Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Big Art for Kirkcudbright - Days 4 and 5

According to my Dictionary, a symposium is a conference or meeting to discuss a particular academic or specialist subject. And this sculpture symposium is that and not just a show case for a selection of different sculptors - above we have Nils Hansen, who previously hadn't been seen, and Andy Breen having a natter over a coffee yesterday afternoon down in the Greengate gardens. Nils, who is German and has studied in Italy, works in stone and also experimented with virtual sculpting (I hope that's a reasonable description of his work - there's a quicktime presentation on his website at http://nils-hansen.com/ .Even this computer which runs more in slowtime managed it eventually) - he doesn't have a great deal of experience in wood but Andy let him loose on his own work with a chisel (above). Here's Andy's piece today - you can definitely see the work coming out of the wood.

Back in the middle of the town, the last couple of days have seen a big change in the sculptures. Actually Nils must have surrendered Andy's log back to him because he was back with his piece almost as soon as I got there.

Next to Nils, some shell like curves are emerging from Linda Watson's piece of Sandstone - I've had a wee pop into her website ( http://lindawatsonsculpture.com/ ) and amongst other things, shells feature occasionally - I have no other clues about this other than what we see.

Today the curves are more obvious and much smoother.

Yesterday the hole through Mike Cairncross's sculpture is complete and he was tidying it up - today, I notice he's carved a celtic knot. Find him at http://www.mikecairncross.co.uk/

Looks like a comfortable sculpture too.

Tom Allan (  http://www.tom-allan.co.uk/ )has had a wee model of how he wants his intended sculpture to look sitting out for people to see and the half finished product is shaping up pretty much as the model. Labeled 5 red herrings, it must be referring to the Dorothy L Sayers novel of the same name which is largely based in the town and nearby Gatehouse of Fleet. There are 6 carved herrings, so one must be the murderer.

The forklift in the background was brought in so that the sculpture could be sat on it's base. Unfortunately the boards were not enough to stop the forklift being bogged down in the grass and another forklift had to tow it out. The sculpture had to spend the night outside the covered area but by the time I arrived this afternoon, it was stood up as intended.

Back at the artshop, Peter Dowden has stopped the sandstone head for a while and moved on to a piece of Scandinavian granite which he is finding quite fascinating. Peter is normally a hammer and chisel man but after seeing some of the others at work has borrowed a rotary saw which is helping him find his way into the stone - Peter says the Swedes make their granite like they make Volvos - hard! 

That was yesterday - and this is today.

For any Knockengorroch veterans or Eden Festival folk or even anyone that has wandered back that far in my old blog, Peter was involved in the festival wood carvers.

Mikes piece is comfortable

Plenty activity as I wandered off so I expect to see more changes tomorrow.

Tattoo night

I forked out the £2 pounds for a ticket and wandered into the town last night to see the tattoo for the first time in years - this century perhaps. I can here it from my garret window, usually accompanied by the gentle, oan often not so gentle, sound of rain. Not last night though as the weather has been very kind and it was a lovely starlit night and just ever so slightly perishing.

It started off with a stunt bicycle team and was followed by the very hairy Saor Patrol, a drum and pipe outfit from a northerly direction.

The Yorkshire Volunteer Military band do that drumstick moustache thing you see from time to time.

Every year a tug of war team is hand picked from the audience to take on the local team - this year it was a very international affair with several Australians, a bloke from Bolton and a lady from New York as the anchor. It never wins. In the years that the competion has been running the local team which comprises of about 100 kids takes the glory.

No tattoo, of course, would be complete without pipe bands.

After this a lack of light was making it pointless taking pictures but there was plenty more. A bit of highland dancing, some Scottish country dancing, the Stewary wind band and all the bands playing together. All this topped off with some fireworks.

For a small refreshment afterwards, I popped into the Kirkcubright Bay Hotel where Life o Reilly, a folk band from somewhere not to local were putting on an evening of entertainment. Pipes in an enclosed space are not good for the ears - fortunately for most of the evening he played the tin whistle or guitar.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Big Art for Kirkcudbright - the 1st 3 days

Friday saw the start of the first sculpture symposium in a Scottish town which has been titled Big art for Kircudbright. I'm not going to type very much here, just whisk through the sculptors in town and have a wee look at  what they've got as a starting lump of stuff (which for most of them is local red sandstone) and what they've done with it so far.

