Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

History

Sophie Scholl and the white rose Movement – Angles in the darkness …..

Yesterday I posted some images relating to the fantastic Jewish memorial in Berlin, I did not want to add any words to these images because I just wanted to and hoped that these images would share a feeling that I had walking and standing among the stones of this amazing public sculpture.

Today’s post is a little different, while In Berlin I came across the story of Sophie scholl and the body of Students of which she was a big part, called the “white rose“, Sophies’ story needs words, is all about words!. Words they, and she,this group used, words full of truth! yet by the simple act of using these words so many of these students including Sophie lost there lives!

If you want to try and understand what life was like under the Nazi dictatorship of the 1930’s and 1940’s, in Germany then you would be hard pushed to find any better example than the life story of Sophie scholl and the white rose movement, This was a group of German students who like many felt extremely disturbed and deeply saddened by the events they found happening around them and they simply wanted to express this feeling.

For the act of using their minds and voices to express what was a natural reaction, they lost their own lives. Sophie Scholl is one of the most famous of these student she was executed on 22 February 1943 (aged 21). She is just one individual among millions who lost their lives during the horrors, but I feel her story adds pure clarity to the events that she could not and would not tolerate unfolding around her!

How many of us today would be so brave?

“Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible crimes – crimes that infinity outdistance every human measure – reach the light of day”


Sophie scholl

It is an absolute tragedy and as Sophie herself said inhuman CRIME that someone who could and should have spent a lifetime adding to the world around herself, contributing to man kind! was killed by men who only held bitterness and discrimination of all kinds in their hearts.

I feel that by knowing more about human people like Sophie scholl, I understand the history of the Nazi’s much better, these men and women who formed their ranks embodied the very heart and soul of evil and bitterness, heartless discrimination of all kinds and not just racist discrimination but ones based of what they felt was a social right to be better than other humans based on nothing!

There is no-one better than anyone else, there is no position based on wealth, location of birth or physical standing that puts anyone higher in life than anyone else !! PERIOD!

I would like to declare myself a member of the “white rose” ! as I know if I lived Back then at 21 I would have wanted to join!

Sophie Scholl – an ANGLE in the darkness !!

Quotes from Sophie Scholl the white rose


Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Images without words …….

Memorial to the murdered jews of Europe
Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 in Berlin
Nigel Borrington 2018

Link : Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe


The legend of the Miller of Sanssouci, The WindMill of Sanssouci, November 2018

Sunset at the windmill,
Sanssoici,
Potsdam,
Germany
Nigel Borrington 2018

The windmill at Sanssouci, Potsdam is simply one of the best restored windmills in Germany, Potsdam was the home of the Prussian royal family and as such this windmill like many of the buildings located in and around the city are nothing other than the best of examples in German, even the world, architecture.

History of the Wind Mill

In 1736 the soldier king, Frederick William I of Prussia, gave permission for the construction of a windmill, which was started in 1737. This first windmill, completed in 1738, was a post mill, whose entire superstructure, supported on a wooden post, was turned “into the wind” depending on the wind direction. The first mill and actual Historic Mill was thus older than the nearby summer palace, built in the years 1745 to 1747 for Frederick the Great.

The legend of the Miller of Sanssouci

The legend of the Miller of Sanssouci first appeared in 1787 in a French book about the life of Frederick the Great (Vie de Frédéric II by an anonymous author) and in a watered-down form one year later in Germany.

The legend goes that Frederick the Great was being disturbed by the clatter of the mill sails and offered to buy the mill from its miller, Johann William Grävenitz. When he refused, the king is supposed to have threatened: “Does he not know that I can take the mill away from him by virtue of my royal power without paying one groschen for it?” Whereupon the miller is supposed to have replied: “Of course, your majesty, your majesty could easily do that, if – begging your pardon – it were not for the Supreme Court in Berlin.”
The mill in June 2009

