Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Bran Tub # 17: Moonlight is my Silver, Sunlight is my Gold ...




Moonlight is my Silver, Sunlight is my Gold …



Music was my first love
And it will be my last.
Music of the future
And music of the past.

The card, from where the title of post comes from, depicts this immortal tiger … reminding me of William Blake’s poem … but also bringing to mind John Miles' beautiful song from 1976 ...

Blake's original copy see link



Tyger Tyger, burning bright …
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?







The Nebra Sky Disc - the Pleiades
represented as the circle of stars


Then I remembered the Pleiades … their rising heralded the start of the Ancient Greek sailing season using celestial navigation … which cultures around the world have known since antiquity.







Onto the Cyclades … the island group in the Aegean Sea - with uninhabited Delos considered the birthplace of Apollo – the God of Sun and Light …  







See antipodes for Crates
Mallus


My wandering thoughts went on to Antipodes … any spot on earth diametrically opposite to it … each point is as far away from its opposite as possible. 

We are used to referring to Australia and New Zealand as our Antipodes – not quite true, but for the chit chat of life, near enough …




Trondholm Sun Chariot

Well Bran Tub # 17 has let me wander around … each word or image leading to the next … it seems my world always leads me onwards, reaching out beyond the silvery moon into the great unknown of life beyond the glowing sun …



With these thoughts and images I leave you … it is a wonderful world.

Links to poems and images: for more information and credits ... 

John Miles - musician, songwriter - who wrote "Music" ... the first verse appears here ... 

Tyger Tyger referencing Blake’s original painting of The Tyger c 1795 held by the British Museum …




The Terrestial Sphere of Crates Mallus (c 150 BC) ... showing the region of the antipodes in the southern half of the western hemisphere ... and see Antipodes ...

Trondholm sun chariot ... a Nordic Bronze Age artifact, c 1400 BC

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Clonakilty and why I missed the moon landings …




I suspect I was just plain busy … but that summer (1969) I had been over to Eire to see my childhood friend … we’d been inseparable for the first 9 years of our lives …

Clonakilty pinned in southern Ireland
(Cork further to the east with the large harbour)


 She was very different from me … creative, artistic, horsey … I wasn’t any of those - loved sport, creature comforts … happy to be different – but needed a base to come back to …




Renny was a traveller … and a wanderer … she spent time in Morocco, India, New York, a commune in Wales, and Ireland – married by now possibly twice – I think eventually there were three …


An Sugan pub in Clonakilty

 … she was taking stock at her mother and step-father’s new home in Clonakilty– before deciding on her next ‘escapade’ – however the new siblings weren’t flavour of the month!




I came over for six weeks arriving via the Swansea-Cork ferry – we both needed to think about our futures, but thankfully we still got on really well … one balanced, yet prepared to try things and one happy go lucky …


Gypsy Cob - a mare


… Renny had a ‘huge’ horse – for me: they aren’t amusing … I’d been thrown as a kid when we were neighbours …





… but caution thrown to the wind I decided I’d like to try again – it is not my forte … and this beloved animal walked me up to the top of the hill, then promptly threw me – bang … mind you that could explain a few things?! 




The horse didn’t bolt, once the stars disappeared … he and I walked back down the hill – me feeling pretty dejected that I wasn’t riding, but I had my rather large bump … well that solved the horse dilemma – never again!


Renny's was similar - but
much more rustic and in need
of some attention!


Renny had thought of taking her Romany gypsy caravan with himself (the horse!) around Ireland … that hadn’t and didn’t happen to my knowledge – but she’d always loved her animals …



So we ‘played around’ her parent’s house, yard and outbuildings … it was quite big – there was space for us all … Renny was creative and happily making and designing her own clothes … she failed with me – rather I flunked out – I had the dusty pink, velvety satin pieces for a long long time! …


Clonakilty farmland 

The Romany carriage – looks idyllic … but not for me!   They’re called Vardo carriages … and this one is a Reading or kite wagon … so named as it was made in Reading, Berkshire – west of London …



