Saturday, August 3, 2013

Winter Pano

Although I wasn't in Tunbridge this time to see this, Mal's photos stitched together in this pano say it all - all is quiet now in the winter garden. Jack Frost is a regular visitor in the Midlands right through well into the spring season - so often as not the early blossom on our fruit trees will be burnt by the frost and then the fruit can't develop.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Winter Solstice 2013

On the evening of June 21st each year at dusk we light a fire. Usually a day or so before we will post a reminder to friends - to come and write your wish on a piece of paper and toss it into the flames. Somehow these 'turns in the tide' of our solar year hold a special charge - and the shortening days of winter (even here in the sub-tropics) conjure expressions of letting go, but also of hope.... for the sun to return and for new beginnings.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Plant Sitter

The Plant Sitter - written by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham (1959).
This charming picture story is from a collection of vintage books posted here
my vintage book collection (in blog form).: The Plant Sitter - illustrated by Margaret Bloy Gr...

Monday, April 1, 2013

Thistle's paradise

No maintenance here since Spring when our gardeners left for the mainland.
After the hot dry summer all these weeds are ripe to drop their seeds -

These little Cox's Orange Pippins are also nearly ripe, the first crop!

The silver birch are leafy enough to cast shade. So hardy, no irrigation line here.

Dogwood, dog and me.

 Elm suckers sprouting - a stressed tree's survival strategy

Saturday, March 30, 2013

a few words on the Midlands Landscape

Barbara Heath - her opening speech (text) for “The Tasmanian Landscape” Handmark Gallery, delivered 6:00pm Friday 15/3/2013.
Our Tasmanian home is in the Midlands - it’s a landscape of sparse trees - you can see the form of the land - the horizon of low rounded hills - and sky, lots of sky. Its all about space - distant views and light. The structure of the land is animated by the shifting play of light from this huge sky. We live a kilometer from the Salt Pan Plains - a landscape made famous by the Tasmanian artist: Bea Maddock - her powerful work *tromemanner - forgive us our trespass I-IV describes the physicality and history of this area. Interestingly - the painting
is owned by the Queensland Art Gallery so we were already familiar with her record of this important aboriginal place. We keep a postcard of this painting in our house in Tunbridge, it feels like a touchstone to us - an object that helps us connect to the spirit of this place.
Jewellery is also a touchstone - a physical thing - worn so close to the body. These precious little objects can be so important to us in a wordless way, carry private meanings.
This year is my 40th anniversary of being a jeweller - I’ve been reflecting (as you do) - in the beginning it was all about reinventing the wheel - creating
a vocabulary of shapes and forms - sculpture on the body. It was all about
new ideas, over time - it has become the consolidation of those ideas - about refinement and deepening into the real nature of jewellery - how it functions and feels as much as how innovative it might be. Intrinsic beauty and generosity of materials - the heft and solidity of a handmade object - the evidence of the workmanship. Now I can trace the lineage of each shape and detail in this

work - how one form or solution begat another - how historical research has introduced complexity and texture - how one colour combination excited the next.
In between working on the house or seeing a bit more of the island - each visit Malcolm and I further our tinsmith research - this time it was the West Coast + tin mining, Zeehan and Waratah . . . my mother came from Devonport,
her mother from Waratah - from Cornish tin miners. I have a deep genetic connection to this place - I suppose I’m here mining that? I’m interested in the transference of skills over time - transposing genes to memes . . .

But it is also important to recognise the role the gallery plays in this - the relationship of artist to gallery - its almost an old fashioned idea - and one that we might be in danger of leaving behind. The gallery is this conduit that enables - a culture-making vehicle. And that’s worth celebrating. So cheers - and enjoy the work!
Barbara Heath - Jeweller to the Lost 15/3/2013 77d&flag=ecatalogue&offset=0&count=default&view=details 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goodbye Primrose Street

Impressionist view of my friends Su & John's garden . . 
they are off to a new house garden job and city - including their family of two cats and numerous chickens.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tunbridge sixteen

Visit sixteen in early Spring, this time we were welcomed with wild and cold equinoctial winds on the first night of our arrival. Loud bangs and scrapes kept us alert in our bed during the night. Brisbane has cathartic thunderstorms but Tunbridge has wild, wild winds - and once again we thrilled at the differences between our two 'homes'. Green, wet, windy and cold - the morning brought bright sun and these sweet arrivals;
Muscari or Grape Hyacinth - those little garlic sized bulbs that often turn up when weeding I'm glad to see they have survived last summer's hasty re-burial in this spot. 

Apricot, the first of the espaliered trees to blossom, though the frosts that are sure to follow will usually spoil any chance of these flowers developing into fruit - this sight is charm enough.

Two survivors, Blue Fescue grass and Rosemary - looks like I should plant more of these.