This is only a legend. According to Frederick the Great the mill underscored the rural character of his summer palace and said “that, … the mill is an ornament for the palace.” The miller was reportedly a difficult man, who cheated the local farmers over their flour and constantly pestered the king with petitions. At least one of these petitions was heard by Frederick II. Grävenitz pointed to the fact that, as a result of the construction of the palace, the post mill no longer stood in the open, but was partly shielded from the wind. So he demanded that the king let him build the mill in another site and to pay him for it. Frederick II acceded to this, with the result that, shortly thereafter, the wily Grävenitz was the proud possessor of two mills thanks to the king’s grace, until he eventually resold the old mill.
View from the Erlöser Church

In 1768 there was a legal dispute at another location over water rights and the remaining lease between Christian Arnold, the tenant of a mill in Pommerzig in the Neumark, and his landlord, the Count of Schmettau. After the miller was found guilty on two accounts, he appealed to Frederick the Great, who intervened in the ongoing proceedings in favour of the miller. Wrongly, as it turned out later. The king referred the case to the Berlin Court of Appeal, who once again ruled against the miller. Frederick the Great, then demanded a condemnation of the judges and their imprisonment in Spandau Citadel for their unjust judgments and thus precipitated an abuse of his name.

This legal battle and the story of the Sanssouci miller were woven together in the legend and were intended to emphasize the king’s justice towards all his subjects. After the death of Frederick the Great, the case was reopened. His nephew and successor, Frederick William II decided in a compromise that “… the Miller Arnold case … should be viewed as the consequence of a mistake, whereby the praiseworthy judicial zeal of our royal uncle, who rests in God, was misled by incomplete, inadequate reporting of the true situation by badly informed and preoccupied [biased] people.”

In the years that followed there continued to be disputes between the reigning kings and the millers for different reasons.


Reflections of the past , Berlin’s Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of The Nazi’s

Memorial to Sinti and Roma victims of National Socialism,
Berlin 2018

One of the most moving things about a visit to Berlin is just how many public locations have been dedicated to the unavoidable history of Germany. Memorials to the victims of the first and second world wars along with the cold war are located all around the city and they are free to visit and open to all.

Germany is not hiding from its past or running away from it, they welcome both inquiry and then knowledge!

It is a true credit to newer generations that they have made sure that so many victims of what was only a selective group of German people, are remembered into the future in this way.

The Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims is located just across the road from the Reichstag building, the German government buildings. It is peaceful place erected in 2012. When you enter the garden you are greeted by musical tones playing from the trees around you, this experience allows you time to stop and remember so many souls that were removed from life , rejected as people not wanted, not perfect and killed for just being from a different social background,location or belief.

The establishment of a permanent memorial to Sinti and Roma victims of the Nazi regime was a long-standing demand of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma and the German Sinti Alliance. In 1992 the Federal Government agreed to build a monument but the memorial faced years of delay and disputes over its design and location.

The city of Berlin initially wanted to place it in the less prominent district of Marzahn, where hundreds of Roma and Sinti were held in terrible conditions from 1936. In 2001 it was agreed to site it in the Tiergarten close to other Holocaust memorials but work did not officially commence until 19 December 2008, the commemoration day for victims of the Porajmos. The memorial was completed at a cost of 2.8 million euros and unveiled by Angela Merkel on 24 October 2012.


Ireland’s Historic Buildings : Pearse’s Cottage (Teach an Phiarsaigh),Rosmuc, County Galway

Patrick Henry Pearse (also known as Pádraig or Pádraic Pearse; Irish: Pádraig Anraí Mac Piarais; An Piarsach) was born in Dublin on the 10th of November 1879 and he died in Kilmainham Gaol(Jail), county Dublin on the 3rd of May 1916. He was primarily an Irish teacher but was also a great barrister, poet, writer and original Irish nationalist. He was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916. Following his execution along with fifteen others, Pearse came to be seen by many as the embodiment of the rebellion.

Patrick Pearse’s Cottage at Ros Muc, county Galway in the heart of the Conamara Gaeltacht, ( an Irish speaking and strongly Irish cultural area) was used by Patrick Pearse (1879 – 1916), while he spent time teaching and marking students papers.

