Wednesday, 29 May 2013

More from Yorkshire Sculpture Park

In my earlier post about Yinka Shonibare MBE I missed out this photo of the wind sculpture in front of the underground gallery so I thought I'd include it here.


We'd come to the sculpture park for a walk and get some fresh air.  The weather wasn't brilliant but the rain did hold off for us while we were there.  Behind the underground gallery is one of the walled areas where I took this photo of the blossom on the fruit trees which were trained along the wall.


The Bothy Gallery is at the top end of this walled garden and it is currently housing some of the sculptures of Hans Josephsohn.  These are cast bronzes which are made from plaster models which themselves are made by adding wet and dry plaster together into the shapes of the figures.  Maybe I'm just not in tune with these sculptures as I wasn't too impressed with the work but it was still interesting to see.


This next photo is the outside of the Bothy Gallery which I do love.  The ivy covered stonework makes a great subject, especially in this setting.


In the garden area below the underground gallery was this line of rhododendrons which were covered in a mass of pink flowers.  There was also a collection of Josephsohn's reclining figures but I haven't included any photos here today.


Around the corner was this oversized rocking horse in a gap between the trees.


We walked down the hill to the upper lake where there is a circular walk through the wood and around to the other side of the lake.  Along the walk there is a little greek temple folly and an obelisk but I didn't get any decent shots of them.  Towards the lake was a woods where there was a blanket of bluebells covering the ground between the tress.


There was also some water management channels which cut through the woods.  This shot was taken from a little bridge and I loved the refections in the water.


This next shot was taken from a big bridge which goes over the weir which separates the upper and lower lakes.  I guess the wooden hut with the big silver ball on the top is one of the more abstract pieces in the park.  One day I might have a closer look at it but for now it's a middle ground object with Bretton Hall in the background.


Here's another photo of the hall taken from some stepping stones across a small stream which feeds into the lower lake.


The final photo was also taken from the stepping stones but facing upstream towards the little bridge.


I have a few more photos from this visit to Yorkshire Sculpture Park but I'll include them in a separate post along with a photo from last Sunday when I was walking along the Broadwater Canal near Leigh in Lancashire.  They're linked, trust me.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Lapwing Chics Rescue

Today I was driving around with the roof down in my car, a bit of a novel thing this year.  It's been the coldest start to the year on record in the UK.  I didn't have anything in mind to photograph so I was driving around aimlessly, looking for inspiration.  I was actually heading home when I spotted a couple of lapwing circling around, above a field at the side of the road.  Then I was amazed to see three lapwing chics running up the side of the road.

I stopped my car straight away, put my hazard warning lights on and then swapped my long lens onto the camera.  I couldn't immediately spot the chics as the verge was covered in thick grass but one of the adult birds had landed in the field and appeared to be calling out for the babies, I guess.

 
I could also hear the chics calling back to the adult so I followed the noise.  Then I saw this little one down in the grass close by.


It was a fairly narrow, winding road and I was a bit concerned they would stray out into the road and get run over.  I had spotted a gate in the field next to where I saw the adult bird to I tried to herd them in that direction.  Both the adult birds were in the air again so I was slightly concerned that they might swoop down and attack me if they thought I was trying to harm the chics.


Two of the chics were near the gate now but I could see no sign of the third.  I kept moving these two along until they went through the gate.


Here they are running along a bit of a stone path inside the field and well away from the road.


When they got further away from me they stopped and waited while I took some more shots.


I found the last one further up the road and then I herded it into the same field as the first two so they were all together again.  I hope they keep away from the road in future.  The road isn't very busy but people tend to drive quite quickly along the road as I found while I was there.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Yinka Shonibare MBE at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

We had a day off work on Monday and we went to Yorkshire Sculpture Park to see what the current exhibitions were and have a walk around the park.  We started off in the main visitors centre and up to the gallery where we found a space capsule and a couple of astronauts dressed in some fabulously colourful fabric.  The fabric looked like the heavy crazy colourful canvas that I would associate with African tribal wear.  This was our first view of the work of Yinka Shonibare MBE and it was the start of a journey into his amazing world of colour and spectacle.  The collection at the park is called Fabric-ation and I have to say I was absolutely blown away by everything we saw.  Here's a few photos of the astronauts.


