Westminster’s Church Street, London NW8 – Present (24th June) and Past (Salisbury Cathedral)

Antiques Anonymous 2017 - image courtesy of Aerial Storytelling (Instagram @joelelman) (7)_preview

Antiques Anonymous 2017 – image courtesy of Aerial Storytelling (Instagram @joelelman) (7)

 Last September I had the pleasure of writing about a new antiques event taking place in the antique hub that is Church Street NW8 – the Antiques Anonymous Flea Market – and as the photographs show it was a successful and well-attended event. I am delighted to be able to tell you that a second edition takes place on Sunday, 24th June 2018 (11am-5pm, free entry). So do get along there for there is much to discover and enjoy, including food and music.

mose window internal picture plus drawing 007

Salisbury Cathedral – Moses and the Brazen Serpent Window. Courtesy of Salisbury Cathedral

I am unable to be there this time for I no longer live nearby but here in Salisbury there is a direct connection with Church Street which dates back to the late 18th century. In Salisbury Cathedral, above the High Altar, is a triple window depicting Moses and the Brazen Serpent which was given by the second Earl of Radnor, who lived in nearby Longford Castle. The scene, after a picture by John Hamilton Mortimer ARA, is a work in ‘pot-metal glass, enamel and stains’ * executed by Richard Askew who was working in Church Street for the glass painters James Pearson and his wife Eglington Margaret Paterson. What makes the window special is the technique used which was enamelling directly on to plain glass sheets before firing them. Askew also worked for William Duesbury at the Derby porcelain factory.

* Richard Askew – Derby Artist by Major W. H. Tapp, M.C.; The Antique Collector, April 1936.

 

 

http://www.antiquesanonymous.london

www.salisburycathedral.org.uk

Les Colombes in Salisbury, until 22nd July 2018  

Doves

Les Colombes – Salisbury Cathedral

Les Colombes, an installation which started out as a commemoration of the end of the First World War, has gained even greater significance since the nerve agent attack earlier this year in this historic city.  Doves are a symbol of peace and hope and so totally appropriate as an antidote to the events that took place here.

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Michael Pendry installing Les Colombes in Salisbury Cathedral, 9th May 2018

The artist Michael Pendry has exhibited these works at various places around the world and encourages local people to create new doves to add to the total number and has done the same here in Salisbury Cathedral where some 2,500 ‘fly’ in the nave.

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Les Colombes reflected in William Pye’s font in Salisbury Cathedral

The step of taking the doves into the shops and city is a beautiful one for it spreads the message of peace and hope into the community and perhaps, just as following the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the apostles at Pentecost enabled the Apostles to be understood by people of different nations, it will be one that resonates with the many visitors that come here from around the World.

Doves in Casa Fina, High Street, Salisbury (c)

Doves in Casa Fina, High Street, Salisbury (c)

The artist says of his work: “Although the doves are folded by different people in their unity they stand for a fundamental human right – the right to peace and freedom. The time has come to declare ourselves and to stand up for this! May the flock of doves grow, from place to place, from country to country, and across all borders. Peace, freedom, and sustainability in a world of change and disturbance are the key themes of my installations.”

May his words as we approach Pentecost 2018 be heard both near and afar and acted upon.

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Reflections in Salisbury Cathedral

https://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/

http://www.michaelpendry.de/

https://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/salisbury

www.casafinasalisbury.co.uk

#SalisburyCityofDoves

 

The Salisbury Museum: Goliath, until 1st June 2018

Goliath 5 April 2018The name Goliath conjures up various images in one’s mind – large imposing, strong, unbeatable – and therefore you could be excused for envisioning a statue even larger than Michelangelo’s ‘David’ in Florence. Well the celebrated sculptor Johannes von Stumm, a former President of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, offers a different approach.

Goliath 1 May 2018His ‘Goliath’ stands on the ‘Wessex Plinth’ outside Salisbury Museum and its form recalls the standing stones of this area. It is of West Country granite combined with a glass head which recalls the actual fragility of Goliath against the stone from David’s sling.

Politics is a vocation where one can see “Goliath-like” figures rise to an almost unassailable prominence and then as most recently seen in this Government be brought down quickly but fortunately not as permanently as David did so many centuries ago.