The cottage and its interior, although burned during the War of Independence, has been perfectly reconstructed and contains an exhibition and a number of momentous of Pearse’s life.

The cottage was Pearse’s summer residence between 1903 and 1915. It was also as a summer school for his pupils from St Enda’s in Dublin where he worked during the main Academic year.

The historic cottage, has been developed as a national monument and tourist attraction as part of the 1916 centenary commemorations; and is a key ‘discovery point’ on the Wild Atlantic Way route.

I was lucky enough to visit the cottage last week and enjoyed my time here very much, the staff helped greatly when it came to understanding the life of this great Irish man and his time spent here.

If your in county Galway, you just have to call in and spend some valuable time here !

Pearse’s Cottage (Teach an Phiarsaigh), County Galway, Gallery


Kilcooley Abbey, County Tipperary. The silence of the Abbey in the field.

Kilcooley abbey is located near the town of Thurles in county Tipperary, it was founded by the Cistercians in 1182AD when the lands were granted to them by Donal Mor O’Brien. It became one of the three great Abbeys in the local area, the other two being Jerpoint and Holy Cross.

It would have been in use at least until the dissolution of Abbeys in the 1500’s and it now sits hidden away on the lands of the Kilcooley estate.

I always love visiting this abbey as its one of the most peaceful of places you could wish of, surrounded by woodlands and farms, very little sound from the modern world penetrates the field its located in. As such you can sense the times when this abbey was first lived in and used on a daily basis as a refuge and place of worship for the Cistercian monks who would have lived here.

If there are such things a Ghosts then how could they not be found still living within and around the grounds of this great Abbey.


Time and Eternity By : Emily Dickenson, (1896)

Tintern Abbey
County Wexford
Irish Landscapes
Nigel Borrington 2018

One need not be a chamber to be haunted,
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.

Far safer, of a midnight meeting
External ghost,
Than an interior confronting
That whiter host.

Far safer through an Abbey gallop,
The stones achase,
Than, moonless, one’s own self encounter
In lonesome place.

Ourself, behind ourself concealed,
Should startle most;
Assassin, hid in our apartment,
Be horror’s least.

The prudent carries a revolver,
He bolts the door,
O’erlooking a superior spectre
More near.


Images from County Kilkenny : Kells Priory in black and white


Film Friday, Swanage Steam Railway – Traveling back to the 1940’s

Swanage Steam railway
Nikon FM2n
Nigel Borrington 2018

These images are all taken using a Nikon FM2n, loaded with Ilford XP2 Super black and white film. I used a black and white film on the day I visited the wonderful Swanage steam railway project as I felt it was perfect to capture the atmosphere of a 1940’s experience.

Sometimes when your out for the day with a camera, its the experience of finding subjects that’s the most enjoyable part of the day, on this day however it was the enjoyment of taking a trip into the past and enjoying the feeling that you had slipped back into the countryside of the 1940’s, taking these images was just a process of recording the moments.

Here is a small introduction to this great project.

Welcome to Swanage Railway

The Swanage Railway offers a more intensive heritage steam and diesel timetable train service than virtually any other preserved railway.

Steam and diesel galas, Family events plus regular Evening Dining and Sunday Lunch services complement themed events such as our highly popular Santa Special trains during the run up to Christmas.

Our award-winning standard gauge preserved steam railway is located in Dorset with easy access from neighbouring Hampshire and the South of England. Visitors can experience a unique journey through six miles of beautiful scenery passing the magnificent ruins of Corfe Castle, travelling down to the blue flag beach at Swanage.

You can even drive and fire your own steam train thanks to our one-hour footplate taster experiences

Swanage Steam railway a Film Gallery


Reefert church, Glendalough, County Wicklow

Reefort, Glendalough Monastic City, Glendalough

Glendalough has one of the biggest collections of Monastic remains in Europe, one of the most beautiful simply has to be Reefort church, located in the ancient woodlands above the lough this little chapel and is small grave yard are such a perfect reminder of an age that has long past us by.

