As soon as the temperature dips at this time of year I try to keep in mind a dependable old friend of a poem, especially in mind of yesterday evening’s moody crescent moon low on the horizon to the south. Then we had a sky full of stars..
Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the night-thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.
(from ‘Frost at Midnight’ by Coleridge)
ARTWORKS UNDER 1000 POUNDS
While the hustle and bustle of the Christmas market continues apace outside, the gallery is an oasis of calm. When the lights come on it is pretty out on the street (like an Atkinson Grimshaw painting), and I have my newly discovered Northern Lights webcams to keep me company. Despite the ensuing cold temperatures, I can look at the aurora, and the stormy waves of Shetland in Ruth Brownlee’s paintings, and think, ‘It might be cold here but….’
Ruth’s paintings are mainly in the 7-900 pound range:
Very serenely set amongst the raging Shetland coastlines is the exquisite porcelain of Chris Keenan. The combination of dark tenmoku and red glaze is almost too delectable for the human eye.
Rob Pittam’s paintings also pay careful attention to detail, the surface textures of eggs, mackerel and linen combining in this lovely piece of work.
Slightly over the thousand pound bracket are a small group of works by the excellent Mark Entwisle (winner of the Sunday Times watercolour award 2020). This is one of our favourites:
This little field-mouse has sneaked his way onto the wall….
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon’s gaze in a valley of snow.
Tonight as it gets cold
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.
Lines for Winter by Mark Strand