Great art everywhere

A baking July afternoon in Lincolnshire. Everything feels flattened under the heat: sheep, crops, fields. The houses I pass are quiet as if people are waiting for the cool of evening to come out of doors. A wrong turn has brought me to Asgarby, a village I’ve never seen: a few houses and a lovely … Continue reading Great art everywhere

‘When will I be loved?’

I’ve been made blue, I’ve been lied to When will I be loved? I’ve been turned down, I’ve been pushed round When will I be loved? Phil Everly (1960) For three decades, at least, the subsidised arts world has been sending love letters to the political class in the form of reports explaining why it … Continue reading ‘When will I be loved?’

Can you see beyond the tent?

Regular Marvels

Nicole & Martin 13

Nicole & Martin live in a caravan: it may be the least interesting thing about them.

People who live settled lives – most of us nowadays – have always regarded those who don’t with a mix of fascination and fear. Life without (apparent) ties is easily romanticised from the comfort of a property-holder’s armchair: think of Toad, abandoning the comforts of his stately home for a gypsy caravan. So it is not surprising that Nicole and Martin’s story is often told in reviews, film and even in the company’s own publicity, principally as the story of a travelling circus. It is, after all, such a quixotic tale – the Swiss family crisscrossing Europe to perform their spellbinding acrobatics in a big white tent before an unending parade of passing audiences.

It’s a good tale but, as I watched Nicole & Martin’s two performances in Oxford a few days ago, I…

View original post 799 more words

Art across borders

Migranland It is in the nature of artistic work to reach beyond the boundaries of language, culture and context. You don’t need to know anything about Japan in the Edo era to be captivated by the prints of Hokusai or Kuniyoshi. You cannot respond as a Japanese person might, and still less as a Japanese … Continue reading Art across borders

Ancient and Modern

A post from The Light Ships, one of the current Regular Marvels

The Light Ships

Medieval visions

Wrangle Church is known to architectural historians for its rare 14th century stained glass. Such survivals are unusual in English parish churches because artistic work associated with Roman Catholicism was frowned upon after Henry VIII established a Protestant Church of England, and especially by the convinced advocates of Puritanism in the 17th century. Statues, metalwork, books, paintings and stained glass were all stripped out, broken, burnt or sold. The people of Wrangle saved at least some of their ancient glass by burying it; but when it was safe to retrieve it, centuries later, its original design had been forgotten, so the glass in the north aisle windows is beautiful but hard to decipher.

Olive Cook, who produced some of the finest post-war books on English buildings and topography with her husband, the photographer Edwin Smith, gives a good account of Wrangle’s medieval stained glass:

An inscription…

View original post 334 more words