Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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Rising Tide

All Washed Up

Back to Suffolk and Snape Maltings, another dash of art, a site specific art work by Fran Crowe, in the Dovecote Studio. The building itsself reminds me of a budding daffodil bulb (I’m sorry it’s been an odd sort of day, but trust me this post will get yet more obscure.)

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Fran’s work is made from what ever she finds washed up on the Suffolk Shore

Which on the plus side is colourful, the negative being, well see for yourself

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Not good is it?

The other thing I found  out on her ‘silly but serious’ website is that Fran is interested in moles, and their role in fighting the rising tide of sea level change due to global warming. Now this blog has a fondness for moles, they tend to be more dead than alive when they make an appearance, but that is more to do with the fact they are subterranean little mammals and camera shy. Fran’s initiative is called Up and Under the gist of it is (as far as I can make out)  that we should cultivate moles and that then should water levels rise, the mole tunnels will act as drainage channels, but sadly the mole will drown.

Now I have to say I think Fran’s plan may be site specific, that as I live at the top of a hill in Derbyshire, if the moles in our field find their tunnels awash with sea water, they, the nation, if not the world is totally stuffed. Not good is it?

Mummified Mole


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Eye to Eye with an Anglo Saxon King

Sutton Hoo

I’m afraid this blog is still bobbing around in Suffolk, whilst autumn rolls in over Derbyshire, never mind, I’ll try and catch up.

I made a brief comfort break at Sutton Hoo whilst on my ‘away day’ in Suffolk, I did take a peek at the replica of the iconic ceremonial helmet* , it is a thing of great beauty, which is a paradox considering its original remit for to frighten bejeebers out of lesser mortals

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I didn’t take a walk to see the burial mounds,  as time was scant and I felt pretty sure I’d be wanting to take photos of them at dusk, dawn  or amidst swirling mist.

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If you are curious, this is the best site I could find, about Sutton Hoo; the National Trust site is disappointing, ias it often is, IMHO, which is a shame, they are much better at ‘selling’ their properties in the National Trust Magazine that has sumptuous photos than they are on the pages of the website which always feels a bit mean with images and interesting ‘stuff’.

*the original is in the British Museum


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Putting the Cart Before the Horse

I had a very evening nice evening out with two friends I hadn’t seen for a while, Sara told me that the  Beyond Limits sculpture exhibition at Chatsworth House is ready to roll, I must go, I’ve been before (remember the floating baby?) and very much enjoyed myself.

Sara is a big fan of horses (not a hobby for me, too much faffing  around for my liking, almost as much as sailing, and just as expensive) so I’m posting these photos for Sara, I took them at Snape Maltings in Suffolk the other week. The sculptor is Sarah Lucas

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The horse is life sized the concrete marrows are not, here is the detail,

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The horse for me was a flash back to the china Beswick horses of my childhood, back then I did aspire to own a horse, as it was I only had the ceramic variety galloping across the sill of my bedroom window; I was always breaking the legs off them and my dad used to stick them back together in a  complex ritual that involved, two tubes of Araldite glue and some matchsticks. Dad was very talented with all thing mechanical, the aesthetics of adhesives however were not his forte

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How you get painted concrete to this sort of a finish is a mystery to me, although I’m dammed sure it’s not Dulux paint.

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I went off and searched for Beswick china animals, and was surprised at their value to collectors,one of my mothers friends has cabinet full of the things, bulls, cows, pheasants dogs and foxes, a  dust harbouring rural menagerie. In fact she inherited some more from an ‘elderly relative’ just a few weeks ago (not bad, when the friend herself is in mid 80’s) they were a bit grubby, so she carefully washed them, one, a shire horse with a striking resemblance to the horse above, was immersed in warm sudsy water and all four legs fell off. So there is the explanation as to their value,

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I assume it is only horses with a leg at each corner that bring a pretty penny.


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The Family of Man

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Ancestor I, Ancestor II, Parent I

The Family of Man, by Barbara Hepworth at Snape Maltings. To be enjoyed by the family of man. In the background, the sails of boats on the river Deben

The sign is rather weathered

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The sculpture is rather tactile

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What I can’t capture here is the sound of an orchestra, rehearsing in the building behind me.

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