The remains of Reefert Church are situated in a oak woodland setting, on the south-eastern shore of the Upper Lake close to an Information Office. Reefert derives its name from the Irish ‘Righ Fearta’ meaning burial place of the kings (referring to the local rulers – the O’Toole family). It dates from the eleventh century and is likely to have been built on the site of an earlier church. The church and graveyard were originally surrounded by a stone wall enclosure known in Gaelic as a ‘caiseal’. Most of the present surrounding walls however are modern. The upper parts of the church walls were re-built over 100 years ago using the original stones.

Gallery


Seven day Black and white photo challenge, Dunhill Castle, county Waterford

Dunhill Castle
County Waterford
Nigel Borrington
Black and white Landscapes

I own a big thank you to great friend and fellow photo blogger Sharon Walters Knight for tagging me last week on my facebook page, to take part in a Seven day Black and White photo challenge, I am really enjoying taking this on as its making me truly explore subject just for black and white images once again 🙂

This image of Dunhill castle, county Waterford, was taken during the last hour of bright sun light, this time of year the sun is very low in the sky so there is some great light to be captured, even more so later in the afternoon. Here I just loved the way the sun reflected on the old stone work of this great old building just moment before it set some distance away over the coast to the south.


Kells priory, county Kilkenny, Art work and Photography.

Kells Priory
County Kilkenny
Pencil on Paper
Nigel Borrington

One of the location that I love to take both my camera and sketch book is Kells Priory, county Kilkenny. Its an amazing location to capture in many forms and I am very lucky to live only a few miles away. I have posted here on my blog about it many time, you can used the search box to find these post if you wish.

The above is a Pencil on Paper drawing I worked on from about two weeks ago and below is a photo taken earlier in the summer when there was many more visitors around the site.


Ancient Ireland : Poulnabrone Dolmen and Portal Tomb, Caherconnell, county Clare Ireland

Poulnabrone Portal tomb
County Clare
Ireland
Nigel Borrington

Poulnabrone Dolmen and Portal Tomb is one of the most Dramatic megalithic sites in Ireland, it has superb sculptured form and is easily access from the road.

During the summer months it must be one of the most visited dolmens in the country. The day I visited and took these pictures it was overcast and grey, so there was less visitors than I can imagine at other times. When the site was excavated in 1986 they found some human remains some 16 adults and children plus some of their artifacts, together they dated the tomb to around 3600 B C.

The entrance some 2 meters high faces north, The capstone is tilted at the usual angle for a Doland of this type, it measures about 3 1/2 metres long and some 2 metres wide.

The name Poulnabrone means ‘ the hole of the sorrows’ There are many other interesting sites near poulnabrone including the Wedge tomb at Gleninsheen and Baur South and the Stone Fort at Caherconnell.

Situated on Karst limestone, in a field east of the Ballyvaughan – Corrofin Road the Poulnabrone Dolmen is one of Irelands more accessable megalithic structures.


Loop Head Lighthouse, county Clare, Ireland


Loop Head Lighthouse,
September 2017,
county Clare, Ireland
Nigel Borrington

Loop Head Lighthouse, county Clare, Ireland

I have just spent a few days visiting County Clare, west Ireland, finishing with a visit to the great Loophead lighhouse. As you can see the day was very typical for a Septembers day here in Ireland, wet and windy.

It was still possible to visit the top of the lighthouse however which was great fun in the strong breeze.

I have very much enjoyed visiting some of Ireland’s lighthouses over the years from the north coast down to Hookhead, on the south coast, these remote location with their lighthouse keepers buildings that would have been both a place of work and a home, all year around and in all weather conditions, are a great reminder of the past.

A past that has almost gone but can in places like these still be felt very strongly.

Sometime back I found this video and have shared it before with other lighthouse posts, its still very much worth sharing again however as it reflects on the family life’s of Ireland’s lighthouse keepers …..

