Shroppie

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shroppie magic

The Wanderlust wandering down, perhaps up, or maybe over, better into a magic place called Shropshire Union Canal.
Our most favourite spot on the canals is the cut, a real cut out of rocks to prevent the need of many locks, Woodseaves Cut
Created as a vein for the industry ended as haven for wilderness.

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a green wall

It is still, it is green, it is wild yet human hands made it with spades and pickaxe. It was the last project made by the engineer Thomas Telford he never saw it finished as his ambition was high it took more time to repair and repair again what failed and failed again.
Yet, here it is full of life full of beauty. He knew you could do it and so he did.

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tall

The bridges here are TALL, higher than trees no problem here for the bird on the chimney. The canal here narrows to an almost single lane canal, yet two boats can just pass if no rocks stick out.

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ssssssstttt

Trees are growing almost vertical any crack hides its own little forest of ferns, moss and my favourite liverworts. The liverworts are old very old plants living while adapting, in my opinion the strongest plant on earth.

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Liverwort with a small fern covering cliffs

While passing you feel the jungle surrounding you with different sounds, different smells giving you the feeling you just entered an other world.
You can almost see the animals swing on the strings of Ivy.

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vertical garden 

Somebody said a picture never does it justice, no matter how i pick my brain, words certainly don’t describe it.

When you are ever on the canals in the UK make sure you don’t miss this piece of magic.

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good bye

A very special way to say good bye to our life on the canals as we wander on, over land towards new water to be explored by us but not with the Wanderlust.

Watch this space for more and even more updates.

 

 

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2015 planned TOUR

The last few weeks we have been busy with making our tour for 2015.
This year our tour will be involving a lot more than just ourselves and we leave the experimenting and go for ‘real’ meaning we have a plan. Now that is something new for us as we work mainly makeshift with a few dates and schedules.  As all artists we need bread on our plates, so we need to be commercial and put on a different thinking cap.

ICE

ICE

The largest part of our tour will be together with other art-boats, showing, making and selling our art along the towpaths. This floating art project takes some organising not just ourselves. The name is Artists on the Canals, an exhibition how the canals inspire our artists working and living on narrowboats.

In February we set off from our mooring here at Venetian Marina. We hope to arrive before March at our new mooring at Mersey marina on the Trend and Mersey Canal from this mooring we can Trade from the boat.

1 March till 27 April Mersey Marina trading from boat
cruising

Gab reflections

Gab reflections

Start of the Artists on the Canals project.
Friday 1 May – Monday 4 May Atherstone
cruising
Saturday 9 May – Monday 11 May Milton Keynes
cruising
Sunday 17 May – Sunday 31 May Aylesbury
cruising
Wednesday 3 June and Thursday 4 June Berkhamsted
cruising
Saturday 6 June – Saturday 4 July Hemel Hempstead
cruising
Tuesday 7 July – Monday 20 July Cassiobury Park, Watford
End of Artists on the Canals project.

sun set

sun set

cruising
Saturday 25 July Linslade Canal Festival
cruising
Saturday 1 August – Monday 3 August The Globe Inn by bridge 111 Grand Union Canal
cruising
Friday 7 August – Monday 10 August Blisworth Canal Festival
cruising
Saturday 15 August – Sunday 16 August somewhere
cruising
Friday 28 August – Monday 31 August somewhere
cruising

snail pace

snail pace

Friday 4 September – Sunday 6 September Stourport Floating Market
cruising
making some art thinking some art exploring a bit
cruising
somewhere in the neighbourhood
cruising
Friday 25 September – Sunday 27 September Birmingham Floating Market
cruising
Back at Mersey Marina trading from boat

i can see the future

i can see the future

A long program with some bits of uncertainty, like life anywhere.
We float along thinking about our work for the exhibitions. New work for selling, new books, new sculptures, new photos, totally new video installation with sound installation.
When you see, one of us laying on her belly on the towpath with a camera touching ‘almost’ the water, you know WHY.

