Travel theme: Relaxing

This is Ron Mueck’s Drift from Art Big and Small at Belsay Hall in 2010.  The installation is hung vertically, crucifix-like, in a distinctly uncomfortable manner.  Viewed side-on and switched to the horizontal the work becomes much more relaxed.  This must be Frankie when he finally got to Hollywood:


Make making it your intention
Live those dreams
Scheme those schemes
Got to hit me
Hit me
Hit me with those laser beams

(This is a very creative remix but if you were offended by the original, please don’t listen; this is an ‘enhanced’ version)

Belsay Hall

These are more photographs from a recent trip to Belsay Hall in Northumberland.  Not only were the main rooms decorated with flower displays but also the working rooms in the wings – it is these which are more interesting.  Just look at the uneven floor next to the staircase – how many down-trodden servants’ footsteps does it take to wear valleys in stone:

Belsay Hall

Belsay Hall

Belsay Hall

Empty rooms

I have previously posted a number of photographs from Belsay Hall and this post includes yet more.  I like Belsay; it is a solid imposing structure which sits squarely and at home in the Northumberland landscape despite, or perhaps because of, its Grecian architecture. Part of the attraction is that the building is almost entirely empty and I am not obliged to feign interest in some dead toff’s silverware and porcelain collection.  It is the perfect exhibition space which over Easter housed a floral display on the lower floors, arranged on a theme heralding the forthcoming “Frills & Frivolity” display of Regency costumes from film and TV. I was more taken by the empty rooms on the upper floors which have an eerie dream like quality:

Empty rooms Empty rooms


Travel theme: Smoke and Mirrors II

I had always imagined Smoke and Mirrors to be an expression dating from the early 20th Century alluding to magicians.  However, the figurative use is much more recent and according to, originates from the writings of the American journalist Jimmy Breslin and his 1975 Notes from Impeachment Summer:

“All political power is primarily an illusion… Mirrors and blue smoke, beautiful blue smoke rolling over the surface of highly polished mirrors… If somebody tells you how to look, there can be seen in the smoke great, magnificent shapes, castles and kingdoms, and maybe they can be yours.”

This is the history mirror which only ‘reflects’ events several seconds after they have happened – ingenious time travel achieved by smoke and mirrors:

The history mirror