My Walk this Week – Kunsthuis

I have been off the grid, so to speak, for a couple of weeks while away on holiday in Scotland but our journey there took in a couple of other destinations in the North East of England. We delivered some of Julie’s work (Julie Brunskill – Ceramics) to the Kunsthuis Gallery in Crayke just north of York and discovered at the same time that Kunsthuis also has a nice cafe and gardens to explore. So my walk this week is a short tour around the place. I’m afraid there are no sound clips with this walk so you will have to imagine the north eastern English countryside sounds.

Follow my posts through the week to see some of the plants, structures and art work in the Kunsthuis Gallery Gardens.

Kunsthuis Gallery

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Stones in Circles and the Textures of Grass

These stones arranged in circles at Three Cliffs Bay on South Gower have been there as long as I can remember (which is not necessarily all that long!), but I don’t think they go back to neolithic times. People’s footsteps have worn the ground down over time as they walk around the pattern and if it is a construction of modern times, then it is perhaps remarkable that it has remained without damage or rearrangement for so long. Is this a sign of our respect for our ancient past, even though it may be an installation of modern times, or do we just like and respond to the pattern and texture of the arrangement.

And thinking of textures and patterns, I was taken with the grasses growing alongside Pennard Pill as it twists down the valley to the bay. The subtly changing flow of the grasses in the wind, their hues of blues, yellows and greens and the dots of white and buff grass seeds and flowers remind me of the circles of stones, at least when viewed in monochrome.

stone circles

Stones in Circles

Those changing textures and patterns can also be perceived in sound. The clip below presents the susurrus (there’s that word again) of my footsteps, firstly in soft sand and then through flickering, tickering grasses as my feet brush through them on my way to catch up with the other walkers.

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Full Circle and Reviewing the Walk

I started my walk this week with a post of 360 degree views of Swansea Bay at Crymlyn Burrows. Now after getting excited about so many of the patterns and forms in the sand on this expansive beach, I have come full circle. Back in front of the Bay Campus of Swansea University the view is as good as ever but after all the subtleties of sand I was surprised by the glare of contrasting colour in front of the Great Hall on the campus. The grass was new and the paint on the tables was new too!

Mumbles Across the Bay

Mumbles Across the Bay

Contrasting colour

Contrasting colour

Virtually all sound from the city and the motorway was being blown inland by a light breeze on this peaceful morning walk and the sound of distant birds and people along with my footsteps on the sand is most of what makes up this calm soundscape.

Crymlyn Burrows Beach Soundscape

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Perspectives Viewpoints and Angles

As I proceeded further along the beach towards Port Talbot on my walk this week, I became more and more excited by the patterns I was seeing. I kept walking backwards and forwards and around in circles to view the patterns of ridges and ripples in the sand from different angles, enjoying them from different viewpoints and finding new perspectives. As I said earlier in the week, I may be becoming obsessed with sand as a natural art form.

Sand Patterns

Sand Patterns

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Patterns of Natural Sand Art

The wind on my walk this week on the beach at Colwyn Bay had been going to town (so to speak and literally!) when it comes to creating patterns. Not just the wind of course – its take the combination of wind and sea to create these particular patterns. In the first image they appear to have been brushing each others hair while in the second there has been more apparent friction with the sand ripples developing a multitude of blisters

Rivers of Sand

Sand Hair

Sand and Tide

Sand Blisters

Looking Over Corris – Reviewing the Walk

Back to my car again and looking over Corris where I have been walking this week, I was hopeful that the rain that was still falling at 5.30 AM had finished for the day and that I would be able to climb the mountain for my StillWalks production walk.

As it happens, it did not rain again but the route I ended up taking up the mountain was not my original planned path and was fairly arduous. On top of that (or the mountain), the mist came down and so the video I produce from it will be a “Misty Mountain Walk”.

Overlooking Corris

Overlooking Corris

Sorry again that there is no soundscape this week. I hope you can still enjoy the images below without it.

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Eating and Art

One of the places I wanted to check out on my walk around Corris was Stiwdio Maelor. It was closed when I was there but works of art were in the windows and as there is a long list of artists in residence for 2016 on the website, the artists may simply have been out and about in the mountain landscape. You can find out about the residency scheme for artists on the website and I am sure that any artists reading this that don’t already know of Stiwdio Maelor will be very tempted by it.

Whether artist or not, just round the corner from the gallery/studio is the local tavern to tafarn in Welsh. Imm sorry to say that it being first thing in the morning, I was not able to try it out but I heard good things from the owner of the hostel up the road.

Stiwdio Maelor - Liz Doyle

Stiwdio Maelor – Liz Doyle

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Cathedral in Bronze

Reaching the end (or the entrance) of Church Street on my walk this week around Hereford city centre, I took another of many looks at the cathedral. In front of the building is a paved area with a brick mosaic design set into it. While this is interesting, I was much more intrigued by the unusual bronze model of Hereford set on a plinth near the cathedral gates.

Taking a closer look at some of the architectural details of the cathedral could take a long time (which I didn’t have) as the building is so intricate in its embellishments.I wasn’t just taken with the designs created by the stone masons, but also with the patterns and textures of the stones themselves. Presumably these have been produced when cutting the blocks for building.

I’ll be able to take another look at the interior of the cathedral next week, not for the purpose of posting on this blog but for my younger daughter’s graduation from Hereford College of Art – well done Hannah – you can see her work at

Hereford in Bronze

Hereford in Bronze

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Seeing it as it is – details of the bigger picture

Nearing the end of my short street walk this week I was considering how useful a camera can be in helping to pick out aspects of an environment. Without peripheral vision plus the ability to select a point of focus it is possible to present reality as abstract. I have not taken todays photos that far and the subjects of all these images are identifiable, but seeing it as it is does not necessarily mean there is an understandable context.

If you have seen my previous posts this week you will know that the context is a city centre street along which I have been walking, looking and listening to my surroundings. But taking the images of today’s post on their own, there is a great deal of contextual information they do not give. This means the photos almost force you to consider their more abstract elements and forget about the street or town they may be in – peeling paint, the pattern of broken glass, marks on a road surface and lines in a wall.

street markings

The penultimate photo below is in a specify location in a specific town / city. It can only be one particular place but at the same time it could be anywhere. I like the vertical columns in the background set behind the horizontal pattern of parked cars but wanted to bring some more attention to them give the image a little more individuality. So with a monochrome conversion, a little digital manipulation and a tighter crop . . .

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My Walk this Week – Bay Campus

My walk this week took me round Swansea University’s new Bay Campus on the seafront along the eastern approach to Swansea. It was a sunny(ish) Saturday morning and the place was fairly quiet. As I strolled through the large open spaces between the buildings I thought “this is very nice and new in the sunshine, but they’re not going to like it much when the bad weather blows in!”

The Great Hall, Swansea University Bay CampusI started my photography of the walk on the seaward side of the campus and found, down on the beach looking out across Continue reading