The canals the Reflections The water The engine The trees

cloud meets water

                                 cloud meets water

We will post more details somewhere, sometime if you want more info visit website
dabe-art.org

mAgdA

WANDER YEAR

REFLECTIONS ON A YEAR

WATER

WATER

2014 was our first year as a Cruising Art Gallery on board narrowboat Wånderlust.
What a year it has been. First getting it all ready the popUP gallery to fit in the roof box yet easy to popUP. Than getting ourselves ready, training by experimenting, do a wide lock, a staircase lock, a flight of locks and do tunnels, winding, mooring, going backwards. Finally we went on our way down south, The lines from the song Wanderlust from Bjork come into my mind

 “I feel at home whenever the unknown surrounds me,
i receive it’s embrace,
onboard my floating house”

What a great feeling it was to enter the unknown canals seeing the new surrounding floating into spring with the left overs from the winter storms all around us. The slow motion of the boat passing through well life on board became surrounded by locking, map reading, sorting popUP locations and just slowly separating the water to move us through.  Even the engine was snoring the stilte was all around us and deep inside us, a drift to serenity.

STILTE SSSSTTTT

STILTE SSSSTTTT

Even in the middle of London we found stillness flowing under roads, underneath houses, along tree edges, passing apartments standing in the canal. Seeing countless Dutch boats with the old names remaining on their bows. To go through Camden Locks with a massive growth watching or skills, only to find no moorings, plenty of good spots for a popUP gallery without moorings. Our gentle motion became entangled into the web of runners, cyclist, walkers, talkers and plenty of mobile phones. Business decisions made on the towpath also for us we left with an illusion wiped from our slate. While going we learned, gained impressions, received appreciations and discovered what works and what not.

CAMDEN LOCKS

CAMDEN LOCKS

We saw films made and took part in a film, made photos plenty of photos and were the object of photography, found places and lost location. We talked and we listen, we looked to learn the scheme.

The wings were bought and shaped, bunting went up or down depending of the edge, hats on chairs out we found the spots.

AYLESBURY CANAL

AYLESBURY CANAL

Atherstone, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury, Berkhamstead, Hemel Hempstead, Casiobury Park by Watford and than back to Linslade and Blisworth, what you read here is our route from this year which will be our route for next year. We will not be alone as we never really were, we have joined forces with other artist living on narrowboats selling their art. Together we come and join with art organisations on our route to have on land exhibitions about Artists on the Canals. We will popUP for longer or shorter moments. A video and sound installation will be showed from the boat or land based galleries. Musicians, drawer, painter, jeweller, sculptor, land artist, poet we float along and make art, show art, dance art, talk art.

POPUP CHESTER

POPUP CHESTER

The experimental year came to completion.

We float on to a new art project,
new popUP experience,
where land meets water,
where art meets daughter.

yearfloat

We all looking forwards to see you again next year.

happy NEW year

mAgdA

LOCKS week 13 and 14

We went to Birmingham Floating Market, to get to Birmingham you need to do a lot of locks. We did 27 locks to get there and 30 locks to get out of Birmingham.
The market was fantastic, we tried out our ‘wings’, against the rain, however i write this blog about the locks.

wings

wings

For a boat to go up the hill it has to do locks, water flows down to the sea not up the hill.
Most of the locks on the canals of Britain are operated manually by the boaters themselves, no lock keepers to help you.

rack of pedal mechanic

rack of pedal mechanic

With a special tool, called the windlass, you wind up the rack to let either water in or out of the lock.
You have single locks, in which just one boat fits and you have double locks, in which 2 boats or a wide boat fits.

cogwheel of the lock paddle

cogwheel of the lock pedal

It is a simple system with cogwheel and rack, when rack is up the paddles are open to let water in the lock or out of the lock all depends if you are going up or down.

both racks up of a double lock

both racks up of a double lock

Than you just wait when you let water out of the lock or into the lock it goes wild. It is wise when you let the water out to have the boat well away from the lock. When you are a single boat in a double lock and the wild water comes in, the boat can become a bouncing ball in the lock. The first wide/double lock we did was a bit scary to say the least. Now we keep the boat well under control with the centre line which is attached in the centre of the boat on the roof. We also have learned which paddle to open first to let the water push the boat against the wall.

