Sunday, 1 September 2013

A few more mudlarking finds & the Estuary Exhibition

I had serious post holiday blues. After a few weeks in the country I was finding it difficult to accommodate ubiquitous concrete, endless coppices of different sized buildings healed into every patch of land, roads scarred with pot holes and tarmac tracks and the absence of big skies. A bit of Thames therapy was what I needed. I went down a couple of times, mainly to collect pottery for mosaic making. Few notable finds. My favourite is this piece of plate rim with apt snatch of poetry 'how I love to calmly muse..such an hour as this'. 
Mudlarking Find 'how I love to calmly muse such an hour of this'
Liked this romanticised river summer scene decorating the bottom of a bowl.
Mudlarking Find Transferware, bottom of small bowl.
A sucker for writing on pottery pleased to find T Andrews with its inverted N. The shard is hand sized and slightly curved. Nothing on the net on this one, so haven't a clue about its date. There are a few inclusions in the clay. Later I spotted a tile piece with 'rews' imprinted amongst the pottery of my blog header, which I would have found at least 18 months ago, perhaps from the same vessel? 
Mudlarking Find: T Andrews
This time did pick up one of the Raeran pottery bases I quite frequently spot, with its distinctive thumbed decoration and colour. The bottom of the  jug bulge seems far larger and thinner than usual, so perhaps I'm wrong. 

Mudlarking Find: base of Raeren ?drinking mug

Raeren Driking mug 1481 - 1610 (Museum of London) 
Walked through the city to Bank and caught the DLR which winds its way through the juxtaposition of council blocks and corporate opulence to Canary Wharf and meandered through the interesting but rather soulless 80's docklands redevelopment to the Museum of London Docklands. I'd be meaning to visit their Estuary Exhibition for ages. If like me you are rather drawn to landscapes on the margin,  with iron hulks of industrial pasts and worn resorts or just fascinated by the Thames you'll love this. The Museum of London's says 

Estuary brings together the work of 12 artists who have been inspired by the outer limits of the Thames where the river becomes the sea. The exhibition marks the 10th anniversary of the Museum of London Docklands, a converted Georgian warehouse on West India Quay. 
With its dramatic landscape – desolate mudflats and saltmarshes, vast open skies, container ports, power stations and seaside resorts – the Estuary has long been a rich source of inspiration for artists and writers. Through film, photography, painting and printmaking, the contemporary artists featured in this exhibition offer new insight into this often overlooked, yet utterly compelling, environment and the people that live and work there.

I particularly liked John Smith's Turner inspired film of the changing sea set against the sound of the waves breaking on the beach (Horizon (Five Pounds a Belgian) an interview with Smith about this work can be found here. Another favourite was the speeded up film of the Thames from the Sea to the City with old men of the Thames animated in their silent tales of their river and the bright fairground of Canvey Island peeking over its grey walled defence. Loved Bow Gamelan Ensemble brilliant performance on Rainham barges, as they are slowly submerged by the Thames tide. All very inspiring it made me want to 'do art' rather than spend my time in cerebral research about my Thames  finds - but sometimes these thoughts are best kept as thoughts as the realisation is much harder and the result often disappointing - we'll see. 

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