Sunday, 28 August 2011

UK: Cornwall

A week of wandering and weddings in Cornwall

Cream tea on the beach 

A trip to St Ives

And Barbara Hepworth's studio. The summerhouse above was beautiful, whitewashed walls with brightly coloured potted plants, loads of light and some plaster sculptures.

Visiting Barbara Hepworth's studio was a real treat. I had researched a lot in Hepworth's work for this years Chelsea garden and had seen many of these pieces in books so it was really fantastic to see them in the flesh. The garden is packed full of her larger bronze pieces which were placed around the garden by Hepworth herself.

I particularly love Barbara Hepworth's strung sculptures like 'Spring' above, the forms where inspired by the Cornish landscape ‘The colour in the concavities plunged me into the depth of water, caves or shadows  deeper than the carved concavities themselves. The strings were the tension  I felt between myself and the sea, the wind or the hills.‘

We also visited the Tate St Ives which was displaying work by Martin Creed - Half the Air in a Given Space. This involved one of the gallery spaces being filled with balloons, which you were able to enter and wander about. It was great fun and allowed you to experience the space in a completely new way (covered in static and attempting not to stand on small children)

Another of the galleries had an interactive display which, from a distance, looked like a typographic installation covering all four walls of the room. On closer inspection it transpired that it was actually an interactive installation displaying everyone's height that had passed through the room.

I disappeared into the black blur of average

Dan being measured and surprisingly not one of the tallest, merely averagely tall

Saturday, 27 August 2011

UK: Chelsea flower show videos

Below are the videos from the Guardian showing the build up for Chelsea 2011

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

UK: Lost Gardens of Heligan

Tim Smit, John Willis and an army of volunteers transformed what was a derelict and lost place, covered in brambles and ivy, into the nation's favourite garden. The lost gardens of Heligan and Eden Project have regenerated not only the estate gardens and a disused quarry, but also the wider Cornwall economy.

The giant's head mud sculpture with mop of montbretia hair

The Heligan mud maid. Both mud sculptures were designed by Susan Hill to enhance the woodland experience in the Victorian tradition of ornamentation. 

There are plenty of places to explore, from the steaming Jungle Garden with giant gunnera, tree ferns and exotic plants benefiting from the unique microclimate. 

Raised boardwalks snake through the Jungle Garden.

The walled productive garden with delicious rows of edibles contained within parterres.

Apple arches lead you through the productive gardens

UK: Tim Smit

Social entrepreneur, business man, passionate motivator and ex rocker. Tim Smit is the man behind the Eden Project and The Lost Gardens of Heligan. He seems to be able to achieve the impossible, to convince people that great ideas can work and social enterprise and charities can be incredibly successful businesses.

Having worked on a number of regeneration projects it has become clear to me that you need a passionate voice to believe in what you are trying to achieve. Someone who can see through to the solution, who can bring people together and inspire change. Someone like Tim to lead every local council.......

UK: Eden Project Wedding

Pete and Susanna's wedding at the Eden Project.
What a fantastic venue for a wedding, an unbelievable setting, perfectly summed up by Pete's mum as a "cathedral to creation"

The Eden Project has always been fascinating to me as a landscape architect but became even more so after I was introduced to the work of Tim Smit by a classmate on my MA. I became a little bit obsessed by this fascinating and charismatic man and watched a lot if his lectures on you tube, but more about him in my next post. 

Pete and Susanna's wedding was one of the most magical weddings I have ever had the pleasure of attending. The venue and staff were superb, guests were able to wander around the project after all members of the public had left. The marriage took place in the Mediterranean dome and it really felt like we were sitting in an Italian piazza. As the sun set and it became dark outside, the lights were reflected like twinkling stars on the glass roof , the swing band played and we drank great wine and chatted to old and new friends. 

Come on Susanna!

The moment Dan and Pete realised they were now brothers

What an incredible setting

Mr & Mrs Wood

Saturday, 20 August 2011

UK: quick tour of lovely friends

We are now back in the UK for a couple of weeks doing a tour from Devon to Scotland to Yorkshire and taking in two weddings and lots of lovely friends. 

My gorgeous new birthday asos jacket (thanks mum)

Me on the front cover of the Yorkshire Post magazine! 

Le Brewery: website design

The new Le Brewery website is now live! Not bad for a months work, and a much needed improvement on the old site, you can check it out here we have also set up a twitter account @lebrewery and new company facebook page. The site was built by Dan Howe who is a rather fantastic web developer, you can find him here

Thaddius Skews and I worked on the new labels, you can see the old Mysterious Lady below

And the new one here!

So our first help x experience is now over and what a blast it has been, so much so that we are hoping to go back to Le Brewery in October for some more hard work, great beer and fabulous company.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Le Brewery: shenanigans

The new Le Brewery website is almost ready to go live which is very exciting and an epic effort from Australian Dan. I will post a link when its up and running.

We were at another medieval festival in Domfront week where we saw a man herding geese (it's another world here)

While i was sitting trying to watch come dine with me, Leila came running down the path to say that a minivan full of people wearing kilts had turned up! They turned out to be a Normandy pipe band who wanted a tour of the brewery. As there were no proper French speakers here I had to give the tour in terrible French with lots of pointing and hand gestures. The pipers then started playing (Oh Flower of Scotland amongst other things) in the brewery shop  - certainly beats come dine with me!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Le Brewery: Catching crayfish

There are a couple of streams that run through the brewery and we noticed a couple of frazzled crayfish that had been caught out on dry land, so we decided to try and catch some

The crayfish catching device - a potato sack threaded onto a coat hanger, weighed down with a stone and tied up with a piece of string - half a sausage tied on for bait

Our first catch, it was tiny but we were hopefull

and another!!

Catch number 2! The wee buggers got wise to the bright yellow net after this catch so we set them free and had sausages instead

Le Brewery: Medieval Festival Montmirail

We went to help Steve serve beer at the Montmirail medieval festival which was brilliant. Dan was dressed as a monk in one of Steves old costumes (that he later admitted he sometimes sleeps in) and I had on Juliet's old witches outfit with a curtain tie as a belt. The whole town turns itself over to the festival with medieval reenactment people parading around in some quite bonkers costumes.

The beer brother cometh

For some reason there were lots of French people dressed up in kilts, playing bagpipes and loving Scotland. When they found out that I was from Glasgow they were highly excited, this coupled with the fact that they were getting free beer made for some rather happy musicians.

Le brewery bar turns into a percussion set

Le Brewery: BBQ