wild water

wild water

You set the lock for the level you are entering so low when you go up or high when you go down.
While the water flows the boat just wait until it is high enough and you can push open the gates to cruise out of the lock.

waiting

waiting

At times you have a flight of locks, one lock after an other to do a steep climb up the hill. When we went into Birmingham we done two flights of locks. First the Aston Flight of totally 11 locks from which 8 locks close to each other.
The lock wheeler has a lot of work than setting one lock while the other lock is filling with water, opening gates of the locks letting the boat out than closing the gates after boat is out one lock and in the next lock.

flight of locks going up

flight of locks going up

After the Aston flight you get the Farmers Bridge Flight of locks, 13 locks in a row.

lock going under a building

lock going under a building

The flight goes partly under a new building which is a kind of bizarre experience. The wind here speeds up so the person on the helm needs to keep their wits. Yet under the building, which was build well after the canal was dug, you find yourself under an old bridge, which is under the building.

lock under the bridge, bridge under a building

lock under the bridge, bridge under a building

When boaters know you are coming up in a flight they help. When we went to the market we were following a hole string of boats and an other string of boats followed us. The boater who done the flight helped them coming up, so we did as well. It gives a real community spirit.

Hatton Flight

Hatton Flight

When we left Birmingham we done the famous Hatton Flight of locks a total of 21 locks in one flight, one after an other. You have a small pond between the locks where you can pass boats which are coming up, in our case. The Hatton Flight are wide locks and we were lucky enough to do most of them paired with an other boat. Going down in a wide lock is not so hard as going up however with two boats it is a lot easier and it safes a lot of water.

high up

high up

Locks are high in some cases and it is sure not a place to fall in the water.
The feeling you get when you done the locks and you leave the last lock is one of great achievement. We are getting better and better at doing the locks, we even do them with lots of wind. To go to a market or an event is for us hard work but full of pleasure. We are now on our way to Cassiobury Park near Watford. We still have to do an other 40 locks.

lockeruitvaren

We will be there on Saturday.

 

 

POPPERUP week 10, 11, 12

The last few weeks we reversed our footsteps and went back the way we came. We made marks on the map for good spots to popUP the cruising art gallery.

the box display

the box display

The gallery was popUPed at many places with just a bit of cruising in between.  The great site effect of this cruising art gallery is the fantastic spots we can display our art in. We went to Wolverton and moored right next to this amazing running sculpture.

Wolverton popUP

Wolverton popUP

The warehouse across the canal has been transformed into apartments and little shops or offices. A different industry took over the once vibrant train industry which was housed in these buildings.

Stoke Bruerne was our next stop, close to the National Waterways Museum, which was closed the last time we came. Here we discovered the role woman played on the waterways in Britain, specially in the second world war.

old book cover of a wonderful book

old book cover of a wonderful book

After a day cruising we arrived in Braunston and took our time to create something new again. Berth experiment here with Walnut wood to add a different colour, still with a fine grain so you see the sculpture before you see the wood.

working with Walnut

working with Walnut

Again we were reminded of the roles of women on the canals. We were moored right next to the bridge leading to the marina with a plaque. Along the canals you get reminded of the old industry which once dominated the landscape and with it the canals. Out of this old buildings and canals evolved a new industry of mainly leisure orientation and living back on the canals. Even the old coal-boats now deliver coal for the heating of boats rather than going from mines to industry. Some of the boats have becoming travelling shops.

The old and the new

The old and the new

 

The urban landscape lay behind us as we enter the more farming cultured land. Perhaps better to say the old way of farming as most farm animals these days never see the outdoors.

freedom cow

freedom cow

The summer showed her face in the blue sky making the cruising such a pleasure. Seeing the sunset into the canal we decided to have a short break just before Rugby to just do nothing. Well, here one Oak found a home in the hollow tree-trunk i found and live now on top of the roof. One day it will be planted with trunk at all. Once again i used the soil of a mole-hill to fill up the trunk.

no words

no words

All along our route we looked at opportunities to meet up with the Rusty Alexandre a double decker bus converted into a travelling gallery. The artists involved with the Rusty Alexandre like the idea to meet up somewhere, to make a small spontaneous art event. Most places don’t have a car-park next to the canal, there is even a high fence between it our a hedge. We found a good spot at the Coventry Basin the end of the Coventry canal. The basin is surrounded by old building which are, once again converted into little shops. In one of the shops a comic artist and his wife have set up, now we love comics so to meet an artist in the midst of comics is double pleasure. The Astral Gypsy is also interested to set up a small art event at the Coventry Basin.

