Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Nigel Borrington

Kilkenny landscape photography : Ballybay Wind farm, county Kilkenny

Ballybay Wind Farm, near Tullaroan

Renewable energy company Gaelectric has completed a €38 million financing agreement with AIB for the construction of two wind farms in Co Kilkenny.

Ballybay Wind Farm, near Tullaroan, will feature six Enercon turbines generating 13.8MW of electricity, which will meet the demand of about 9,300 homes.

Foyle Wind Farm will have four Enercon turbines generating 9.6MW, Gaelectric said, and will meet the demand of about 6,500 homes.

Operational in 2017

Both wind farms are expected to become operational during the second quarter of 2017.


County Kerry without words, an irish landscape gallery …….


Christ of Saint John of the Cross, by Salvador Dalí 1951, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

Christ of Saint John of the Cross
Salvador Dalí made in 1951
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

At the start of May this year (2017) I visited the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgowm, there are many great works of art there, including a full collection of works by the Glasgow boys group of artists, I will share some of their paintings very soon.

One of the most famous works of art in the Gallery is “Christ of Saint John of the Cross, by Salvador Dalí painted in 1951”, the painting has its own viewing room with subdued lighting and a set of seats, so you can spend sometime viewing this amazing work of art by Dali. It was while in this room that I captured the above image of the painting.

There is something deep and spiritually moving about this painting even if your not a believer in its subject matter.

Here are some details :

Christ of Saint John of the Cross
is a painting by Salvador Dalí made in 1951. It depicts Jesus Christ on the cross in a darkened sky floating over a body of water complete with a boat and fishermen. Although it is a depiction of the crucifixion, it is devoid of nails, blood, and a crown of thorns, because, according to Dalí, he was convinced by a dream that these features would mar his depiction of Christ. Also in a dream, the importance of depicting Christ in the extreme angle evident in the painting was revealed to him.

The painting is known as the Christ of Saint John of the Cross, because its design is based on a drawing by the 16th-century Spanish friar John of the Cross. The composition of Christ is also based on a triangle and circle (the triangle is formed by Christ’s arms; the circle is formed by Christ’s head). The triangle, since it has three sides, can be seen as a reference to the Trinity, and the circle may be an allusion to Platonic thought. The circle represents Unity: all things do exist in the “three” but in the four, merry they be.

Inspiration

On the bottom of his studies for the painting, Dalí explained its inspiration: “In the first place, in 1950, I had a ‘cosmic dream’ in which I saw this image in colour and which in my dream represented the ‘nucleus of the atom.’ This nucleus later took on a metaphysical sense; I considered it ‘the very unity of the universe,’ the Christ!”

In order to create the figure of Christ, Dalí had Hollywood stuntman Russell Saunders suspended from an overhead gantry, so he could see how the body would appear from the desired angle [3] and also envisage the pull of gravity on the human body. The depicted body of water is the bay of Port Lligat, Dalí’s residence at the time of the painting.

History

The painting and intellectual property rights were acquired for Glasgow Corporation in the early 1950s by Tom Honeyman, then the Director of Glasgow Museums. Honeyman bought the painting for £8,200, a price considered high at the time although it was less than the £12,000 catalogue price, and included the copyright, which has earned Glasgow Museums back the original cost many times over.

The purchase was controversial and a petition against it, arguing that the money should be spent on exhibition space for local artists, was presented to the City Council by students at Glasgow School of Art.[6] The controversy caused Honeyman and Dalí to become friends, corresponding with each other for many years after the original acquisition.

The painting first went on display at the city’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on 23 June 1952. In 1961 a visitor attacked the painting with a stone and tore the canvas with his hands. It was successfully restored over several months by conservators at Kelvingrove and returned to public display. In 1993, the painting was moved to the city’s St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, but returned to Kelvingrove for its reopening in July 2006. It won a poll to decide Scotland’s favourite painting in 2006, with 29% of the vote.

It is said that the Spanish government offered £80 million ($127 million USD) for the painting.


Critical reception

This painting has continued to generate controversy. At the time of its purchase by Honeyman, the verdict by Modern Art critics was that producing such a traditional painting was a stunt by an artist already famous for his surrealist art. In 2009 The Guardian art critic, Jonathan Jones, described it as “kitsch and lurid,” but noted that the painting was “for better or worse, probably the most enduring vision of the crucifixion painted in the 20th century.”

In May 2013, in BBC Radio 4’s Great Lives, British poet John Cooper Clarke described this image as being utterly different from any other image of the crucifixion, as the angle of view conveys the hanging pain of this method of execution, whilst hiding the ordinarily clichéd facial expressions normally seen in such depictions.


Native Irish Wild flowers, Early Marsh Orchid , Ballykeefe, county Kilkenny

Early Marsh Orchid
Dactylorhiza incarnata
Magairlín mór
Family: Orchidaceae
Ballykeeffe, Kilkenny
Nigel Borrington

Flowering May-July. Tuberous perennial. Native.

Flowers usually white, pink or purple. (Ssp. coccinea has reddish flowers.)
Narrow, cylindrical flower-spike, lower bracts longer than flowers. Sides of lip strongly reflexed, weakly 3-lobed, 2 U-shaped loops enclosing dotted patches. Leaves erect, keeled, usually unspotted. (Ssp. cruenta, leaves spotted both sides) Hollow stem. Very variable, links to subspecies below. Identifications by Ian Denholm

Damp calcareous soils, meadows, fens, marshes, dune-slacks. Also slightly acidic bogs, damp heaths. Declining due to habitat loss.


