We didn’t manage to get to many exhibitions over the summer, so on Friday we decided that we would do our favourite double whammy – the current exhibition at Walford Mill Craft Centre, lunch at the cafe there, and on to Kingston Lacy – where the choice of culture in the house or exercise in the gardens would depend on the weather.
The current exhibition at Walford is by basket maker Lois Walpole. Before we went the Cheese family were ambivalent about baskets – I love them, Wensleydale sees them as dust collectors. We both had our eyes opened by this exhibition. As you can see from the link, Walpole uses recycled materials fro her baskets – in fact she says she no longer buys materials for them – though I suspect she has access to a supply of willow.
Although I like baskets, I’ve never been interested in making them, because of all that wrestling with sticks. [My mother, who was even more of a craft flibbertigibbet than me, did play with sticks at one time.] Walpole made me think again – so much so that in the middle of the night I ordered two of her out of print books on line. [Thank heavens for ABE books – although I do wonder how the price of the same book can vary from over £70 to less than £1.]
We had an enjoyable lunch at the Walford Bistro, and then wandered on to Kingston Lacy. It was a beautiful day so we decided to do the gardens, but realised there was a sculpture exhibition by John Phillips, so we managed to combine culture and exercise – what more could you ask. [And good food as well – perfection!]
Although Google reveals that there are a lot of John Phillipses, none of them appear to be producing work like this, so I can’t tell you much about him except that the NT described him as a ‘local artist’.
As you can see, the pieces looked very much at home in the woodland, which prompted an interesting discussion on the effect of setting on our feelings about art – they would raise some interesting questions in an urban setting, I think.
In between photographing sculpture, I photographed the varied fungi as well.
And then we had coffee and Dorset Apple Cake in the open air, before driving home the back way, through the New Forest, in lovely sunshine.