Coventry Basin

Coventry Basin

The beauty of travelling art you meet and meet again you’re not bound on one place or one time. With a smile on our face and a new project in our hands we left Coventry to cruise all the way up the Coventry Canal to Fradley Junction. On the way we stopped again at a forest where i picked up some rocks on the way down. The forest had changed into a brilliant colour green but the rocks where still shattered around for me to pick up and to discover the fence eating tree.

popUP at Fradley Junction

popUP at Fradley Junction

After Fradley Junction we moved into the Trent and Mersey and were on unknown territory to discover what ever came on our route. The aim was to go to the birth place of our boat, at Midland Canal Centre where she was build by Stenson Boat Builders.

coming together the place she was build

coming together the place she was build

 

When we got there they still remembered her, the old colours and her old name. The Wånderlust new role as cruising art gallery left a mark along this section of the Trend and Mersey by planting an other Oak and leaving several rocks.

roof garden

roof garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

AYLESBURY ARM week 9

After several weeks in London we decided to visit a more remote part of the British canal system, The Aylesbury Arm. On our way to London we came past the canal, a site arm from the Grand Union Canal, seeing the beginning of the canal empty.

Empty

Empty

It looked sad and strange, a clear reminder of the fact that the canals are man-made and so can drain empty without the right care.
This time the canal was fully functional again. The Aylesbury Arm is a short canal of 6 miles long with 16 locks. Yep, many locks but narrow locks, so not too bad to do, specially after all them wide locks, better to call them wild locks.

Great point of view.

Great point of view.

The canal cuts through lovely countryside which you don’t always see as the hedges hide it. The Hawthorns in the hedges were in full blossom treating us to a lovely scent. The Willow cuttings on top of our roof started to wilt in the warm sunshine, so we stopped the boat at bridge 14 to plant them in the soil.

coming up to bridge 14

coming up to bridge 14

In the centre of the Willows came a little Oak all planted wild and rough. This piece of land art you will see in years to come as the trees grows on.

colourful welcome

colourful welcome

Entering Aylesbury you see a mural under the bridge a nice welcome. The arm ends right in the centre of town with a basin. The basin was almost empty, meaning no boats. It all looked very new but abandoned. We just popUP the gallery at this new place but came to the conclusion that the fence was a too big a barrier for people to come and look.
The next day we moved back to the familiar towpath and made some phone calls to get some clarifications about the situation here. The tourist information centre and the council were very helpful reassuring us that we were doing the right thing. In the end we were informing the people along the towpath what was going on.

The basin

The basin

Next to the basin stands a brilliant building, which houses the Waterside Theatre, the little details on the outside and the inside were enormous. The way they made the windows reflected the pattern in the water when a little breeze flows over it. On the outside a wave is made with river pebbles and limestone. While in front around a tree, spared during the construction a seating area circles away in different layers, while a statue of Roald Dahl sits and contemplate the time.

sunset theatre

sunset theatre

Our popUP gallery needs quit a bit of improvements but thats just a point of view.  We see we need to make more contacts relate to other art organisation in an area. Therefor we went to see the Queens Park Art Centre, not far from the canal.
We will be back next year to do 2 Land Art workshops in the Queens Park Art Centre.

an other point of view

an other point of view

We popUP the gallery for 5 days in a row, met many people and several books and sculptures found a new home. We had some lovely conversations about art but also about boating, living on a boat and about planting trees.

