Sunday, 24 January 2010

'Art, Ecology and Economy' Exhibition

How amazing. A Haldon blog I kind of half pictured would be about the trees and the weather, the hallucinogenic qualities of the Forest and the Hill...but sometimes one finds something else altogether on the Haldon Hills...
I was waxing lyrical about the reflections visible on the estuary miles off, as the day was so clear and the tide must have been in far away, and had just finished the 'adventure cycle trail' part of my route, when we saw and remembered that CCANW the art gallery had it's new exhibition opening. It was packed! as it often is, but we peeped round the door, and there was just enough room for a couple more, and as the wonderful wood artist who has such an excellent range of photography art cards, Sean Hellman was part of it, of course I went in. The exhibition 'Art, Ecology & the Economy' showcases some of the sustainable applied arts - from musical instruments fashioned from wood to felt and wool goods from local sheep to beautiful bird mobiles - allsorts of wonderful things made from resources found in the landscape by the creative industries (artists) and made sustainably, with reference to care for the environment. A fine idea, and one very much in tune with the ethos of the Collective (see weblinks to the right) I belong to. Which is all about making useful things from locally sourced (and in our case recycled) materials, showing people that they can have many quality goods that don't have to have a massively complex production process involving being shipped miles and undergoing polluting manufacturing processes. Environmental arts and crafts that are actually a serious engagement with making things people want without trashing the countryside, not 'just a load of treehuggers' or things that are only good for souvenirs. And that's part of what this exhibition was about, so I was doubly interested.

I was just buying some Sean Hellman cards (as I had meant to keep the ones I bought before, but people's birthdays etc. had got in the way!), when to my delight and surprise, I saw someone I hadn't seen for some time, and had lost touch with - a friend who had given me a big break some time ago, and also was inspirational and supportive in the founding of Spoken/Written Bulletin S.W.! (see weblinks). I could hardly believe it - we greeted each other like the long-losts which we were, and swapped news, and told one another how well the other looked - I was so pleased and so amazed. Imagine you have liked someone, been grateful to them, then for various good reasons, they have dropped out of the scenes in which you have been acting - you haven't heard about them, but have been wishing them well, hoping they were alright - and then out of the blue, there they are, looking well and being full of life. We had both had an experience since we had last met of the life-changing variety, and knew what the other meant by it, and that too bound us up in those moments where we hardly saw what was around us, but only focussed on catching up, on renewal. It was marvellous.
After we parted, I went around the rest of the trail dazed...unexpected marvels at the Haldons in a different way...

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