle-aged argosies, each with a standard wife in the prow
and an old narrow-boat, rude with flashy red roses
and a load of tourists who’ve all gone daft
and are waving foolishly.
From the bank three dredger men drag a resisting dredger
on a rope.
Along the tow-path
families with prams and grans,
bramblers with bags and pans,
the amorous with sweating hands
parade before a deck-chaired audience.
A back-cloth of terraced cottages
looks obligingly picturesque:
cat, cockdoodle, an allotment
of cloched cabbages,
runner beans up sticks,
a window-sill of Mary-Mary shells.
Back stage, on the mud flats,
the naked hulks
of old abandoned colliers
are sunk in mire.
Sea-gulls, like reminders of swan-maidens, land
and are only sea-side tarts who hoik up their skirts
and on high toes pick their way across the mud
looking for worms.
-Diana Hendry ‘Bank Holiday Sunday’
Stewart Edmondson’s new painting depicts a vigorous River Dart:
His work is part of our exhibition A Brightness which brightness could not comprehend which begins on 11 June. Also featuring is work by Mark Johnston:
On another body of water a small boat is tied up.
Alice Walton’s extraordinary porcelain sculptures take their inspiration from landscape
Our new exhibition also features a selection of Mazuyo Yamashita’s ceramics
Also on display are the calligraphy inspired porcelain vessels by Tom Kemp
And finally….it is nearly the birthday of one of the great poets.
In remembrance of Ann:
Under bare Ben Bulben’s head
In Drumcliff churchyard Yeats is laid,
An ancestor was rector there
Long years ago; a church stands near,
By the road an ancient Cross.
No marble, no conventional phrase,
On limestone quarried near the spot
By his command these words are cut:
Cast a cold eye
On life, on death.
Horseman, pass by!
– W B Yeats ‘Under Ben Bulben’
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