Entangled at Turner Contemporary

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Tuesday was the only day we left the immediate surroundings of Ramsgate and we drove just five miles away to Margate to the recently opened and much acclaimed Turner Contemporary. We parked nearby and paid for three hours in the car park thinking that would be quite long enough to see the Gallery (as we are not into modern art), walk along the front and the Harbour Arm (jetty) and investigate the town centre. In the end we spent over two hours in the Turner, including a quick bite to eat in the airy cafe, and had quick walk to the end of the Harbour Arm for a view of the gallery and a breath of fresh air. It was a 10 minute walk back to the car park and we realised that we had Landmark Withdrawal Symptoms and drove straight back to the Presbytery to build up the fire for the evening.

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The Turner Contemporary from The Harbour Arm

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The Harbour Arm from The Turner Contemporary

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The Shell Lady of Margate, by Ann Carrington, 2003 : A Scallop Shell Mrs Booth on the Harbour Arm

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Margate Lighthouse

The latest exhibition at the Turner is Entangled : Threads and Making. It had just opened on 28 January and will close on 7 May. We hadn’t realised that there is no permanent collection/display. There are  just three temporary shows each year.

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The Margate Knot by Anna Ray in the Foyer of the Entangled

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Entangled: Threads & Making is a major exhibition of sculpture, installation, tapestry, textiles and jewellery from the early 20th century to the present day. It features over 40 international female artists who expand the possibilities of embroidery, weaving, sewing and wood carving, often incorporating unexpected materials such as plants, clothing, hair and bird quills.

Entangled: Threads & Making is curated by writer and critic Karen Wright, with Turner Contemporary. Wright became fascinated by the making processes she saw first-hand on the many studio visits she did with artists for her ‘In the Studio’ column for the Independent. The idea for Entangled: Threads & Making evolved out of these visits, in particular one with renowned American artist Kiki Smith who was working on her epic tapestry Sky (2012), included in the exhibition.

The exhibition brings together artists from different generations and cultures who challenge established categories of craft, design and fine art, and who share a fascination with the handmade and the processes of making itself.” [Turner website and flyer]

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The Work of  Artist Eva Hess

One of my friends shared a studio with Eva Hess in New York’s Bowery in the 1960s so I was particularly interested to see her work displayed and to watch the video and hear her work being discussed but there were several other pieces of work that caught my eye. We were surprised how much we had enjoyed it, found it thought-provoking and Kathy compared it with the recent  Embroideries at The V&A and the Threads show at Great Yarmouth’s Time and Tide Museum (they’ve both finished now).

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Laura Ford’s Penguins

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Sky by Kiki Smith

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Absolutely fascinating!

 

Broadstairs on Sea

On the first Friday of February after leaving St Edward’s Presbytery and dropping my sister off at Ramsgate Station I headed to the little seaside resort of Broadstairs. It’s practically part of Ramsgate but definitely a separate place. I liked very much what I saw. I’d always been intrigued by views of the town which show Charles Dickens’s Bleak House on a cliff looking  out to sea. You can see it in the middle of the picture below. There are several Dickens connections in Broadstairs and I probably didn’t see all of them. At that early hour in the morning I was able to park easily near the sea front. As near as you can get by car, anyway. There are pleasant gardens and paths separating the beach from the road and the main streets and narrow lanes behind.

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Broadstairs Beach

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Pugin’s Presbytery

St Edward’s Presbytery in Ramsgate is one of the latest properties to be added to Landmark Trust’s portfolio. It’s restoration featured in the 2015 Channel4 TV series Restoring Britain’s Landmarks.  Just before my Amsterdam trip I celebrated my birthday with a stay there. My sister joined me and we spent 4 nights relaxing by the log fire in the evenings and taking walks and making very local visits during the days. The furthest we drove was 5 miles to Margate and back.

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Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age, Hermitage Amsterdam

As I’d decided to spend most of the day at The Hermitage I bought the full price ticket (no reductions for pensioners!) and after a tasty lunch of pumpkin soup and apple pie I headed for the other show. There’s no permanent collection, as far as I understand but the Golden Age portraits are showing for an extended period.

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1917 Romanovs & Revolution at The Hermitage, Amsterdam

Last weekend I made a short trip to Amsterdam. My Dutch friend, Monique, who joined me on my Irish trip last year, had invited me to her 60th party and I joined up with two Swiss friends (also called Barbara) for the weekend. We all met when I worked in Cambridge and they were at Language School. That summer (1977) Monique and I went to work at a Hotel in the Bernese Alps. We met up with the Barbaras during our time there and have met up over the years ever since in Boscastle, Italy, London, Grindelwald and Amsterdam. Later this year Tenerife is on the cards!

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The Hermitage Amsterdam

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Corbridge Roman Town : Supply Base to the Roman Frontier

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At the weekend staying with friends near Gateshead it was suggested that we visit Corbridge on the Saturday. I’d heard of Corbridge’s Roman connections but wasn’t quite sure what was there nor how extensive the and well-preserved they would be. I was to find out. We parked in the free car park on the opposite side of the river from the village and Roman site; spent some time in some of the multitude of small shops – including gifts and cards, kitchenwares and books; ate lunch in an excellent deli then walked to the former Roman Town about half a mile away. It was a beautiful day crisp and sunny but very very cold.

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