… it is the  type of wagon that is highly prized by the Romanies for its aesthetic design, beauty and practicality to cross fords, pull off road and over rough ground …


Cobh - the early harbour - where the Titanic
stopped over before her fateful voyage
(near Cork)


Renny was desperate to get her ears pierced … my arrival was the clarion call to achieving that goal … I had a car and we could easily go to Cork …





The English Market in Cork city
… secretly I’d always wanted mine pierced – she was wily though … she knew I was braver and would go first! – then she had no choice but to follow … gosh it hurt – those were the primitive days …



Theatrical poster for the film
'Women in Love'

… we dulled our pain by going off to see a film …  I thought we’d gone to see Women in Love … but as it only came out in September that year … it must have been another similar art house movie – whatever it was the agony was mostly over by the time we came out!



Poster for the film 'The
Pride of Miss Jean Brodie'



Perhaps it was The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which did come out earlier in 1969 … who knows – not me?!






Beara Peninsula, Bantry Bay area

After that we travelled around … firstly to the west … Bantry, Killarney … we went further north for a few days – we’d just drive and map read our way around – at the end of the day find a B+B …






It was a stunning visit ...  and I love the name
Knockmealdown Mountains!
… we also went east … across the Knockmealdown Mountains on our way to Waterford … where the rhododendrons were out … the whole area had a purple hue … gorgeous colours …







1897 - his wife is holding his trouser belt!
… and slightly north of Cork to kiss the Blarney Stone … I think that’s probably one of the more odd things I’ve done in my life … now 50 years later – no doubt it’s worse ‘disgust-wise’ (unhealthy!) …





Blarney Castle - it's a fair drop!

… whether it achieved its objective: said to give those who kiss it a mystical eloquence … I leave for you all to decide – but if so – it took 40 years to get going!




Then home from Cork on the overnight ferry to Swansea … to Market Harborough, Northamptonshire through the Welsh hills in a thunderstorm … I was flagged down by a lorry driver – who said … go another way – it’s flooded and you won’t get through … I had a low slung girth (the car did! – my low slung version developed as the years rolled by) ... 

Brecon Beacons, Wales


These are some of the remembrances of why I missed the moon landing … Ireland is beautiful … I’ve been back, but would love to go again for further explorations …

It’s a good thing the moon doesn’t wander or ramble on … but I’d half-forgotten those days … fun times – interesting ones too …


This prattle, babble, blather endeth here … thanks for the memories and for reading!


My inspiration and memory jog came from Fil and her husband Tom's recent trip to Cork ... they are from Northern Ireland, but had a visit back to Clonakilty ... they are folk singers, musicians and all things associated with a composer and singer's way of life ... including extra snippets about places visited, book stores, nature ...  delightful stories ... I'm late adding this ... 

Fil's Songs and Stories - found here ...  Thanks Fil and Tom for reminding me that it was Clonakilty that Renny's parents had moved to in southern Ireland ...  

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Sunday, 28 July 2019

We are the World Blogfest # 27: Three Littlie Litter Pickers …




Bless their souls – they’re on a mission to guide us oldies (anyone older than six!) … to keep our planet clean …


c/o mobile phone photo in Metro newspaper
Waimi, Yimi and Mbetmi

Triplets: Waimi, Yimi and Mbetmi Fongue – who live in Nottingham, (central) England – heard about saving the planet at school …




… came home bringing their lesson with them … asking questions, and what can they do …



The demands of children … the whys, more whys, can we do something … oh come on Mum, and Dad, we must do something …


Books were bought … action was taken – out into the park … collecting litter every night after school for an hour





Rubbish left behind ... 
… the school heard, the word got out … the town Council gave them high-vis jackets with ‘clean champion’ on the back, and special litter picker tools …




The kids with 'Clean Champions' on their high-vis jackets


… they spoke to the Council on climate change … while things at home have changed … Yimi … who thinks she’s a diva! … goes to put a cardigan on – 'no Mum not the heating!'




