If someone told you that a painting of a landscape was a close recording of a particular place or location, you would accept their version of events. If they told you it was non representational, but an evocation of feelings, memories and ideas you might accept their argument. If they told you it was just pigment applied on a flat surface with an assortment of tools and brushes the truth of that statement would be incontrovertible. If they told you that the human capacity for producing signs and symbols grew exponentially as we dragged ourselves out of the marshland and swamps you would possibly recognise that drive and impulse. If they told you that some of these signs and symbols, by a process of global attention and universal acclaim can command exorbitant market values you would ask why? How can that be?
Running along the top of Devil’s Dyke is a narrow causeway. At this time of year it is very overgrown and a rich assortment of wild flowers are in full bloom, encroaching the path on either side. As you make your way along the ridge there is a constant accompaniment of butterflies, insects and wildlife.
Devil’s Dyke is one of the best surviving examples of Anglo-Saxon earthwork in Britain. It may be significantly shorter than the more famous Offa’s Dyke, which runs (sporadically) from north to south Wales – but Devil’s Dyke is actually higher (up to 10 metres from the bottom of the ditch to the top of the bank in places) and often better preserved. There’s much of archaeological interest throughout the route, and the county council occasionally runs guided walks to highlight the archaeology of the the Dyke – there are also seven information boards dotted along it.
One local legend describes how the devil came uninvited to a wedding (perhaps at Reach church) and was, as a result, chased away by the unimpressed guests. In anger he stormed off and formed the groove of Devil’s Dyke with his fiery tail.
Source: The Guardian
The Fens around Ely come to life with colour at this time of year. The intense yellow of the rapeseed provides a complementary contrast to the cool blues and soft greys of the Summer Cambridgeshire skies. This landscape painting in acrylic follows the traditional conventions of representation and uses the framing device of the ‘window on the world’. The twin furrows of the tractor and the ever diminishing telegraph poles lead the eye upwards and over the brow of the hill to a place that beckons but is ultimately beyond our reach, unknowable. We are always gently off balance, on an incline, convinced we are moving forwards.
July 10 th – July 11th 11 am to 6pm
Come and visit my working studio in Ely this weekend. I am studio 120 in the Cambridge Open Studios 2021 APP. Abstract and expressive paintings on canvas and paper. Download the app here: http://www.atlas-live.com/cos. Everyone welcome to just have a look and taslk about art and photography.
Just finished setting up my ‘Fenland’ black and white print series at the ‘Beyond the Image’ photographers gallery in Thornham Magna, Suffolk. The exhibition opens on July 2nd and runs until July 25th.