Here is a little history of the Loophead lighthouse

History

The first lighthouse on Loophead was one of four known Irish stone vaulted cottage type lights built about 1670. These cottages accommodated the lightkeeper and his family in two or three rooms and had an internal stone stairway between two of the rooms leading up to a platform on the roof where a coal burning brazier or chauffer was positioned. Part of the old cottage with its battered outside wall can still be seen near the lightkeepers’ dwellings.

The light must have fallen into disuse towards the end of the 17th century because it was re-established in 1720 after aldermen and merchants of Limerick petitioned the Irish Parliament in 1717 for a light on the Head.

The cottage-lighthouse with its coal fire was replaced in 1802 by a more conventional lighthouse, built by Thomas Rogers, who was also the contractor. The tower was about the same height as the present tower with four rooms and a lantern. The ground floor room was an oil store and access to the first floor or entrance room by an outside staircase of 19 steps. An internal spiral staircase connected the other two rooms and lantern. The twelve-foot diameter lantern contained twelve oil lamps, each with its own concave parabolic reflector. The reflected light shone through a 22″ diameter convex lens of solid glass, not unlike the ‘bottle glass’ or “bulls-eye” fitted into windows of modern psuedo-Georgian houses.

By 1811 the keeper was living in an adjoining cottage, rather than in the tower.

More …..

Loop Head Lighthouse, county Clare, Ireland , Gallery


Images without words, Father Ted’s House, county Clare

Father Ted


Sense of place : Cullahill Chapel and castle in County Laois, Ireland

Cullahill castle and chapel
County Laois
Ireland
Nigel Borrington

The village of Cullahill, county Laois is located just over the boarder from county Kilkenny. It is home to some great old castle tower home and village chapel remains. Cullahill Castle was the principal stronghold of the MacGillapatricks of Upper Ossory built around 1425 and destroyed around 1650.

There are many places like this in the Irish republic, that have retained the remains of long lost times, this small village located on the R369 just north of Johnstown county kilkenny, is a perfect example of the way most small Irish villages would have been in the 1400’s. this small place is well worth a visit just to get a sense of old Ireland.


Gallery


St David’s Cathedral, St Davids, Pembrokeshire,Wales : The light from a Golden Dawn

St David’s Cathedral
St Davids, Pembrokeshire
Wales
Nigel Borrington

Images from Outside and Inside of St Davids Cathedral, St Davids, Pembrokeshire, Wales.

The Light from a Golden Dawn ……..


History in Images, County Kilkenny, Ireland, Kells Priory

Irish History
Kells Priory
County Kilkenny
Nigel Borrington

Kells Priory (Irish: Prióireacht Cheanannais) is one of the largest and most impressive medieval monuments in Ireland.

The Augustine priory at Kells, county Kilkenny is situated alongside King’s River beside the village of Kells, about 15 km south of the medieval city of Kilkenny. The priory is a National Monument and is in the guardianship of the (OPW)Office of Public Works. One of its most striking feature is a collection of medieval tower houses spaced at intervals along and within walls which enclose a site of just over 3 acres (12,000 m2). These give the priory the appearance more of a fortress than of a place of worship and from them comes its local name of “Seven Castles”.

4 km southeast of the priory on the R697 regional road is Kilree round tower and 9th century High Cross, said to be the burial place of Niall Caille Niall mac Áeda (died 917) who was a High King of Ireland.

The Priory has been undergoing a ten year long renovation project that is approaching its completion, the priory is looking amazing and has been secured for many years to come.

Here I post some new images taken during a very enjoyable visit last Sunday afternoon.

A History of Kells Priory


Kells Priory, Gallery


The Colosseum amphitheater, city of Rome

Images without words
The Colosseum
City of Rome
Nigel Borrington


Ancient European beliefs, The powers of the Hand of Glory

The Hand of Glory,
Whitby Museum
Pannet Park, Whitby,
Yorkshire,
England

Today’s post is about as far away from wild Landscapes and attractive views as you could wish for 🙂 , I can fully understand if this post is not for everyone but I hope at least you find it an interesting reflection of social beliefs and traditions from our some what dark European past ….