On our way back we looked at the newly planted Willows and Oak who, by that time got plenty of rain and sunshine.

fiets

fiets

We cruised back up north to Linslade to do some research about the Linslade Festival in which we will participate. A trip with the bike along the canal to see it all from a very different perspective. On Saturday 26 July we will be at the park, with other words we will be back.

Right now we are moored down from Milton Keynes Art Centre making new contacts linking the land art folks with water art folks and also here we will be back next year. Perhaps even organise something more than just a popUP gallery as the surroundings here the Great Linford park is asking for the planting of some special Oaks, even it has plenty of wonderful trees.
The area is wonderful with plenty of parks and even wild or better create wild areas for people to walk and cycle. The Stonepit Field is worth a visit. It reminded me of my work at Clegyr Boia fields, only here they did it a lot better. Even they only started the work in 2008 the result you see now is spectacular.

mooring in the park

mooring in the park

On friday we will move on to Wolverton and than up to Coventry.

here is our cruising agenda
29 May Great Linford Park
30 May Great Linford Park
31 May Wolverton
1 June Wolverton
3 June Stoke Bruerne
4 June Stoke Bruerne
5 June Stoke Bruerne
8 June Braunston
9 June Braunston
12 June Coventry
14 June Hinckley
19 June Atherstone
20 June Atherstone
21 June Atherstone
22 June Atherstone
26 June Birmingham by the National Indoor Marina until
30 June taking part in the floating market
11 July till16 July we will be at Cassiobury Park near Watford
24 July we will be at Linslade till 27 July when we will cruise back to were we are now Great Linford Park

Than on Friday 1 August we start to cruise back up North towards our home mooring to do an other floating market  Market Drayton from Friday 22 August till Tuesday 26 August 

From 1 August till 22 August we have no idea were we can stop along the canals, high season with plenty of boats on the canals.
However whenever you see us, you can call or even knock on the boat as we are always about and willing to show what we have onboard.

 

 

ART IN LONDON from the canals

ART IN LONDON from the canals

drifting art who said arts needs an aim

drifting art who said arts needs an aim

When you see the word art, what do you think of, what comes to your mind. For me the word of art brings into my mind; the miles of words written by the miles of critics and the endless discussions of what IS art.  In a way i was looking forwards to visiting London to have that endless discussion with the people of London, what do they see as art?

hidden faces

hidden faces

The word art means:  ‘creation of works of beauty, especially paintings or sculpture’. The word beauty springs into the mind, what beauty. Beauty means:  ‘that what delight the senses and mind’. Outside of the book and the meaning of the word, art will be for everybody something different.

why not

why not

Such as long we take the freedom of expression, you will perceive the variety of people in the art you see on the street, or in our case, along the canals of London.

graffiti art the other free artform

graffiti art the other free art-form

London the centre of art in the UK, so they say, sure shows the medley of cultures and the jumble of expressions.

a sparkle or an objection

a sparkle or an objection

It was the meeting of the mixture of people along the canal that made us look to the art of london in a different perspective, than, what we primarily read in mainstream media. The Wånderlust cruising art gallery brings the art to the people instead of waiting for the people coming to the art.

we all see the world in a different way

we all see the world in a different way

You meet them, who see art in a very refreshing point of view. I spoke to people who never heard of land art, showing  that a rock is art, as nature created something beautiful in the form of a sculpture, so long your mind finds it attractive. With these very pleasing rocks you can make something that will never sell, that costs only time to enjoy something that for the art-critics has no skill and no value yet for yourself, it gives delight to your senses.

a pond sculpture in Victoria Park made from Reed

made from the landscape in the landscape

Next to the land art we show the skill of woodwork that so many appreciate for skill and quality yet has little merit in the established art. From a photo you can make a thousand copies from a painting a hundred prints but from a wooden sculpture you cannot make a cast, making it hard to be commercial viable. The last has become the main aim of modern art, to express what is viable, while the majority of artist still struggle to make ends meet. Yet, the appreciation of art can be found everywhere, if you take the time to look, the rich and famous do not dominate the score in the art of london.

which one is the statue which one is the focus of the mind

which one is the statue which one is the focus of the mind

You can find art under the bridge, you can even find art in a gas-holder.

