A lifetime of cars

My Walk this Week – Travelling in Time

My walk this week is a little bit abstract in walking terms. There was some actual walking involved but I will get to that later in the week. Today I want to walk back in time first of all to 1915 and then 1942 and 1963.

by Alastair Duncan 1942

by Alastair Duncan 1942

In York recently I added a few items to my growing archive of images of my family. My intention is to digitise them over time but there is a huge collection going back many years.

Below are two photos of my Grandfather (known as Tiger) – one from each end of his life. It can be seen that in 1915 he was a soldier and in 1963 he was an artist. The next photo is of my namesake, Alastair, who died of septicaemia in 1942 – from the art and design work he had done that year at school, it can be seen that there was the potential for him also to go into the arts.

An finally another reference to travelling in time – a list of all the cars my father has had from the first to the last.

A Tale of Two Cities

Middlesbrough on New Year’s Day is the focus for this week’s posts. Last week I was looking at Belfast on Boxing Day and the lack of human activity there. Middlesbrough, on New Year’s Day, was quiet as well. Two reasons for this could be that people were recovering from the night’s festivities but the other is likely to have been the weather!

The weather on the first day of 2014 in the north east of England (if not the whole of the UK) was miserable, wet and windy. Flood warnings have been regular for many places at the end of one year and the start of the next and I feel sorry for all those who have suffered from these and the accompanying power cuts.

However, the photo below proves that it was not bad weather everywhere all of the time. The sunset reflected in the windows of Middlesbrough Town Hall as seen from MIMA on New Year’s Eve is evidence of that. Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art is a fantastic bit of architecture and always has fascinating exhibitions – we make a point of visiting it each time we are staying in the area with family.

The current exhibition by local artist William Tillyer occupies both of MIMA’s main galleries and although there were only about half a dozen works that we personally liked, the whole exhibition was interesting with some of the works being visually quite deceptive. I am not allowed to show photos from the show but you can click the links above to find out more.

Middlesbrough Town Hall

This week’s featured StillWalks video is from Middlesbrough. Although the production for “Suburban Lakeside Walk” was done in the Winter, it was clearly much better weather than is evident in the iPhone photos I took around the lake this winter.

You can use the Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video – “Suburban Lakeside Walk” which features Hemlington Lake in Middlesbrough. Click the image below to watch the video. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

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Now and Then – looking back on my work.

Sticking with the theme of conflict, this piece has, perhaps, become more personal again (see previous posts this week for context). The patterns from printed DNA are still there but the barbed wire is also becoming more personal. StillWalks development is not far off!

Woven from the back – as a tapestry artist, I have usually woven my designs from the front. Design development continues, for me, throughout the weaving process and working from the front obviously facilitated this. However, “Now and Then” had to be woven from behind and I think the reason is obvious – perhaps this piece, more than others, has indeed got my personal DNA within it!

This work is available for sale – anyone interested should contact me.

"Now and Then" - 78 x 69 x 20 cms

“Now and Then” – 78 x 69 x 20 cms

Now and Then - detail

“Now and Then” – detail

Ludlow Exhibition

Ludlow Assembly Rooms – Not long ago I visited Ludlow for the first time. I needed to view Ludlow Assembly Rooms Arts Centre as I have been invited by them to exhibit both my media work with StillWalks (including my “Interventions“) and my work as a tapestry artist. The exhibition is short notice and so I asked if my mother, Jean Duncan, could exhibit alongside me.

Beautiful Market Town – Unfortunately it was a very wet day but that did not stop us seeing what a beautiful place it is. It was very lively on this particular Saturday as it was a market day and despite the rain, very busy. Ludlow is a great example of an old English market town on the Welsh border and we have driven through the area many times from choice rather than necessity.

I took a couple of pics on my phone and look forward to setting up our exhibition there from 5th – 27th October.





Ludlow Assembly Rooms Arts Centre

Ludlow Assembly Rooms Arts Centre