 

 

www.salisburymuseum.org.uk 

www.vonstumm.co.uk

www.gardengallery.uk.com

An update: Sir Edward Heath – at home

An update: Sir Edward Heath – at home, until 1st November 2017

The view from Sir Edward’s bedroom window

Further to my post on Sir Edward’s home in Salisbury on 28th July 2016 I thought you may well be interested to know that Sir Edward’s bedroom – now used as a meeting room – is open to the public for the first time but retains its original contents. The artworks include watercolours by Thomas Bush Hardy, Peter Greenham and a gouache attributed to Giacomo Guardi. There are also pieces of Biedermeier furniture and a small occasional table which is thought to have been made by Sir Edward’s father. As I said last year this is great place to visit.

Biedermeier secretaire cabinet

 

A small mahogany occasional table possibly made by Sir Edward’s father.

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.arundells.org/

‘The Great Salisbury’

Constable in Context: Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows in perspective, The Salisbury Museum, The King’s House, 65 The Close, Salisbury SP1 2EN, until 25th March 2017

 

Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, 1831 John Constable (1776 - 1837) © Tate, London 2013 Purchased with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Manton Foundation, Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation) and Tate Members

Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, 1831
John Constable (1776 – 1837) © Tate, London 2013 Purchased with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Manton Foundation, Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation) and Tate Members

John Constable called this painting ‘The Great Salisbury’ and also wrote ‘I am told I got it to look better than anything I have yet done.’ Well, I certainly am not going to disagree with him there. It was secured for the Nation by the Tate through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), The Manton Foundation, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation) and Tate Members and will tour the UK as part of ‘Aspire’.

The City & Cathedral of Salisbury from Harnham Hill, 1955 Lord Methuen © The Salisbury Museum

The City & Cathedral of Salisbury from Harnham Hill, 1955
Lord Methuen © The Salisbury Museum

One of his ‘six footer’ canvases it is a tour-de-force and its radical style was a turning point for many artists who copied Constable’s “expressive” style for architectural subjects. The Museum in this fascinating exhibition has made the painting the centrepiece of a show which focuses on images of the Cathedral from the 17th century up to this century, including works by Henrick de Cort, Frederick Nash, Frederick MacKenzie and JMW Turner.

West Front of Salisbury Cathedral, 1900 Albert Goodwin © The Salisbury Museum

West Front of Salisbury Cathedral, 1900
Albert Goodwin © The Salisbury Museum

The Museum’s Marketing Officer, Louise Tunnard, sums it up well saying: “Salisbury Cathedral is one of the most significant and memorable buildings in England – so many of us have direct memories of this building that will always be treasured. Just in the same way that you never forget your first view of the sea, people do not tend to forget their first view of the Cathedral. The impact this building has had on artists and their subsequent urge to record it for posterity, has provided us with an amazing record of the building over time.

The irony is that as human beings, having seen something we then tend to stop looking closely at it, but I hope this exhibition will encourage residents of Salisbury and visitors alike, to really look at the Cathedral building and see how lucky we are to live and work alongside such a wonderful structure.”

Salisbury Cathedral from the West, 1671 Wesceslaus Hollar © The Salisbury Museum

Salisbury Cathedral from the West, 1671
Wesceslaus Hollar © The Salisbury Museum

I couldn’t agree more. The Cathedral is such a special place and whenever I go to Salisbury it is the first place I visit to wonder and marvel anew.  Constable obviously felt the same way too – thank goodness!

Kate Giles and her painting after John Constable. Courtesy of Salisbury Museum

Kate Giles and her painting after John Constable.
Courtesy of Salisbury Museum

http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/

http://www.tate.org.uk

Related Matters

Studio Sem, Pietrasanta, 2016, Henryk Hetflaisz

Studio Sem, Pietrasanta, 2016,
Henryk Hetflaisz

It was a great delight to meet the sculptor Helaine Blumenfeld OBE again at the opening of her exhibition Hard Beauty at the Hignell Gallery in Mayfair’s Shepherd Street (hignellgallery.com).  Her exceptional sculptures which combine the ideas of abstraction and figuration are tours de force which take great skill and verve to create as there are elements of risk in that process.