gas holder near the Art College

gas holder near the Art College

While people constantly walk pass they might not see it anymore as their mind focus on the phone call or the next meeting in town,while they focus on anything that makes life a rushing by with no time to stand still.

an other wall an other expression

an other wall an other expression

Just the same we met plenty of people who took the time to look, not just at our art, also took the time to tell us about their art. We met with the Tony the artistic hairdresser, Sue from the third floor, the writer from France and the land artist from Mexico.

any object can be made into a reflection

any object can be made into a reflection

The problem of London is not the lack of art nor the lack of curiosity in art, the problem in London is time, the great rush to go nowhere yet everywhere.

rushing by

rushing by

For the Wånderlust London gave no moorings but plenty of sights.

never dark always light never rest always movement

never dark always light never rest always movement

So we moved out of London feeling a bit drawn in the motion, like a drowned bubble

do you know that feeling

do you know that feeling

mAgdA

WEEK 5 AND 6 IN LONDON

About our journey in London i could easy write 7 blogs, however i will keep it to 3. The first one will be about cruising in London and our experience.

The lakes near Black Jack Lock

The lakes near Black Jack Lock

The approach towards London from Cassiobury park was very pleasant with plenty of nature around the only difference were the many moored boats along the canal. Some very lovely boats and some boats hardly drifting. We moored near the Black Jacks lock, which is a lovely place to explore the lakes next to the canal.

londonbluebridge

Than we hit the urban setting of towns now attached to London. There came more and more moored boats of all sizes and all shapes and many have Dutch names on old Dutch boats. I could write a whole blog about all the Dutch boats we saw.

North Circular Aqueduct

North Circular Aqueduct

When we passed over the North Circular Aqueduct, yep, we are in the city looking at the traffic jam below us while we gently cruised over them. We now had only houses around us reaching into the canal as we just gently kept on moving we felt as the rest of the town kept on running and didn’t even see as they didn’t look. The rush of modern life was moving faster than we could expect but Wanderlust kept on moving in her gentle speed over the flow of water like a peace train.

londongentle

Finding a mooring in London is sure one of the hardest thing specially one where we could trade. We ended in the Paddington basin under the A40. The worse spot to start to experience London. Even sleeping with earplugs didn’t help. Business was slow so we loosen the ropes and went. The beauty of boating when you don’t like your spot you just go.

Paddington mooring under the A40

Paddington mooring under the A40

We turned into Regent Canal in the hope to find somewhere a spot. We had contact with the friends of the Regent canal who told us there could be some spots coming free at Angel in Islington.

regent canal

regent canal

To get there we past some very nice spots along the Regent Canal called, how could it, Regent Park, not sure which once was there first the canal or the park. It was such a relief after them 2 days under the road.

the rich and famous along Regent canal

the rich and famous along Regent canal

After Regent park you come to Camden Town with the very famous Camden Market. It has a flight of 3 locks with many spectators, now that was something. We could wish to have a mooring there and pick some of the crowd as customers but thats all it would be a still wish as we passed the moorings. We had this idea of getting some mountain climbing gear to put into the concrete along the canal to moor the boat, yet it stayed by a thought. You will always see with spectators the wind picks up and the boat turns and oeps well we kept our cool and smiled and with some hand signals fixed the funny turn.

Camden Market watch them legs, boat coming

Camden Market watch them legs, boat coming

 

Looking for a mooring was now number one as one went ahead to look for a spot on the towpath. We found one on the end of the Angel mooring with just one ring.

popUP at Angel

popUP at Angel

The gallery was popUPPED and many people came by and some talked but most walked sideways and shouted nice, others had a glance from their phone. We met some lovely people and some where just surprised to see something like this along the towpath. We had people coming down from their flats to have a closer look.

graffiti

graffiti

This was not a sculpture which was placed on a lost corner of the canal, this was not a written message on the wall, this was no gravity or urban street art. It was there for a few days including the artists and than it all moved again. The encounters we had where all different yet all special.

new customer the Raven almost next to the boats Raven

new customer the Raven almost next to the boats Raven

The idea of London was to explore and see where good spots are for us to sell our art, we can’t live from fresh air, certainly not in London. Victoria park was our next spot. We had a visitor of a difference but not a good spot for selling. The park itself is lovely with a famous bridge over the canal a true relieve from the city life.