Abbey Steps
Whitby
Yorkshire

Earlier this month (May 2017) while visiting the great English seaside town of Whitby, with it great Museum, I came across an item that I had never heard of or seen before. Sitting in a glass cabinet in the beliefs and local traditions area was the very old and grey hand, from a long dead man, a man who would have lived locally in the town but at some point in his life come across the misfortune of being found guilty of a crime for which he would have been hanged.

The hand was described as “The hand of Glory” and in the early 19th century it would have been very much a price possession as it was believed that it offered great power, when using it according to old European beliefs along with a candle made of the fat from a malefactor who died on the gallows, lighted, and placed (as if in a candlestick) in the Hand of Glory, which comes from the same man as the fat in the candle, it then would render motionless all persons to whom it was presented.

The second of the Ingoldsby Legends (a collection of myths, legends, ghost stories and poetry written supposedly by Thomas Ingoldsby of Tappington Manor), “The Hand of Glory, or, The Nurse’s Story”, describes the making and use of a Hand of Glory. The first lines are:

Now open, lock!
To the Dead Man’s knock!
Fly, bolt, and bar, and band!
Nor move, nor swerve,
Joint, muscle, or nerve,
At the spell of the Dead Man’s hand!
Sleep, all who sleep! — Wake, all who wake!
But be as the dead for the Dead Man’s sake!

Like many people, I fine absolutely fascinating these old and somewhat dark traditions, here is a full description of this ones history and its reported uses ….

The Hand of Glory – History of the term

Etymologist Walter Skeat reports that, while folklore has long attributed mystical powers to a dead man’s hand, the specific phrase “Hand of Glory” is in fact a folk etymology: it derives from the French main de gloire, a corruption of mandragore, which is to say mandrake.Skeat writes, “The identification of the hand of glory with the mandrake is clinched by the statement in Cockayne’s Leechdoms, i. 245, that the mandrake “shineth by night altogether like a lamp”. Cockayne in turn is quoting Pseudo-Apuleius, in a translation of a Saxon manuscript of his Herbarium.
Powers attributed

According to old European beliefs, a candle made of the fat from a malefactor who died on the gallows, lighted, and placed (as if in a candlestick) in the Hand of Glory, which comes from the same man as the fat in the candle, this would render motionless all persons to whom it was presented. The method for holding the candle is sketched in Petit Albert. The candle could be put out only with milk. In another version, the hair of the dead man is used as a wick, and the candle would give light only to the holder. The Hand of Glory also purportedly had the power to unlock any door it came across. The method of making a Hand of Glory is described in Petit Albert, and in the Compendium Maleficarum.

Process

The 1722 Petit Albert describes in detail how to make a Hand of Glory, as cited from him by Grillot De Givry:

Take the right or left hand of a felon who is hanging from a gibbet beside a highway; wrap it in part of a funeral pall and so wrapped squeeze it well. Then put it into an earthenware vessel with zimat, nitre, salt and long peppers, the whole well powdered. Leave it in this vessel for a fortnight, then take it out and expose it to full sunlight during the dog-days until it becomes quite dry. If the sun is not strong enough put it in an oven with fern and vervain. Next make a kind of candle from the fat of a gibbeted felon, virgin wax, sesame, and ponie, and use the Hand of Glory as a candlestick to hold this candle when lighted, and then those in every place into which you go with this baneful instrument shall remain motionless

De Givry points out the difficulties with the meaning of the words zimat and ponie, saying it is likely “ponie” means horse-dung. De Givry is expressly using the 1722 edition, where the phrase is, according to John Livingston Lowes “du Sisame et de la Ponie” and de Givry notes that the meaning of “ponie” as “horse dung” is entirely unknown “to us”, but that in local Lower Normandy dialect, it has that meaning. His reason for regarding this interpretation as “more than probable” is that horse-dung is “very combustible, when dry”.