Helaine Blumenfeld OBE, Taking Risks, Terracotta, 2016, Courtesy Hignell Gallery, ‎Henryk Hetflaisz -001

Helaine Blumenfeld OBE,
Taking Risks, Terracotta, 2016,
Courtesy Hignell Gallery, ‎Henryk Hetflaisz -001

Just a short walk away in Bruton Street you still have the chance to see an exhibition (until 29th October) devoted to Helaine’s father-in-law the renowned photographer Erwin Blumenfeld.  Entitled Erwin Blumenfeld: From Dada to Vogue, it is being shown at Osborne Samuel (www.osbornesamuel.com) and comprises of a mixture of original photographs, drawings collages and personal ephemera which have come from his family.

Erwin Blumenfeld, Vogue, Paris, 1938, Silver Gelatin Print, Courtesy Osborne Samuel

Erwin Blumenfeld,
Vogue, Paris, 1938,
Silver Gelatin Print,
Courtesy Osborne Samuel

This exhibition’s importance is highlighted by its curator Lou Proud who says:  It is simply not possible to put into few words the importance of Erwin Blumenfeld’s work, let alone its stand alone beauty and ever resounding influence on today’s image makers. It’s fascinating how someone who did everything possible to stretch, bend and break the existing boundaries of traditional photography, managed to create works that reach far beyond what we could ever dream that the medium of photography would and could deliver, leaving us In Memoriam, with what only can be described as ‘solidified magic’.

Erwin Blumenfeld, Shadowed Silhouettes, 1953, Silver Gelatin Print, Courtesy Osborne Samuel

Erwin Blumenfeld,
Shadowed Silhouettes, 1953,
Silver Gelatin Print,
Courtesy Osborne Samuel

While writing about Osborne Samuel it seems right to mention that they were behind the loan of Lynn Chadwick’s Walking Woman (1984) to Salisbury Cathedral where it can be seen on the West Lawn.  The gallery has had a long relationship with the Cathedral (www.salisburycathedral.org.uk).

Lynn Chadwick Walking Woman (1984) Credit Ash Mill

Lynn Chadwick
Walking Woman (1984)
Credit Ash Mill

Sir Edward Heath – at home

Sir Edward Heath – at home in Salisbury

Arundells - Entrance Front

Arundells – Entrance Front

Standing in the wonderful environs of Salisbury’s Cathedral Close is Arundells a beautiful house of Georgian appearance which in part dates back to the mid-thirteenth century.  It was from 1985 to 2005 the home of the former politician and Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath and although he had a long political career the house is very much a personal home which reflects all facets of his life. It is important to remember as you go round it that it remains very much as it was when he lived there.

The Entrance Hall

The Entrance Hall

Immediately on arrival at the entrance hall you get the welcoming flavour of the house and an idea of how the strands of his interests are skilfully woven together. This he achieved with the help of the designer Derek Frost. Many of the paintings in the hall reflect his love of sailing through depictions and models of the five Morning Cloud yachts he sailed and interspersed among them are Napoleonic prisoner-of-war ship models made from bone and rigged with fine strands of hair.  The maritime-inspired combined clock and barometer was a gift from President Nixon.  There are also drawings by Sickert and Augustus and Gwen John.

Sir Edward seated at the piano in the Drawing Room

Sir Edward seated at the piano in the Drawing Room

A photograph of a young Sir Edward with Augustus John and Dorelia can be seen in the adjoining drawing room which is dominated by a Steinway grand piano which Sir Edward played and upon which are photographs of politicians and world leaders.  Among the many artworks in the room are paintings by L S Lowry, Ken Howard RA, Derek Hill and a painting of Heath’s home town ‘Broadstairs’ by Sir Robert Ponsonby-Staples which was a gift from Sir John Betjeman, given as Sir Edward had so often admired it when visiting Betjeman. Two pieces of sculpture one of Sir Winston and Lady Churchill by Oscar Nemon and a bust of Sir Edward by Martin Jennings are worthy of inspection as are the carved Chinese pieces on the mantelpiece and to its right the display of blue and white porcelain including a large pair of bottle vases which were a gift from Chairman Mao.