Victoria park bridge

Victoria park bridge

We moved on to the Lee-navigation which is a river yet mostly calm water with some very big locks. The lock keepers offices on the locks are just asking for an artist to come along and do something special with them. a can sure see something in them.

Lock keepers asking for art

Lock keepers asking for art

Art in all places, it might become a proposal you never know. The boaters themselves are these days the lock keepers, with the difference that on the Lee you just press buttons.

Lee Navigation

Lee Navigation

We past the olympic site which is now getting an other rebuild as we cruised towards the Lime House basin. We came along some very build up areas with a sting of urban poverty in the tail, yet here we encounter one of the most impressive things on our trip in London.

olympic stadium

olympic stadium

Two Cormorants followed the boat and would dive under the boat catch a fish eat it and than fly over the boat again landing next to it, dive under, come up behind and set of flying again or eat the catch.

perfect

perfect

Lime House Basin is next to the Thames, you are just a lock away from the Thames. One day just one day we will counter enough courage to do the Thames, we sure  fell in love with the river. We got the map, we got the notes, now just one day and we will do it.

Lime house Basin

Lime house Basin

We just felt very small as the only way we could get on the boat was by stepping on the roof.

So we moved again looking for that perfect spot. When we saw a good spot for a popUP it was full and if we saw an empty spot it was no good for a popUP and so we moved. The problem as well is the people mooring right up to the lock or even at the watering spot. This way we got an adventure with the boat on a wide canal when the flow of the emptying lock pushed the boat off the other boat and than such a wide canal is too wide. A jump back on board and a bit of a panic got her back in line, but we almost ran out of options for a moment. Just imagine us on one site and the boat on the other site and no way getting to her as there is just a brick wall. That mountain climbing gear could be good in London in more than just one way.

water site living you will need oeps 1000000 how rich we are by living on the canal

water site living you will need oeps 1000000 how rich we are by living on the canal

The great thing of London are the people and all the many different people not just the many artists we met but also the taste of all them different cultures.

Alvracht 3

Alvracht 3

One of the highlights on this trip when we found the old Alvracht 3 here in London, the boat of my childhood. i will write about it in an other blog. The next blog will be about London and art.
London how busy it is never silent never dark yet i still find the spot to take that drop

london drop

london drop

 

week 4 land art ONLY

During the fourth week of our cruising trip, the first piece of land art was made with the first trees planted in Cassiobury Park by the Iron Bridge Lock.

wanderlust

Wanderlust by the Beech trees

We found the perfect mooring spot for our popUP gallery, right in front of some wonderful Beech trees.
The wooden sculptures Berth makes are of beech wood. Beech wood is a challenging wood, a hard wood that easy splinter however it has such a lovely texture and with patience it becomes as smooth as silk.

Beech Wood closeup

Beech Wood closeup

Cassiobury is near the Whippendell Wood and customers were telling me how lovely it is. The next morning I went out to explore and to look for more material for the roof land art. This area has lots and lovely flint stones. They almost look like bones scattered around as if in a field of dead.
The last storms have turned some lovely trees upside down revealing in their roots what once was hidden in the soil. Under a fallen Beech tree I collected some great flint and decided that all the flint I was collecting to come from trees somehow.
Some came from fallen trees and others from standing growing trees.

flinter bones

flinter bones

Yet even under the fallen trees and dying trees you find the sculptures of life turning up in corners once hidden from the light to reach the light once again.
Cassiobury is close to Watford one of the fore towns of London, one of the last big green open spaces. Many people use the woods for sports, most of them running past, cycling past only a few take the time to stop and watch.
Rushing past all that can be seen and feel very little, never having time to touch.

inspiration for ONLY

inspiration for ONLY

There sitting on a fallen tree the inspiration for ONLY came to mind.
The flint was washed and scrubbed to reveal the white as bones.
The pattern, for ONLY, came from a fern leave. When a fern leave comes into life it rolls out like a spiral.  A hairy spiral the leave rolls into the light to grow and seed her spores.