A clear, clean park ... what bliss!
The boys … Waimi is the outgoing one, who loves reading and writing: bet ... he keeps asking the questions … while his brother, Mbetmi, who loves acting, is friendly … their sister Yima – loves her singing …




Their parents must be so proud of their environmentally aware children - looks like we have some delightfully socially aware youngsters here - who will go on to inspire others ...





Good luck and congratulations Nottingham on helping these litter pickers become special people in this world …




… more importantly it’s wonderful Waimi, Yimi and Mbetmi’s parents are so supportive and encouraging with their off-spring’s wish to learn and to help their neighbourhood and then their planet.



All the very best to them all … here are some links:

We are the World ... in Darkness, Be Light

The Metro Newspaper’s article … where I spotted this wonderful story for our #WATWB monthly post …


I can’t find their YouTube … but they’ve got their own account to promote environmental awareness … somewhere out there!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Men blasted off to the moon …




Hey Diddle Diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed,
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon …


… while men blasted off to the moon …



Sufficient has been shown, said, relayed in recent days to remind us of those times … I’ve been wondering why I don’t remember … and think I’ve worked it out - to be revealed early August …


c/o CSIRO - The Parkes Observatory is a radio
telescope observatory in New South Wales, Australia;
this picture, taken in 1969, shows the Parkes
Observatory’s main 64 metre (210 ft) diameter
radio telescope dish, around the time it received
transmissions from Apollo 11, with a crescent moon
 visible in the background.  The photo is part of
CSIRO's Science Image archive.
  


This photo was featured as Wiki’s image of the day (20 July 2019) – which I think is wonderful …


… and a reminder of the collaborative effort to achieve and record this momentous technological advance …



Australia played an important role in helping NASA reach the Moon and send TV images to millions around the world. 




Forty years on, it is still one of the most advanced telescopes of its kind. A gigantic structure of steel and concrete, the telescope soars nearly 55 metres into the sky.




Country Meadow
Albert Schweitzer (1875 – 1965) brings us back to earth with this quote:  


"In the hope of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet."


Have we gone too fast … or are we just curious … and the only way we find out is to start …

Anyway – here’s to that man on the moon … so many of us will have memories from or of those days …


Clever logo?!

Wikipedia's page on Parkes Observatory ...  

CSIRO's Science Image archive ... 

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) runs Parkes Observatory.  CSIRO is an independent Australian federal government agency.


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Dance Diagonal at the Towner Art Gallery …




I went to hear the talk by Lothar Goetz, the artist-designer of the Dance Diagonal mural, on his artistic journey … where I felt slightly out of my depth (understatement) – but the brain ticks over and will continue to do so.


Lothar as the mural started off ..
c/o Eva Eastman Towner Gallery
Lothar took us on the path from his childhood artistic talent to his approach to the Towner’s commission.  How his Eastern European upbringing really frustrated his creative talent … which was classified as degenerative art …


Map of Iron Curtain area


… once the “Iron Curtain” came down he was able to explore artistic boundaries in western Europe, eventually settling in England.






Bauhaus emblem
… his interests spread across many disciplines … theatre /dance / architecture / interiors /gardens / different styles … he already had a special interest in the German art school: Bauhaus …




Stairway Scene 1932
by Oskar Schlemmer


He mentions in the article (interview link below) that he preferred abstract art but was deeply affected by the turbulent history of the Bauhaus …


… mentioning the influence of Oskar Schlemmer (1888 – 1943) – the German painter, sculptor, designer and choreographer … who had been hired as Master of Form at the Bauhaus theatre workshop …


Costumes from Schlemmer's
Triadic Ballet

… Schlemmer’s most famous work is the Triadic Ballet – which saw costumed actors transformed into geometrical representations of the human body in what Oskar described as a “part of form and colour”.



I started to learn so much as Lothar explained to us, that though he was an artist, he also needed to respond to ‘physical space’ – hence his interest in ‘wall painting’ … which enhanced his love of abstract art …


Towner before its transformation

Back to the Towner … they are celebrating ten years in the new purpose built gallery … so decided to take the bold step of commissioning a mural for its outside façade.  



