Monthly Archives: September 2016

Art and about

We have been visiting local artist’s open studios as part of the C-Art event and have seen some fantastic work by Brian Shields, John Anderson, Rosie Galloway-Smith and Ceri Allen.

Brian Shields’ work inspired by the poet John Clare struck a chord with us as one of his poems was read at our wedding in 2013 …

Love Lives Beyond the Tomb
Love lives beyond
The tomb, the earth, which fades like dew—
I love the fond,
The faithful, and the true

Love lives in sleep,
‘Tis happiness of healthy dreams
Eve’s dews may weep,
But love delightful seems.

‘Tis seen in flowers,
And in the even’s pearly dew
On earth’s green hours,
And in the heaven’s eternal blue.

‘Tis heard in spring
When light and sunbeams, warm and kind,
On angels’ wing
Bring love and music to the wind.

And where is voice,
So young, so beautiful and sweet
As nature’s choice,
Where Spring and lovers meet?

Love lives beyond
The tomb, the earth, the flowers, and dew.
I love the fond,
The faithful, young and true.
Known as “the peasant poet” John Clare spent much of his life in and around the small Northamptonshire village of Helpston.

Born in 1793 he worked as a farm labourer and in the local tavern the Blue Bell Inn next door to his home.

His work focused on his natural surroundings, capturing the changing seasons and the nature around him but he struggled to make any impact as a poet in his early life.

Success came in 1820 after completing Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery. Visits to literary society London enhanced his reputation and increased his fame, but the tag “peasant poet” remained throughout his life, possibly because he lacked an academic background.


‘The Patronage of John Clare’ Brian Shields

Clare suffered from bouts of depression and after suffering delusions, in 1837, he was committed to an asylum where he spent the last 26 years of his life. He left the asylum in High Beach Asylum in Epping Forest in July of 1841 and walked 80 miles back home later described in his book Journey Out of Essex. This didn’t stop his writing, however, and he continued to write poetry, becoming increasingly influenced by the work of Byron, until his death in 1864.


‘The Betrothal’ Brian Shields

We met Rosie at Carlisle Guild Hall while she was working on her textile map of the Carlisle floods of 2015.

We own one of Ceri’s landscapes and it was great to meet her in person


‘Heather Burn’ Ceri Allen


Surreal Afternoon…..’Eden Brows Armathwaite’with John Anderson and Brian Shields

The individual pendulums of John’s pendulum wave machine are timed over fifty swings and must be accurate to within three tenths of a second to work.


‘John’s Swinging Cementoids’can be viewed at…..


From the outside looking in. One of Brian’s mirrors with reflection of bird table in the garden.



Scarecrows and cream teas

This weekend was the very first Armathwaite Scarecrow  Festival. Tickets were just £3 for adults and £2 per child and included a cream tea and map for adults and a cake, drink and map for children.


We were lucky as it’s been gloriously sunny. We started with a cream  tea in the Dukes Head and then took Rigsby and Shackleton for a walk along the trail. There were 28 scarecrows in total although only 25 shown on the map. There were some excellent creations.

Our very own Frank Sidebottom appeared, guarding the Timperley rhubarb with his puppet ‘Little Denise’ …


There were familiar characters from the series ‘Open All Hours’ in the shape of shop keeper ‘Arkwright’and across the road leaning out of a window was the object of his desire ‘Nurse Gladys Emmanuel’. Long suffering middle aged delivery boy Nephew Granville’ was taking a break from chores on a bench nearby…

‘Eddi’ and ‘Patsy’ of Ab-Fab fame were spotted having G&T and a smoke outside the Dukes Head…


‘Sponge Bob’ was having a barbecue….


There were 2 weary travellers up by the station approach; clearly no one had told them there are no trains running until 2017 while the underpinning of the embankment is in progress, following the recent floods.


And here are the others…

A success! You know it was, it really was…


That’s the Spirit !

This weekend the Village hosted The Spirit of the Eden art exhibition. This is the third show and the standard of work gets better and better year on year.

Phil exhibited his paintings ‘Lanercost Priory’, ‘Us and the Village’, ‘Armathwaite sunrise’ and ‘Why hast thou forsaken me?’ This last painting was inspired by a recent proposal to locate a massive wind turbine in the area. It’s an observation that when one is planted more will grow. The drawing and narrative for his stained glass window recently installed in the Church next door hopefully encouraged visitors to go and have a look.


The work of the mysterious local artist Goldy (the Banksy of Eden) was exhibited alongside and evoked mixed reactions. Some found it hilariously funny, others were disgusted, some just didn’t get it.


Perhaps the latter included dog walkers who don’t pick up …. Maybe they would if they were made of gold!