In the French 1752 edition (called Nouvelle Édition, corrigée & augmentée., i.e., “New Edition, corrected and augmented”), however, this reads as “..du sisame de Laponie..”, that is, in Francis Grose’s translation from 1787, “sisame of Lapland”, or Lapland sesame. This interpretation can be found many places on the Internet, and even in books published at university presses. Two books, one by Cora Daniels, another by Montague Summers, perpetuate the Lapland sesame myth, while being uncertain whether zimat should mean verdigris or the Arabian sulphate of iron.

The Petit Albert also provides a way to shield a house from the effects of the Hand of Glory:

The Hand of Glory would become ineffective, and thieves would not be able to utilize it, if you were to rub the threshold or other parts of the house by which they may enter with an unguent composed of the gall of a black cat, the fat of a white hen, and the blood of the screech-owl; this substance must be compounded during the dog-days

The hand of glory on display at Whitby Museum

An actual Hand of Glory is kept at the Whitby Museum in North Yorkshire, England, together with a text published in a book from 1823.[14] In this manuscript text, the way to make the Hand of Glory is as follows:

It must be cut from the body of a criminal on the gibbet; pickled in salt, and the urine of man, woman, dog, horse and mare; smoked with herbs and hay for a month; hung on an oak tree for three nights running, then laid at a crossroads, then hung on a church door for one night while the maker keeps watch in the porch-“and if it be that no fear hath driven you forth from the porch…then the hand be true won, and it be yours”


First Post after the Easter Holidays

irish national heritage park.
County Wexford
Nigel Borrington

I was only back in-front my laptop for the first time yesterday evening, uploading some of the images I captured over the Easter Holidays.

It was a great break, this year we stayed in Ireland but chose to visit many of the great locations the south east and west of the country has to offer.

The Irish National Heritage Park, was just one of these places, the Park gives you an historic journey that takes you deep into Ireland’s past, Through 9000 years of Irish History. It is a very special place where Ireland’s heritage comes alive with sights and sounds that shaped a country and helped to shape the bigger world.

Located on the banks of the picturesque River Slaney, The Irish National Heritage Park truly is the cornerstone of Ireland’s Ancient East.

With an outdoor museum depicting 9000 years of re-created Irish History situated within natural forestry & wet woodlands.

The following images are just some from the many I took on the day we visited ….


Landscape art and Painters , Artist: Fred Cuming

Landscape painter Fred cuming

Landscape painter
Fred cuming



Landscape painting and photography

Painting as an art form for myself feels very much like a natural progression from the art of landscape photography which is the act of recording a representation of the view you find yourself located in.

I often find myself asking what it was about an image I capture with my camera or in a sketch / painting that I liked so much that I went to the effort of working with that location in different forms and media.

This is a quote from one of my favourite landscape painters Fred Cuming, Talking about his paintings Cuming says: ‘I am not interested in pure representation. My work is about responses to the moods and atmospheres generated by landscape’

Although there are many forms of landscape art all as valid as each other, Contemporary landscape painting tends to fall into the areas of semi abstracted to completely abstract, in that each work is making an effort to extract from the selected landscape location a sense of atmosphere or a mood. This mood and atmosphere can involve colour or light or texture, or all of these things and more.

This artistic process, from pure representation or abstraction can in a completely valid way start with photography and in fact many current artists have replaced the sketch book with the film/digital camera. The question as to if this is the best thing or not will continue for a long time, some feeling that a photo simply cannot capture a good enough sense of the location or at least not in the same way as spending time in that location with a sketch book can.

Personally I feel photographs are a very important tool and can in a very valid way capture the mood and sense of a place. However I feel that you need to spend a good amount of time with your camera exploring as much as you can while your on site, walking around and finding all the different views and angles along with all the small details you can find. The aim is to return home with as complete a memory of your landscape as you can.

Here are some details of Fred Cuming as an artist along with some more of his painting…..

Artist: Fred Cuming

Fred Cuming is a painter of International standing. Born in 1930 he studied Art at Sidcup School of Art from 1945 to 1949. After completing his National Service he studied at the Royal College of Art from 1951 to 1955 where he gained a Rome Scholarship and an Abbey Minor Scholarship.