There's a couple of Joan Miro sculptures outside as a bonus.


Looking back down the corridor next to the gallery.


Looking up from below.


In the room at the end of the gallery was a ship in a bottle with the similar type of fabric in the sails and some big collages.  The collages contained a wide variety of images and writings and we spent some time looking closely at them, trying to take it all in.

After that we went down to the underground gallery (which unfortunately doesn't allow photography) and there was a big group of noisy people entering gallery behind us so we decided to go straight to the far end of the gallery to get away from them.  We passed by two foxes wearing beautiful costumes which looked Victorian but made out of similar fabric to the astronauts.  They had revolvers in one hand and Blackberry's in the other.  As we passed the other rooms we spotted a few other figures in similar costumes and at the end was a ballerina on top of a big black polished stone.

In the room at the far end of the gallery is a small cinema area which was running a film of people wearing the strange Afro-Victorian costumes at a masked ball.  They were dancing an interesting contemporary type dance which included the leading lady apparently shooting the leading man, but then he comes back to life.  In part of the film was a table laden with food intermingled with stuffed animals in a bizarre Tudor banquet.  We sat and watched the film for a while and were enthralled by the whole experience.  Some of the masks from the ball were in a glass case at the back of the room and it was amazing to see the detail at such close quarters.

We went back through the other rooms and each one had themes with the fantastic colourful costumes on the figures.  In one room two figures firing muskets at each other through a wall of eggs.  In another a large cannon appeared to have fired a massive pile of fabric cannonballs into the corner of the room.  In another room, one wall was completely covered in costumes and another had figures with different objects for heads including a tap running into a glass of water.  There was a series of large photos depicting a man in one of the costumes faking his own death in one of the rooms.  And yet another room had aliens made of fabric including a couple on old fashioned, fantasy flying machines.

Outside in the area around the gallery were a couple of very big sculptures which looked like pieces of the fabric being blown in the wind.  This first one was on the hill behind the gallery so the flat area at the other side of the little hedge is the roof of the gallery.


The second one was on the grass in front of the gallery.


Here's a film by the Yorkshire Sculpture Park where they are talking about the artist, the artist is talking about his life and work and they are showing some of the sculptures which we saw in the gallery.  It's nearly 15 minutes long but it's very interesting and shows some of the beautiful things that we saw.  As always when I blog about the park I urge you to visit and experience the artists work first hand.  I can assure you you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Walk near the Sea in Dunmanus Bay

In the morning before we went to Bantry we had been for a circular walk near the sea between the cottage and Sheepshead.  The weather was as normal for the holiday so far being very dull, cloudy and intermittent rain but we were determined to make the best of it.  We started at  little car park at the side of the road and took a lane up the hill towards the sea.  At the brow of the hill I looked back inland and saw this clump of trees which looked very eerie in the mist.


As we went over the hill we could see this tower folly further to the East.  I had to use a long lens to get this shot of the tower.  The mist was thicker out to sea and the land on the horizon is all but invisible.


As we got closer to the coast I still had the long lens on my camera and I took this shot of the coastline near to the tower.  We could see the little peninsulas behind  the outcrop of land.  The land on the other side of Dunmanus Bay is slightly more visible than before so maybe the mist was clearing a little.


Towards the West side of the hill we could see the next little peninsular along the coast.  There was the remains of a small rough looking wall with this diamond shaped poking up at the top.  The textures in the stone and the colours were quite amazing.


We made our way down towards a small bay to the top of this outcrop of rocks with a little rockpool.  Across the little bay was a peninsular with a little island at the end.


When we got to the bottom of the hill we climbed over some rocks towards this big rock pool.  The rocks were extremely slippery with the wet seaweed all over it.


Further around the bay was an area of light coloured stone with a load of large pebbles.  The solid rock floor looked amazing with the long straight lines of different shades and contours.  I decided to make a black and white version of the photo so I could push the contrast even further.  Out in the distant horizon is the next peninsular along the coastline.


Around the bay was a lake which had a stream coming out of it and running down towards the sea.  Here's Lynne crossing this ancient looking stone bridge over the stream.


