Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The source of inspiration

The southern boundary of the county of Suffolk follows the Stour Valley, from its western edge bordering South Cambridgeshire all the way to the coast and the North Sea. The landscape along the Stour Valley has been the source of inspiration of many artists through the centuries; probably the most famous are Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable who gives his name to "Constable Country" a stretch of the Stour Valley that runs through Dedham Vale.

'Dedham Vale, view to Langham church from the fields just east of Vale Farm, East Bergholt' by John Constable

The Stour Valley's unique landscape and heritage is very special, but it is also in an area of expanding population and infrastructure. Managing what happens to the landscape in the 21st century is crucial for it to survive as an inspiration for future generations . . .  Managing a Masterpiece is a 3 year project which brings together organisations throughout the area to "to conserve, celebrate and improve understanding of the Stour Valley".

There are many projects underway and planned for the future (I can recommend looking at the wonderful panoramic views from the church towers along the valley) and another event will happen this Friday (8th March 2013) in Sudbury, a small market town right on the River Stour and the birth place of Thomas Gainsborough; LIGHT NIGHT will celebrate the Stour Valley as inspiration for artists and writers through the centuries, in a series of light and video installation from the Market Square all the way down to the Quay Theatre on the banks of the River Stour . . . and I'm very excited because some of my linocuts and woodcuts will be included projected light installation on St Peter's Church tower. I'll try to take a video of it and show you next week.

Meanwhile, this has made me think about the landscape around my studio which is in the valley of the Stour Brook, a major tributory of the River Stour itself; I wondered where the source of the river is . . . there's an interesting web site about the Stour here . . . and I found that the main source of the Stour and the source of the Stour Brook are very close to each other on Wratting Common in South East Cambridgeshire. The Stour runs North before curving round to flow East and the Stour Brook flows from almost the same place, but South-West; the two channels join just before the village of Clare and then continue to Sudbury and on through Dedham Vale to the sea.

This afternoon I walked from my studio to Wratting Common, following the Stour Brook; on the way back I recorded the course of the stream in photographs, all the way back to where it passes our vegetable garden and flows past the end of The Wild Wood on its way to the North Sea . . .

video

The music is “Corelli - Concerto Grosso, Op6 no4”
(by Advent Chamber Orchestra) form here

If you couldn't view the video, you can also find it here.

Celia
x


16 comments:

  1. What a beautiful day and a lovely location! : )

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    1. Back to cold and grey here today... but I have this as a record that there was at least one lovely warm day in March 2013!

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  2. wish i could make the light night.....love the ghent post by the way, didnt know it was a place worthy of a trip....want to go!

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    1. I'll try to take lots of photos on Friday.
      And yes, go to Ghent (imo much better than Bruges).

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  3. It was a lovely afternoon for your walk. I'm really looking forward to the Light Night :-)

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  4. Lovely walk along the brook on a lovely day. It sounds like a a very exciting event on Friday and a great way to celebrate inspiration. Looking forward to the video.
    I agree with Elsy-Ghent looks fabulous.

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    1. I think you'd like Ghent... it's like Bruges + Manchester/Stoke-on-Trent + Cambridge all rolled into one!
      Lots to do and see plus the lovely Flemish gables :-)

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  5. What a lovely idea to follow your local river to it's source, I shall have to look into where ours starts from.

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    1. Luckily for me it wasn't a very long walk!

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  6. Oh Celia, it was wonderful to take this video walk with you...and the music was perfectly celebrating all that I saw.

    Congratulations on being part of the Light Night. I would think that your art would add much to the evening, and wish I could be there in person. It's a great idea to bring the surrounding landscape's value to the attention of more folks.

    (I'm typing this on my new MacPro...I'll soon be doing a blog update on my "conversion." Thank you for your advice.)

    xo

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    1. I was pleased with the music choice (not quiet random, just the first royaly-free piece I clicked on that meshed well with the photos)

      And yay! you got a Mac ... good choice :-)
      xx

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  7. Oh Celia, what uplifting scenes and music on this grey and dull day - so different from yesterday's gorgeous sun and blue sky.

    How marvellous that your work will be included in the celebrations. I look forward to seeing the video of it.

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    1. The weather is so fickle at the moment who knows what it will be like on Friday evening... I hope lots of people are there to enjoy Light Night.

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  8. Thank you so much for taking us along on your walk Celia :)

    I am a lifelong Suffolkphile (which can't be a real word but you'll know what I mean) and would happily live anywhere in the county (although my heart belongs to Fram and to Walberswick). For years we visited friends in the area whenever we could but, most inconsiderately, they have moved away. I am missing my Suffolk fixes.

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  9. What a wonderful idea Celia. I enjoyed this walk following the meanderings of your brook. It's also heartening to hear that in these days of budget cuts for arts projects that there is energy for a three year programme. Just as it should be. Enjoy the light show!

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