Fred was elected a Royal Academician in 1974. He has also been a member of the New English Art Club since 1960 and is the recipient of many art awards including: the Grand Prix Fine Art (1977); the Royal Academy’s House & Garden Award and the Sir Brinsley Ford Prize (New English Art Club, 1986).

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Fred Cuming has exhibited his contemporary paintings world wide. His paintings feature in many private and public modern art collections. These include: Montecarlo Museum; Royal Academy of Arts; and the Guinness Collection.

Fred Cuming paintings offer a moment for reflection. Cuming creates a relationship with nature and light – inducing observers to appreciate the calming atmosphere and realisation of the beauty around us. Many of his paintings feature the counties of Kent and Sussex where the Fred Cuming artist studio is located.

Talking about his paintings Cuming says: ‘I am not interested in pure representation. My work is about responses to the moods and atmospheres generated by landscape, still life or interior. My philosophy is that the more I work the more I discover. Drawing is essential as a tool of discovery; skill and mastery of technique are also essential, but only as a vocabulary and a means towards an idea. I struggle to keep an open mind.’

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Fred Cuming has exhibited at other leading British Art Galleries. In 2001 Cuming was the featured artist at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition with an entire gallery dedicated to his art work.In 2004 he was awarded an honourary doctorate from the University of Kent.Like all Red Rag British art and Contemporary art Fred Cuming purchases can be shipped worldwide.

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Irish standing stones : Carrigeen, Nire Valley, County Waterford

Irish standing stones Carrigeen Nire Valley  County Waterford

Irish standing stones
Carrigeen
Nire Valley
County Waterford

Irish Standing stones : Carrigeen,

Carrigeen standing stone is among the best located stones in Ireland. It stands in a superb location at the top of the picturesque Nire valley from where there is magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding mountainous region. On the day this image was taken it was -2 degrees and the mountains had a thick covering of mist.

The stone stands some height, an impressive 2.5 meters and tapering to a sharp point. It stands solidly upright and is oriented in a WNW-ESE direction.

An interesting observation here, was when looking westwards, that the jagged crest of the stone seemed to align somewhat with the distant profile of the mountain ridge to the west. (see photo below). This may be just coincidental or was it of significance and could this jagged profile of the stone have survived through thousands of years?

Apart from this speculation, Carrigeen standing stone and its surroundings is a ‘must see’.


Remembering the Battle of the Somme, in its Centenary year.

duckets grove poppy fields
Poppy fields
Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Tomorrow marks 100 years since the start of the battle of the Somme.

I am sure many will know a great deal about this shocking first world war battle, however if you would like to know more or read about it for the first time, this is a great link !

Battle of the Somme centenary: How is it being commemorated and why was it so important?

As you can see here, like so many I have linked the poppy to the Somme and the first world war, how and why this link came about is detailed below …..

What do the red poppies signify?

The association between commemorating war dead and poppies arises from the famous opening lines of Canadian army officer John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Field, which begins: ” In Flanders fields the poppies blow; Between the crosses, row on row”.

McCrae wrote the poem during the Second Battle of Ypres, the day after he helped to bury a close friend. He had noticed the way poppies bloomed around the graves and included the observation in his poem, which was written from the viewpoint of the dead soldiers.

McCrae was promoted to Acting Colonel and moved to a position behind the lines, but died of meningitis in a military hospital on 28 January 1918. His poetry, however, lived on. Published in December 1915, In Flanders Field quickly became known as one of the defining poems of the First World War.

American humanitarian worker Moina Michael was one of the millions touched by the imagery of poppies growing on the battlefield. To raise money for her work helping disabled servicemen, she came up with the idea of selling silk poppies to be worn as a tribute to the fallen.

By 1921, her efforts had led to the poppy being adopted as the official emblem of remembrance by both the American Legion and Royal British Legion, with poppy sellers an established fixture in both nations.

Gallery and Poem (John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Field)

duckets grove poppy fields macro

John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

duckets grove poppy fields close up

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

duckets grove poppy fields wide

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Another great link about the Somme is here : The Battle of the Somme: 141 days of horror