Portocarrero ‘Girl in a Fantastic Costume Cuba’

Portocarrero
‘Girl in a Fantastic Costume Cuba’

Pictures in the corridor towards the dining room and library include two paintings by Sir Winston Churchill which he gave to Heath.  There is also a fine group of etchings by William Wyllie, two Singer Sargent’s and a painting by the Cuban artist Portocarrero which was a gift from Fidel Castro.

The Dining Room

The Dining Room

The dining room is hung with pictures by John Piper, including two Sir Edward commissioned himself.  The table is set for lunch which was one of his favourite ways of entertaining – roast lamb followed by Stilton cheese, halibut and lemon pudding were among his favourites as were Brussels sprouts – and from the place cards on view when I was there one gets an idea of the wide range of people he invited which included Princess Margaret, Sting and Sir Harold Wilson.  Dame Maggie Smith, Terry Wogan and Yehudi Menuhin are among other well-known guests. There is also a large group of ceramic pieces on display including Tang pottery, Sevres, Chelsea and Worcester porcelain as well as some Copenhagen Flora Danica.

A view of some of the ceramics in the Dining Room

A view of some of the ceramics in the Dining Room

The Library overlooking the garden contains the high wing-back chair Sir Edward favoured and it was where he would entertain and chat to colleagues and friends from all political parties and walks of life. The walls are adorned with 18th and 19th century Japanese prints which perfectly suit the room. One of the major achievements of his political life was a growing rapport between the UK and China which is also reflected throughout the house but he also obviously had an interest in their arts and culture which is particularly apparent in the panels of specially commissioned wallpaper on the staircase which relates the popular Chinese legend of the Monkey King. They were a house-warming present from two of his former Private Secretaries.

The Library

The Library

Upstairs is Sir Edward’s study which was his private sanctum and where he worked at a Georgian writing desk which had previously belonged to David Lloyd-George. Heath’s army career is also recalled in another room with uniforms and other memorabilia on show from when he was with the Royal Artillery during the War and later on with the Honourable Artillery Company. His Garter Banner hangs on an upstairs corridor wall.

The Study

The Study

Downstairs just beyond the stair hall is a short corridor which is hung with political cartoons by leading cartoonists such as Giles, Jak, Low and Trog, many of which feature Sir Edward.  He enjoyed sharing them with his visitors although sometimes I imagine it may have been a wry chuckle.

Emmwood ©The Daily Mail

Emmwood
©The Daily Mail

Outside the beautiful garden, an intriguing combination of open spaces and secluded areas, is very much as created for Sir Edward.  It stretches down to the confluence of the Rivers Nadder and Avon and reveals a wonderful view across to the meadows. In one corner is the restored bow of Morning Cloud III which was sunk by a freak wave in September 1974, and whose two crew members Nigel Cummings and Christopher Chadd (Sir Edward’s godson) tragically lost their lives.

The view from the end of the garden

The view from the end of the garden

At the front of the house with its view into the Close and of the Cathedral is an exhibition space in a building which used to house Sir Edward’s archive.  At present (until mid-August) there is a display focusing on ‘World Leaders of the 1970s: A Decade of Turmoil’ which features President Nixon, Leonard Brezhnev, Chairman Mao Zedong, Willy Brandt, Indira Gandhi, President Pompidou, Kakuei Tanaka, Pierre Trudeau and Henry Kissinger.  Interestingly enough the latter will be giving a lecture in London in October as part of a series of celebrations organised by the Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation to celebrate the centenary of Sir Edward’s birth (9th July, 2016). The following exhibition which runs until May 2017 is ‘Heath at 100: A Political Life in Cartoons’ which promises to be a fascinating way of remembering the major events of his time in politics.

Tang Dynasty Horse

Tang Dynasty Horse

My visit made a lasting impression and I would readily accept an offer to live there just as it is, because it’s a happy house of taste, comfort and history.  I can quite understand why Sir Edward fell in love with it at first sight and for us visitors today it is extremely fortunate that he was able to acquire the lease in 1992 and that he formed a charitable trust which allows us to share in the delights of Arundells and to remember Sir Edward, the man.

Sir Edward in the garden. The spire of Salisbury Cathedral can be seen in the background.

Sir Edward in the garden. The spire of Salisbury Cathedral can be seen in the background.

http://www.arundells.org

Hiroshi Yoshida The Inland Sea Series

Hiroshi Yoshida
The Inland Sea Series