Away from the main crowd down by the art shop opposite the bus stop is Peter Dowden who has the piece of stone on the left there. He's going to be making that into a head which will fit together with another head made of granite which was going to be made by Dmitri Broe from Pont Aven. Dmitri, unfortunately broke his arm last week so Peter is going to be making both heads. Below is his progress so far and also some posts he has made for the town previously and will be erected as soon as the planning permission happens.

The other change to the plan is Linda Watson who replace Marina Weir.

Tom Allan

Mike Cairncross

By deduction, because I haven't actually seen him myself yet, the following piece of rock must belong to Nils Hansen - somebody's certainly been at it.

Andy Breen is working on a mighty log of elm away from everyone else in the gardens of Greengate. He says the power tools of the stone carvers make it impossible for him to work. He appeared in this blog a few weeks ago in the arts and crafts trail, carving an apple. He also made a really fast start and was this far through before I found him on the first day.

He says he's carving William Marshall - a very long lived King of the Gypsys from times gone past (who could be a blog in himself)

More information on the sculptors as the week passes and I find it out. In the mean time, here's Tom Allan taking advantage of the local electricity supply.

Duck racing.

It's duck racing time again in Kirkcudbright and today there a packed card with two races on it.

The big race of the day is the corporate event where the owners of the ducks get to take them away and give them some intense training but most seem to settle for a bit of a paint job or stick a few feathers or lace on the ducks.

You can bet on the corporate race. My pound (literally £1) went on No 2, Suducko.

But first the first race where you can buy a duck for £2.50. Keep you eyes peeled for number 517, that's mine.

They're under starters order...

And they're off....          (sorry about the focus, it was a long way away)

I can't quite make out who's making the early break away here.... come on 517!

The fields broken up a bit heading for the finishing line.... 517!!!!!!


Collecting the winner.

Darn nabbit - some duck in the 300s won!

The crowd go wild(ish)

Suducko didn't win his/her race either.

Everything happening at once in Kirkcudbright

After two weeks wondering what to write about, it’s all happened at once, so here’s three blogs all at once. Yesterday was parade day here in Kirkcudbright and today was duck race day (which gets a blog all of it’s own) and vintage car rally day too. Tomorrow is tattoo day and I have my ticket for that bought – it’ll be the first time I’ve been for years so you’ll be hearing about that when it happens. This weekend pretty much marks the end of organised touristy type events and anyone passing through after this weekend will have to keep themselves entertained.

All this coupled with the start of the sculpture symposium (which I intend to bore you all silly with here) and to ice the cake Alec, our next door neighbour and local folky drummer, popped in to announce an impromptu session last night. So was a quick bag up of the guitar and mandolin and pile into Alec’s car with Dad and his fiddle and Mother (who acts as an emergency audience). Just to make it a bit cosier on the way to Ken Bridge (a wee pub in the middle of nowhere which seems to do very well for a wee pub in the middle of nowhere – may also have the best beer in the county) we picked up Martin and his guitar en route. Since I seem to have mentioned most of the company anyway, I should also say that Davey turned up, who has at least one mouth organ for every key you can think of, and Sean and his new banjo, which he’s had for about two years now – which shows how long since I’ve been to sessions regularly. No photos I’m afraid but a few very nice pints and some great tunes – all in all, one of the best little sessions I’ve had for a very long time.

Here’s some parade pictures

The local cornet and cornet's lass

The Stewarty wind band (which incidentally contains two of my nieces, who are not the greatest fans of tartan trousers)

The town pipe band

No parade or event in the area seems to be complete without an appearance from the Twynholm tractor club - at the other end of the motoring scale, Twynholm has also given the world David Coulthard to try and make up for this.

Here's we are a day later (that's today) at the vintage car rally. I'm not by any stretch of the imagination a petrol head but if I scoop a big pile on the lottery, I might just be tempted to get one of these.

In the absence of a lottery win, this is more likely.

The local jazz quartet will turn out for any event at the drop of a hat.