Monday, 27 June 2011

Artist of the Week June Waley plus upcoming cycling garden tour

There's exciting stuff happening in Stirling.

First is an exhibition of photographs by my friend June Waley - beautiful details of landscapes and natural forms, sometimes standing alone, sometimes put together to create composite pictures - stunningly beautiful.

Then on July 16th Towards Transition Stirling have organised the Spokes and Spades tour of interesting gardens - not beautifully planted, elegantly maintained show-gardens, but gardens for people who want to be a bit more eco-friendly, a bit more neighbourly or a bit more self-sufficient - or maybe just have a bit more fun with their outdoor spaces.

It's starting with mine - I'm 'early permaculture'. Maybe I'll see you here.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Artist of the Week - CarryAkroyd

I was reminded of Carry Akroyd's work yesterday by a prompt from the Scottish Poetry Library about this event at the Edinburgh Royal Botanical Gardens.
Carry Akroyd is an artist and printmaker, who is inspired by nature and landscape, and especially by the work of the poet John Clare (one of my favourite Romantic writers).

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Artists of the week Cantu Nustrale

This weeks' artists are a Corsican group we heard in Aix last summer. Have a listen. the sound is rich, multi-layered, a little bit wild. You've never heard anything like it.
Cantu Nustrale

Monday, 6 June 2011

The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard

I struggled with this book to be honest. I kept wanting to disagree with some of the statements in it, such as that you can't imagine a drawer without something in it. Believe me, since the day I read it, I have been doing that very thing on a regular basis. So much of what Bachelard says seems to me so much a product of his era and social class that I wondered how relevant it can be to us here and now.

That is part of the point of phenomenology, however. We do bring who, and when, and where we are to the activity of perception, and it's silly (if not, in practice, impossible) to try to disregard it. However, when he was thinking about furniture he was moving into a reflection on light and darkness, comfort and vulnerabilty, and I couldn't get past the smell of lavender and beeswax. Maybe I should write a poetics of housework!

As I went through the book, however, I began to see something more profound. My perceptions of shells, caves, cupboards and cellars might well be different from someone else's, but imagining and daydreaming about them brings us all to profound experiences of such common themes as light and darkness, secrecy and disclosure, intimacy and isolation, transcendence and insignificance.

I am really intrigued about his differences with Freudian psychoanalysts. All this stuff, they say, is just a way of thinking about sex. But Bachelard says that sexual experience is so profound because it is a way of getting to grips with all this stuff - about who we are in the world and how we are going to get along with it all. And that seems a bit more useful than nostalgia for a comfortable (pre-war, well-to-do provincial French) home.

I have put links to some green fairs on the Lúcháir events page. They all seem to be happening in England, however. Scotland doesn't seem to have so many,(perhaps it's the weather) but keep a lookout for the Spades and Spokes extravaganza in Stirling in July. I'll post more about this when I get back from holiday.

See you all later! pax et bene!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Garden in June

I was supposed to be weeding the roses this morning, but somehow I kept finding more interesting things to do. Like staking the pumpkin so I could make the most of this flower:

or sowing some crocus seeds I found under the rowan tree,

noticing how the furry leaves of this mullein trap the dew,

watching bumblebees on the thyme flowers

or discovering plants I thought I'd lost, thriving somewhere unexpected. So far I've found two sorts of campanula, tansy, sweet violets and lily of the valley, as well as this lovely welsh poppy.

And, of course, listening to the song of the
skylark. I think they must be out in the fields that surround the village, but it sounds as if they were overhead, pouring their songs into my garden.