Friday, April 28, 2017

Bayeux and So Much More

I have been trying to blog more, but it has been a bit difficult this last month as I have been teaching and demonstrating  or driving to get to one place or another, and then staying in  places that have not always had the best wifi access.

First of all I am teaching  in Chartres in  the studio of Cardamome Gallery on 2 and 3 May. The first day I am teachign Tranfer Printing and stitching ( working with Lutradur) and the second day creating your own linocut, printing and stitching. The french descriptions of the workshops are on Smaranda Bourgery's blog. There is still time to join. Both these workshops are great for expanding creative ideas and mastering some simple but enjoyable techniques.

I have spent the last two days in Bayeux which was on the road to Caen where I am teaching tomorrow and Saturday. I wanted to see the Bayeux tapestry again- that marvellous 11th century embroidery  detailing the Norman conquest of Britain. Just wish I could have taken photos but also understand why I could not- and then there is the tour groups... sigh....I  was there at 9.00 am and they were already queueing. I have seen the tapestry several times and this time I was a bit struck by the bloodiness of it all and by the  really rather fine detail of the horses throughout the tapestry- the horses are quite  quite wonderful which makes me wonder about who designed the tapestry- the detail of the horses seems much finer than all the other details, and they are proportionately well executed. Below is an image which was from a  poster for the museum.

I have been staying in a monastery whilst in Bayeux. I had intended to camp,but they were forecasting rain so I though a room might be a better option.Staying in  monasteries is cheaper than staying in hotels and then there is the ambience of the experience. The monastery I am staying in is Benedictine and the sisters who deal with the public have been most helpful. The only down side is no wifi- but then again the walls are so thick that this creates a problem. It's been very peaceful and just the kind of break I needed after a rather frenetic couple of weeks which included demonstrating at Nantes for Bernina at Pour l'Amour du Fil. Everything is within walking distance which is an added bonus.

Whilst demoing for Bernina I worked a little on my  pomegranate linocut print quilt with Wonderfil wool threads. I love how these threads almost look like hand embroidery

The one thing about staying in a room  rather than camping is that you have to eat out for your meals  unless you picnic in your room. The other night when walking back from a pizza restaurant the light was just magical. I don't  usually doctor my photos at all apart from cropping, so was especially pleased with the way the colours turned out in this photo- it was almost dark but not quite, and the Cathedral is lit.

And I had not intended to go to the British cemetery in Bayeux- but in the end, in light of some of the current madnesses decided that I would, if only to pay quiet respect. I was overwhelmed- the ages of those young men, the number of those young men, the people they left behind, those that survived with all sorts of wounds- it was almost unbearable to feel the weight of what they sacrificed. I was visiting at the same time as a group of  english school boys- one lad seemed as overwhelmed as I was - I watched him- he looked at each grave attentively read each  young mans name- his head was bent in attention to what he was reading , he was reluctant to leave when the teachers called for him to join the group to leave. I don't know what his thoughts were- but I felt as if  all the cares of the world were on his very young shoulders. We must do better than resist. We must stop this bloody madness- nobody has the right to sacrifice the life of another.

1 comment:

Charlton Stitcher said...

I think that the British cemetery in Bayeux is one the most powerful places I've ever visited. We went with our two children - one our son younger than the soldiers fighting, but not by much. My feelings were almost overwhelming in their intensity.