Monday Poetry : The Harbour, by: Winifred Mary Letts

The Harbour, Poem By Winifred Mary Letts Nigel Borrington

The Harbour, Poem

By : Winifred Mary Letts

I think if I lay dying in some land
Where Ireland is no more than just a name,
My soul would travel back to find that strand
From whence it came.

I’d see the harbour in the evening light,
The old men staring at some distant ship,
The fishing boats they fasten left and right
Beside the slip.

The fishing boat rests along the shore,
The grey thorn bushes growing in the sand,
Our Wexford coast from Arklow to Cahore –
My native land.

The little houses climbing up the hill
Sea daises growing in the sandy grass,
The tethered goats that wait large -eyed and still
To watch you pass.

The women at the well with dripping pails,
Their men colloguing by the harbour wall,
The coils of rope, the nets, the old brown sails,
I’d know them all.

And then the sun- I’d surely see
The disk against a golden sky.
Would let me be at my rest.


This is Manchester !!!

People living and working on one of the most culturally diverse streets in Britain are being celebrated in a new photographic exhibition.

Panoramic snapshots of life in Manchester’s multicultural Cheetham Hill Road

On this blog I do my best to keep away from political events and areas of life that can only affect people in a negative way !!!

However flowing last nights terrorist attack in my home town of Manchester I just wanted to make a quick comment and to share what I feel is such a great city, its people and its very heart !!!

This is Manchester, the Manchester I love and grew-up in !!!!

MULTICULTURAL !!!

LOVING!

CARING!!!

SOFT SHARING PEOPLE!!!

My Heart is Broken!! For the people who have lost loved ones last night and for anyone affected in anyway !!!!

Please go and read this article, it reflects upon the best aspects of life in the city I love the most !!! MANCHESTER , UK …..


York Minster , Inside out …..

Cathedral and Metropolitical
Church of St Peter
Nigel Borrington

The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York, commonly known as York Minster, is the cathedral of York, England, and is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. The minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the second-highest office of the Church of England, and is the mother church for the Diocese of York and the Province of York. It is run by a dean and chapter, under the Dean of York. The title “minster” is attributed to churches established in the Anglo-Saxon period as missionary teaching churches, and serves now as an honorific title. Services in the minster are sometimes regarded as on the High Church or Anglo-Catholic end of the Anglican continuum.

The minster has a very wide Decorated Gothic nave and chapter house, a Perpendicular Gothic Quire and east end and Early English North and South transepts. The nave contains the West Window, constructed in 1338, and over the Lady Chapel in the east end is the Great East Window (finished in 1408), the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world. In the north transept is the Five Sisters Window, each lancet being over 52 feet (16 m) high. The south transept contains a rose window, while the West Window contains a heart-shaped design colloquially known as ‘The Heart of Yorkshire’.

York Minster , Inside out …..


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”


Skipton Waterway Festival 2017, a weekend on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

Skipton Waterway Festival
Leeds and Liverpool Canal,
Yorkshire, England
Nigel Borrington

Held every May Bank Holiday in Yorkshire, the Skipton Waterway Festival is a 3 day canal boat event which runs every year on the 1st May day Bank holiday weekend. It is an event which is a non-profit making Festival, which solely relies on donations and sponsorship from the local community. they are also organized by volunteers from Pennine Cruisers and the local community, without these people the event would not run as smoothly as it does each year.

The 1st Skipton Waterway Festival was held in 2001 and they have gone on to grow more and more each year. The festival was originally organized by CRT (British Waterways then) and Pennine Cruisers for around 5 years, however Pennine Cruisers then took on the event, as they saw how much the local boaters and town enjoyed it. As Pennine Cruisers look forward to this event each year, it is part of their year now, as they have organized it for a long time, they say that they would be a little lost without it.

As an event they attract around 8, 000 – 10,000 visitors each year over the full 3 days. It is noticed when people/families visit the festival each and every year. They put on various entertainment, stalls from craft to charity stalls, children’s activities and an array of food/concession stalls. There is something for almost everyone.

This years Festival was great to visit with many Craft stalls and lots of Local history with the new presentation of an internet based database of all the families who worked and still work on the Leeds and Liverpool canal from the first times it was open for use.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal Society


Robin Hood’s Bay, A fishing Village, North York Moors National Park

Robin Hood’s Bay Fishing village North York Moors National Park
Nigel Borrington

Robin Hood’s Bay is a small fishing village and a bay located within the North York Moors National Park, five miles south of Whitby and fifteen miles north of Scarborough on the stunning coast line of North Yorkshire, England.

“Bay Town” is its local name, in the ancient chapelry of Fylingdales in the wapentake of Whitby Strand. The origin of the name is uncertain, and it is doubtful if Robin Hood was ever in the vicinity.

An English ballad and legend tell a story of Robin Hood encountering French pirates who came to pillage the fisherman’s boats and the northeast coast. The pirates surrendered and Robin Hood returned the loot to the poor people in the village that is now called Robin Hood’s Bay

This Village on the Yorkshire Coast is one of the most Beautiful villages in the UK, Here I share a collection of Photographs taken during a visit at the start of May 2017, I hope that I have captured a small sense of this idyllic English sea side village as I enjoyed our time spend here very much and will look back with very fond memories …..

Robin Hood’s Bay, A Sense of place ….