Saturday, 23 June 2012

Showing now


To Barnstaple yesterday afternoon with The Gardener, who, not wishing for a second day of coming home like a drowned rat, decided he could legitimately be rained off and do something more pleasant than wielding wet hedge trimmers above his head in clouds of petrol fumes.





There were only two days left of this exhibition of James Ravilious' wonderful photographs of rural life in North Devon, and we just had to catch it. 



We drove over Exmoor in changeable weather, had a cafe lunch, people-watching as we ate.



We wandered off to the museum, saw the exhibited photos of a largely-lost way of life, including the rather moving BBC documentary that accompanied them - narrated by Alan Bennett - as I struggled with the rich, rolling accents.



Cheerful Olive Bennett, seen here with her cows in 1979, was particularly impenetrable to my untrained ear. You can see her and the other farmers and smallholders here:



Then we had a pootle round the town. We didn't have time to go inside the parish church with its wonky steeple.


Another coffee stop.




The Gardener employed certain tactics to avoid having his photograph taken, but persistence won through, and at last his exaggerated sense of privacy has given way to polite requests to have him, and not just his manky old boots, shown on my blog. Here he is, looking far more serious than he really is; the man who often makes me laugh helplessly.




On our way to the car park, having been handed a flyer for a play about The Hunting of the Snark, we were not too alarmed to be charged most ferociously by a pair of fearsome pirates.



My new (old) bench had been delivered in our absence, and was sitting quietly outside the cottage.



It's in for some gentle refurbishment and fresh paint, and suits me and my short legs very nicely. Catkin approves too. Like The Gardener, she can look misleadingly serious.

19 comments:

Sue said...

I love James Ravilious' photography. He was, as I am sure you know, the son of the artist Eric Ravilious. I know his sister.

I'm liking the Gardener.

zephyr said...

:^)

flwrjane said...

The gardener is a hottie.

Am I allowed to say that here?

xo jane

mountainear said...

I'm a big fan of Eric Ravilious - but Haven't discovered James. A treat in store.

Very glad your Gardener makes you laugh - found myself with a silly grin on my face looking at your photos.

the veg artist said...

Hello properly Gardener!

June said...

I do love the accents! I would've thought northern England, but I don't know one UK accent from another so that isn't surprising. I do love the sound of them all, though.
And those photos are just grand!

Frances said...

Well, thank you for finally giving us the gardener..you have teased long enough! He looks a bit Hugh Laurie in the photo with the 2 fingers I thought. X

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I must say I'm glad to see that his face is less baleful than the cat's !
And between you , you do know how to have a good day out . May you both enjoy many a cup of tea on that lovely bench .

Toffeeapple said...

What a good exhibition, I enjoyed the video so much that I spent a good while here watching Alan Bennett being lovely about libraries. Your picture making is changing, are you enjoying it more now? It is so good to see shots of the Gardener, he has very friendly face and I am glad that he makes you laugh a lot.

Interesting to know that Sue knows James Ravilious's sister - I should love to know if she also carries the artistic gene.

Noelle the dreamer said...

Great post Rachel and as always very interesting! Thanks for sharing!
Ex-RAF hubby says he agrees with The Gardener and wouldn't like his photo taken either let alone have it published...
Catkin looks comfy!
A(very cold) hello from the (yet again) rainy Pacific NW coastline...
Summer...please show yourself!

judy in ky said...

I love the "quietness" and the "softness" of James Ravilious' photographs. I am happy that you acquainted me with his work. The Gardener looks shyly charming.

Marcheline said...

I'm with flwrjane... The Gardener is quite yummy!

Love the bench and the kitty, too!

Sue said...

In answer to Toffeeapple's query, yes, the artistic gene has found its was to Eric's daughter. She studied art quite late in life. My parents have a piece by her but I don't know if she sells her work. Incidentally, the gene comes not just from Eric but his wife Tirzah Garwood who was a noted engraver and printmaker.

Toffeeapple said...

Oh Sue, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my query. And to lead me off on another enquiry...

Liz said...

The gardener should perhaps be renamed The Dish.

Am in south Devon on Wednesday and Thursday often. It is a beautiful county.

Alicia said...

I have missed you so!

Alicia said...

I have missed you so!

colleen said...

It's good news that the Beaford Archive is now available on line. James Ravilious took some photos of us when we were traveling through Devon in 1976. I've searched the archive but we're not there. I'd love to unearth them.

jabblog said...

It's a charming exhibition. How wonderful that he could take photos of people almost without them realising it - that's a knack many would wish for.

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