Teign Spirit

Weather pool

This is so delightful: looking through the glass wall I can see the rectangular lake. It’s enclosed on three sides by buildings, open on the shorter edge opposite to the hills on the horizon, like Bute park in Cardiff. The feel of an Oxford or Cambridge college quadrangle, or Dartington Hall: there’s an air of learning, of being involved in a long term creative thinking project, and of being connected to the past with a line stretching out from me to the future. It feels privileged, a marvellous opportunity. Calm.

Small groups of people are walking in the water, others stroll along the banks, and some people are crossing from one side to the other. I have multiple viewpoints: I am able to look at the scene from my vantage point behind glass at ground level, but also see from above and to the side. Water in all its forms: milky steam ice snow rain.
Teignmouth mermaid, small watercolour painting, Teignmouth Museum collection. Reminiscent of Hokusai’s woodcut of a young shell diver’s reverie 蛸と海女, published in a 3-volume book of shunga erotica in 1814.

Teignmouth was invaded by the French in 1690, and part of the town was burned to the ground. Sodium chloride, or common salt, was one of the main economies until Brunel’s railway opened up the town as a seaside resort from the 1840 onwards. Charles Babbage had a holiday home there.

Many years ago my large colour prints of 16mm film frames taken from Unknown Woman were shown in an exhibition of landscape photography in the Orangery in Bitton Park (which was built in 1842, during the railway boom). The other artists were James Ravilious, and Paul Warner, who also curated the exhibition.

Sea change

Our final day on location. Read More...

A seaside rendezvous: at the MUSEum

Teignmouth, Friday: the day of the first Muse concert on The Den. The home-made signs and posters were the best: there is a tabletop sale 10am to 1pm at the MUSEum on Saturday morning 5 September. Moments: getting my feet wet, dance steps of seagulls printed in the sand under the pier, sitting on a flower bed wall eating sweet greeny-pink Victoria plums in the sun, and rescuing a giant-size Elephant Hawk Moth larva: we tempted it off the pavement onto my Thomas Luny postcard of Teignmouth, and transported it to safety near the Quay Street carpark. Read More...