Further along the beach was another outcrop of stone, this time of a darker, softer looking stone with moss and seaweed growing on it.  There were more little rock pools all along the top of the rock.  To the left if the stream which we had crossed as it runs into the sea.


After leaving the bay we headed a bit inland on our circular journey.  As we went past a field we saw these three donkeys at the far end.  We called to them and they trotted across the field towards us.  Lynne was off to the right of the photo grabbing some long grass to feed them, so they were very interested in watching her very closely and ignoring me taking photos.


Near the end of the walk we passed by this odd looking rock next to a spring.  When we got back to the cottage and checked the map it was marked as a holy spring so I guess there was some religious past to this area.


 Next time we take a trip to Garinish Island which is in the inlet by Glengarriff.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Holmfirth Folk Festival 2013

Today we walked into Holmfirth to take a look at the Folk Festival and I took a few photos of the dancers around the town.  I haven't edited these much so unfortunately theres a lot of photos and I've just cropped them and done some basic adjustments only.  As usual the weather wasn't terrific and was a bit damp and miserable but didn't seem to affect the dancers but the crowds were a bit sparse today.

We started off outside the Old Bridge Hotel with this set of dancers who were very enthusiastic and energetic.




The lady horsewoman shot out to the front and around  and back at the end of the dance but I missed it because I was just watching the dance.  However she came out to talk to her friend so I took this shot of her then.


We moved on to next to Holmfirth Church where there was a troop of dancers in purple doing there performance.  I think they said they were from Stockport which is about half an hour away from here.




Opposite the church is Sid's Cafe from the television series "Last of the Summer Wine".  It was originally a hairdressers but it has become a cafe since the TV program made it famous around the world and is now one of the major tourist attractions.  Here they're doing a low kick ...


... and then a high kick.


We stayed outside the church for a while and I put on my Lensbaby lens for a bit of an artistic image.  The next group where a girl and a couple of guys.  I tried to get the girl in focus and blur out the rest but I'm not sure it was that successful.


I put the proper lens back on and I love this shot where both guys are in the air.


After the dance this guy looked a bit tired.


The next troop of dancers were Canadian and were very extravagantly dressed so I ended up taking a lot of photos of them.  Here they were just assembling ready to start their performance.


The Chief Barker in the jester costume started to walk around to introduce his team to the crowd.  He had a bloke behind him carrying the moose head on a pole who was trying to keep out of sight.



As they got into their positions to start dancing I was quite attracted to they fellow in the yellow to the right of this photo.


The band got down and started with their music.  The guy with the moose head on the stick is on the left.  He had a moose crossing sign on the stick too.


The band were very good and added a lot to the mood of the dancing.


Round and round they go.





I was a little annoyed with this image as the focus is on the guy with his back to us.  If the focus had been on the lady facing him this would have been a much better image.



Here's the fellow in in yellow again.  His appearance reminds me of one of my work colleagues from the first job I had when I left school.  Unfortunately that was about forty years ago so I suspect my old work colleague is no longer with us.


The guy in the background had dropped his stick and was just picking it back up.  The rest of the team didn't look that impressed with him.


Here he is again, looking good.


Back to some more traditional morris dancers.


This lady was really getting into it and here she's airborne.


Round and around again.


And here's their band.


The little lad with his granddad (I guess) was shaking his bells to add to the sounds.


We went back around to the Old Bridge Hotel again where a gothic troop of dancers were chatting with the crowd.  Here one of the performers was play acting a stick fight with this young girl while her mother looks on in the background.


Another one of the performers was chatting with another youngster in the crowd.


And the last photo of this mammoth post is another one of the female gothic performers waving her stick around.  In the background is one of the male troop members with a green face looking on.


After this we went to Hervey's Bar for a drink and saw lots more of the performers wandering about.  I chatted with a few of them in the pub, they were really funny and seemed happy to have a beer or two after their dancing.  There seemed to be a bit of a lunchtime break happening so after the drink we headed back home.  I missed taking photos of quite a few of the dance troops but we had other things to do today.  Maybe next year the weather will be better and I might get to spend a bit more time at the festival.