Thursday 11 July 2013

Exhibition Visit: Rydal Hall

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to an arty event over in the Lakes, by friend and former housemate Clare, back from our Uni days up in Carlisle.  The exhibition was a showcase for works from the Lakes Collective, a group of fine artists/textile artists/makers working in the Lake District, the show being in around the grounds at Rydal Hall near Ambleside.

   Being fans of Clare's ceramic work anyway, we really wanted to go, so off to the Lakes for a couple of days of camping, looking at art, and generally relaxing.  First off, a quick word about the Lakes Collective; this is something we'd found very intriguing, as for some time we've been thinking that the best way of getting into the established art scene around by where we live would be in fact to found our own scene.  The Lakes Collective are a group who've set up together to cooperatively produce and show work to a high standard, and they seem to be doing a great job of it.

   The 'indoor' part of the show was held in this rather nice barn conversion, and had a great mix of high quality work (textiles, ceramics, woodworking, paintings, etc).  Favourites for us being the boxes and chess board made from reclaimed wood, and the ceramics on the main table.  We went to the opening night, and there was a great atmosphere there, as the artists and supporters, and visitors, all came together.  All these artists sell, and they seemed to be doing a healthy trade in work during the course of the few days we were there.

   Our favourite part of the exhibition though by far was the art trail around the grounds.  The artists had created a large number of site-specific works throughout the woods which surround the hall, and we had a great couple of days wandering round (without the official map) just randomly discovering this stuff.  Again, really nice mix of works, and it all blended so naturally with the surroundings.  Top marks to the venue for letting them do this, it really adds to the visit.

   So that was our brief visit; very idea provoking, both in terms of what a Collective of artists can achieve, and also what you can do with the support of an enthusiastic venue behind you.  And nice to see good quality, well-made arts and crafts on display.

Saturday 6 July 2013

Welsh Wanderings

   We recently had another trip to our regular haunts in North West Wales.  Over the years this part of the country has featured in a lot of our photography work, and whilst we were not doing any specific projects this time, the good weather gave us an opportunity to get out and about and just do some general photography work.
First stop was a National Trust property we'd never visited before, a little house at the end of a B road to nowhere called Plas yn Rhiw  Very nice house, lovely gardens, superb view.  Having not done much in the way of garden photography this year (what with most places being under three feet of snow for much of the year) we just had a bit of fun snapping away at the wildlife and gardens.

Then onto some railway photography on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland.  Been some time since we've managed to do any train pictures, so it was nice to get out and do a proper explore on some line side locations from a new path they've opened in the last year (and which bizarrely nobody ever seems to use).  Some nice line side spots away from the crowds.  Also some shots in the Glaslyn Pass (one of Ben's favourite spots for both landscape and train photography), but a bit more difficult to get pics without the crowds.

Friday 5 July 2013

Tempus Fugit

Time Flies.  Its been a couple of months since the last update, and frankly its not because we haven't been up to much; quite the reverse, and so this is a general little whats-been-happening post, which will be followed by some more in-depth posts over the next week or so to bring things up to date.

Spring finally Sprung sometime in late May, and in the space of about a week, things started to finally look nice, which was an aid to photography.  Above is East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley, which Ben has been doing some photography at for the Day Job.

This was followed by a visit to another National Trust property, this time Penrhyn Castle in Wales.  Its a nice, big 'fake' castle (built by the Penrhyn family, owners of a very large quarry enterprise nearby), with lots of interesting interiors that you're not properly allowed to photograph.  Given that the weather was still a bit rough out in Wales, we used it as an opportunity to try out some different angles and approaches to photographing around the place.

Our next 'random' visit (to somewhere that we didn't have a commission/specific reason to photograph at) was the Haworth 1940's weekend.  Its a big event in the local calendar, and for two days the village is rammed with people, many of whom dress up in period uniforms, civilian clothing, etc.  Preserved old cars/military vehicles, aircraft fly-pasts, the works.  We'd been wanting to go for a while, and this was the first year we both had days off which coincided.  We didn't end up taking many pics in the end as it was so crowded, just soaked up the atmosphere of the place. 

Onto more commissioned-related matters, and a trip to the rather nice Kings Croft Hotel, in Pontefract, for a site recce.  More on this coming up soon.

Over the last couple of months we've been busy with a couple of commissions, some exhibition entries and gallery proposals, a few gallery visits/opening nights, and various other odds and ends, which will appear in a bit more depth in some posts during this week.  And just to leave this brief catch-up post, a shot of a spring sunset over Ogden Water, near Halifax.