spiral heart

spiral heart

The next morning, before we set of on our next part of the trip towards London, long before anybody was awake, i start to make the spiral ONLY.
I find it hard to work with people wondering around and watching my hands.
Therefor at 6 in the morning with the broom I started to sweep a part of the soil clear and made a circles with the fallen leaves and broken sticks.
The spiral came between two standing Beech trees next to a cut down Beech tree.
The spiral followed free hand the lines follows, this way, her own shape and when you look you see an almost a heart shape in the line of the spiral.

The Tree Centre

The Tree Centre

In the centre of the spiral came a small circle with in the middle two small Willows, which were grown from cuttings from Willows along the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal.
A piece of bark from a fallen Birch tree give the young trees protection from small nibbling animals. Around the tree on the soil a mixture of used tea and coffee provides some nutrition for the young trees.

one by one

one by one

The rocks were placed one standing one fallen like the fallen trees in the woods amongst the standing and growing trees.
The poem with this piece I wrote on the trunk of the sawn down Beech tree.

poem ONLY

poem ONLY

The letters form in addition an other spiral:

ONLY
when you sit
d
o
w
n
you will see
this

mAgdA

14 April 2014

 

 

ART along the canal in WEEK 3

While you cruise along the canals of England and Wales you see all sort of amazing things. As we are a cruising art gallery, I thought it would be nice to show you some art along the canals we saw in our third week cruising.

Blisworth tunnel horse

Blisworth tunnel horse

First I came across the above horse while walking to the top of the Blisworth tunnel. The tunnel was at times like cruising through a waterfall, the source of the waterfall was taken away by this horse and several other animals along the route.
At first this may not look like much but closeup you can see how much work went into this, not just the making but also the collecting of the material.

wire horse

wire horse

The canals themselves are a piece of engineering art, art of the industrial revolution. Even now most of this industry has moved away closer to the transport veins of these days, the roads. In some cases they are now polluting other countries which have not such a strong rules to protect the environment.
In the end its nature taking back what the industry leaves behind. I see that as art in itself, the art of rebellion plants growing in and out of old industrial buildings along the canals.

rebellion Plant

rebellion Plant

Not far from the planted industry is a long stretch of wall painted in simple black on white leaving a trail of at least one mile.

mural

mural

The wall divides the canal from the railroad, the railroad who took over the role of the canals as a way of transporting goods.

mural closeup

mural closeup

Some transport inventions never really made it like the Zeppelin in the mural.

runner

runner

In the end we all seem to run towards yet an other invention or, perhaps we come to the conclusion that our legs can move more miles than we think.
The narrowboat goes at a speed of a walker not a runner. It is this speed that make you see things around you, smell them and even hear them, as the sound of the engine is a comforting puttering.
You can even see pieces of art closeup without stopping, this way we don’t just pass through, we do experience the canals.

running with a bike

running with a bike

The runner runs you into Milton Keyes were the canal has been nicely done over to create some lovely living space and a good mooring space right near, yep the train station. This is in our mind for a way back, a good place to popUP our gallery.

dead kano

dead Kano

At times you see the creativity off the people living along the canals, this one has no other meaning than to make you smile.
No artist came with a long explanation to tell you what its all about. No little, white label hanging next to it with a title and a year. Nowhere a mention of the name of the artist or the material used.
So some will say no art, I say why not? It’s a creative expression of a moment when the canoe got the hole and died.

lion on the land

lion on the land

Britain has many white horses or other white chalk painting on the land some old some new. We saw this one on a rainy afternoon in the misty distance the yellow lion. LAND ART along the canal, even it is in the distance.

All this art along the way shows the many different characters of the canals. There is a discussion that art along the canals is just a waste of money and that the money should be spend in better ways. I think that discussion is a waste of time.

so far in 3 weeks at walking speed

so far in 3 weeks at walking speed

The above map shows the canals and the red line is what we have done in the last 3 weeks.
Our aim is London and we are almost there.