They elected to recruit a mural company and separately appoint an artist … so the two creatives would need to work together, yet separately …


During its artistic progression
The Towner commission is the largest sculpture design Lothar has done … and he was delighted that they chose the more radical of his two entries … and we are too – it is so striking …




In his talk, with lots of slides, he had taken us through the reasons why he decided to concentrate on abstract rather than figurative work … he loves to draw, has always painted – but felt the need to respond to something …

Dance Diagonal



… the Towner’s architects (Rick Mather Associates) had been influenced by its setting … site, sea and waves, chalk cliffs, … hence the architect’s use of curves, balcony havens/niches, fenestration …







Lothar realised too that the optical effects of being near the sea, the Downs, with the English weather – blue skies, sometimes wispy or pluffy clouds, grey rainy days – would all influence the mural …


… it was important that his work complement the building’s design … 


Wrap around art at the reverse side of the Towner
... and the wrap-around artwork (3 sides including the nooks and crannies of its architecture) would need to be sympathetic … as the visually transformed pure (white painted) Gallery would change the energy of the building … and boy has it done so!



Isn’t it amazing how much the 'skin change' has affected the look of the building … from ‘pure white’ to Dance Diagonal’s specifically chosen colour palette …


The Birley Centre - a new building as part of
Eastbourne College ... opposite Dance Diagonal -
see other photos!

He was asked about his colour selections … and advised that he spent a lot of time considering the tones to be used … referencing the coastal light …






The NCS colour system is based on the
three pairs of elementary colours

… while by necessity being limited to the Weather Shield range of colours offered under the National Colour System through Brewers  Decorator Centres, who had sponsored the project.  (This selection has 1,933 colours.)



The top panel, which I call mulberry … reminding me of an English dessert: berried fool - summer fruits and cream … Lothar called purple – interesting isn’t it – how we all see colours differently.



Nooks, crannies and fenestration - along
with the mulberry curve
He doesn’t design using a computer – it’s all free drawn and hand coloured … he doesn’t fixate over a building with as many irregularities as the Towner has … the niches, balconies, the curve et al …



Back and side of the Towner

The Gallery had sent various drawings, images and plans of the exterior which would become the mural … 




... and every time Lothar looked – he saw another ‘anomaly’ to the building … particularly when he considered the back of the building facing the tennis courts …


Not the best ... but a view looking east along the
Grand Parade, past the turquoise tiled bandstand over to the
pier then beyond across to Pevensey Bay and Hastings

He talked to the space … to get its response – he spent quite a lot of time in the town checking it out, seeing the Gallery in its setting – near the Grand Parade, which runs along the sea-front.





Poster of Eastbourne seafront with Red Arrows
Once he’d been given the commission he was then able to concentrate on tying down the diagonals around the architecture to finalise the mural.




When the painting began he was there to supervise the actual design of each segment  … and then see some of the early decorating … 

Dancing Diagonals


... later he noted that as kids walked by the green, pink and yellow diagonals: they became animated jumping up and down – he said he was delighted to see their reaction …







So that is our Dance Diagonal mural at the Towner Art Gallery – it is a major talking point in the town and around … and I suspect will be one of Eastbourne’s best assets – it has certainly garnered a great deal of support …


Reflections in the
Birley Centre over the road
… Lothar talked about designing wall art works knowing that in a specific period of time they’ll be painted over – he says he accepts that fact … it’s only when the time frame is very limited he feels it more …


… we’re meant to have the mural for a year – but there’s already requests for that time frame to be extended … in my humble opinion ‘Dance Diagonal’ will be hard to beat …


I love it!!

A few links:  

… Studio International’s article about Lothar’s monumental mural for the Towner … they show his original sketch … more (professional) photos of the mural … and Lothar’s explanation as to his ‘raison d’être … so, so interesting …

Artnet News … Triadic Ballet Bauhaus …see the Surreal Costumes


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories