Here is what I have been doing, seeing, listening and reading during June…
The month of June is always about the solstice, and this year was an apt one to get out and feel the sun come up and shine enegry and positivity into my soul - and in more humble terms it is always good to mark the mid-point of the year. We went up to Devil’s Dyke at 4.30am, ready to see the first rays of the sun come up. It always surprises me how light it is (reminds me sunrise is not the time when it starts to get light) and how cold it is. Makes you feel closer to nature as you can feel the power of the sun warming up the earth for the day. The photo below was taken as we headed home about 6.10 but when we arrived there was a carpet of mist on the ground wihch gave the landscape an ethereal feel.
The big bit of inspiration this month was a day out in London. When I lived there I used to only go to work and pubs, but these days visiting is a big event. This time I was with family and we went to Kensington Palace, somewhere I have passed many times, but not visited. It has a lovely feel it, both the gardens and the palace, and was interesting to look around. I loved the large doors and they made me feel a bit Alice in Wonderland (apparently they were designed like this to make visitors feel smaller). We also visited the Victoria exhibition but was rather busy so had a feeling of being swept through. Due to this I would recommend visiting if you haven’t already done so, but maybe try going first or last thing when the crowds have thinned out a bit.
The afternoon was spent pottering around Spitalfields before visiting Dennis Severs’ House which I have wanted to visit for quite a while. If you haven’t been you may be wondering what it is. Well, it is kind of a museum, sort of an art installation, bit of immersive art, history lesson… difficult to pin down. The artist Dennis Severs, who died in 1999, created the house. Each room tells a story and has been dressed/designed/created to hint at the story, but essentially you interpret it on your own way. Each one is in a different style according to the era, and the idea is that the family have just left, so their items are lying about. Smells and noises are also used to evoke thoughts from the visitors. I won’t say too much - you are not allowed to photograph so you if you are interested you will have to go and look around. At this time I was still feeling a bit burnt out and trying to spend time offline so it really appealed to me, and I found myself looking far deeper than I would when I know that I can just take a snap on my phone and move on. The Monday night sessions are in silence which I did find a challenge, I wanted to point things out and talk about things and once we left I felt I needed to burst into conversation. If you are hoping to see something with a standard heritage layout then you will be disapointed - it is very much removed from that, it is not a musuem. However, I loved it. With much of my work being based on narrative and history it was right up my street and I want to visit again.
Talking of history, I very much enjoyed this book. Lots of wonderfully evocative descriptions of Victorian London, themes from the time and then a thread of obsession that draws the reader in. Oh, and that cover is lovely too - picture is a screenshot from my e-book library loan which I am loving using. There is often a wait for books but it is really worth it as I can finally read all the latest books I want to - and authors do earn a small amount from library loans.
How is this for a beautiful setting for a gig. This little church is at the top of the hill in Lewes and we travelled over on a Friday night to see Jeb Loy Nichols play. With the out-of-town anxiety (where to park, traffic…) we got there early and so I got this photo. Had a lovely atmosphere and really suited his music and performance, which included a short extract from his book due out later this year.
Finally, not much sewing happened in June as I looked at some other creative areas. I started researching, printing and writing a little book. No photos yet, and it is a bit of a wordy project so will be in its own post once I have finished the cover.