Saturday, 13 August 2011

Jaume Plensa at YSP

Photos of sculptures by Jaume Plensa, the renowned Spanish artist, from his 2011 exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

 Exhibition poster showing the artist himself
 Spiegel [Mirror] (2010)

 Nuria & Irma (2010)

 Conversation piece (Spiegel again)

One of seven figures from The Heart of Trees (2007)

 In the Midst of Dreams (2009)

Perspective - 27 Palms (2007)

I am posting the photos I like best from the day out at YSP, on my other blog!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Images of .... Rydal Water

Rydal Water is one of the smaller lakes in the English Lake District, located in the centre of the National Park, near the hamlet of Rydal.  The poet William Wordsworth lived in this area and drew inspiration from the beautiful scenery.

 Above the lake are caves, remains of old quarry workings.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Images of .... Derwentwater

The lakes in the Cumbrian Lake District have many moods and Derwentwater is no exception.   It is one of the northern lakes and sits in Borrowdale, just south of the town of Keswick.  About three miles long by a mile wide, it has a regular passenger launch service so that visitors can enjoy the wonderful scenery.

There are several islands in the lake, which belong to the National Trust.  There is an 18th century  house on one of them, leased to tenants and open to visitors for a few days each year.  You can see its boathouse in the photo below.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Images of .... Blackwell

Blackwell, in the English Lake District, is Britain's finest surviving Arts & Crafts house. It was built in 1900 by H M Baillie Scott on the hillside above Windermere, as a holiday home for a wealthy Manchester businessman, Sir Edward Holt, and his family.

The Arts and Crafts Movement was a reaction aginst the increasing dominance of mechanisation brought about by the Industrial Revolution.  Championed by John Ruskin and William Morris, it sought to re-establish the importance and worth of designer-craftsmen and promoted beauty, simplicity and practicality in the home.

The lovely house has a wealth of fine detail, both inside and outside (though no photography is allowed inside).

It's not a huge house but it is full of delightful and interesting stuff: furniture and other objects from the period.  Run by the Lakeland Arts Trust, it has frequent exhibitions - and a lovely gift-shop and tea-room.  Well worth a visit.

 The gardens were originally laid out by Thomas Mawson, as a series of terraces.

They are very peaceful, and offer lovely views over the lake.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Images of .... Coniston

Some photographs from my recent holiday in the Lake District.  These are of Coniston, in the south-west of the National Park.

The Steam Gondola crossing the lake.  The original Victorian gondola was first launched in 1859 and a rebuilt yacht is now operated daily by the National Trust, bringing to life a small part of Lakeland's heritage.  The clouds shroud The Old Man of Coniston, the mountain that overlooks the lake.

The small harbour, built by the eminent Victorian writer, artist and philosopher John Ruskin, in the gardens of his former home, Brantwood, on Coniston.

 Azaleas in full bloom in the Lower Garden at Brantwood.

Another part of the Lower Garden.

 A pool in Brantwood's woodland garden

 Two of Brantwood's gardeners at work.

 A window in Brantwood's coach house

The marina beside the small town of Coniston. 

 The northern end of Coniston Water

Coniston Water, looking north west towards the surrounding fells.

For more photos and information, please see my other blog here and here.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Images of .... Fountains Abbey Estate

As well as the main attractions of  Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal park, there are other interesting buildings, well worth a look:

Fountains Hall, an impressive Tudor-Jacobean mansion built for Sir Stephen Proctor between 1598 & 1604, partly with stone from the ruins of Fountains Abbey. It has a fascinating history. (You can now stay in this magnificent building, as part of it is let by the National Trust as holiday apartments.)

Part of the facade of Fountains Hall. The statues depict Mars, God of War, on the left and Saturn on the right - eating one of his children! The writing on the sundial says "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi", Latin for "Thus passes the glory of the world".

A 300 year old pear wood carving in Fountains Hall.  This originally came from Studley Royal Hall, another large mansion on the estate that sadly burnt down in 1946.  The motto says "Nec Cesso, Nec Erro" - "I won't rest, I won't stray."

Fountains Mill is the oldest building on the estate, older even than the visible parts of the Abbey's ruins. It was built in the 12th century as a watermill to grind wheat, oats and barley to feed the monastic community: monks, lay brothers, servants, visitors and the needy.
 18th century graffiti - names carved in the stone and wood of the mill.

A spring or well.  The valley of the River Skell has abundant fresh water, one of the reasons why it made such a suitable place to found the monastery in 1132.  It all began when 13 monks were exiled from St Mary's Abbey in York after a dispute about the way the abbey was being run.  Thurstan, Archbishop of York, provided this site in the valley of the little River Skell so that the exiles could found a new and more devout monastery, which quickly became linked to the austere Cistercian order.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Images of .... Studley Royal

The beautiful 18th century gardens at the World Heritage Site of Studley Royal in North Yorkshire.

 'Surprise View' of the ruins of Fountains Abbey, framed in the archway of the pavilion called Anne Boleyn's Seat

 The Octagonal Tower, another high viewing point

 Part of the formally laid-out water garden


 Statue of Neptune, the God of Water, in the Moon Pond

Another statue, which I think is Endymion

 The lake at Studley Royal

The Victorian Church of St Mary the Virgin, William Burges's religious masterpiece in the grounds of Studley Royal.  Studley Royal House itself was demolished in 1946 after being badly damaged by fire.

 The closest I could get to the deer!