The opening line to Ode to Autumn, a favourite poem of mine by John Keats, may be familiar to many of us from school days. The words always conjure up this time of year for me, the range of colours from rust through to green of the trees and bushes. Several people have written lately of the onset of autumn and the rich tapestry of autumn foliage. Whilst out for a walk recently I thought of the many artistic representations of nature including autumn. Paintings and photographs show images that are often stunning but nothing compares to nature itself. When considering the word “exhibition”, not only in a formal artistic setting, I realised nature has its own exhibitions and displays. Misty days with shadowy forms; bright, frosty days with ice sculptures formed on hedges and tree branches; water hazily reflecting the shapes above it; all following a well worn pattern centuries old. I also get quite philosophical this time of year, ready to hibernate maybe!
I visited an unusual exhibition near my home this month featuring work by an artist named Jenny Pickford, she catagorises herself an artist blacksmith. The setting was a National Trust garden with Jenny’s work placed amongst plants, trees and water. The contrast of real plants alongside the metal and glass plants was interesting as light and shade played a large part in the display. Sunlight reflecting on glass, reflections in water, bright artificial colour amongst shady plants – a real exhibition. I hope the few photographs I’ve included show some of these aspects.
Last November I visited a gallery exhibition featuring an American artist, Dale Chihuly, of blown glass sculptures. One piece though was in a park in the centre of Berkeley Square in London, a tree highlighted by natural light and at dusk by street lights. The work in the gallery was beautiful and skilled but the added effect of natural light in an outside setting enhanced it. Jenny’s exhibition was calm and quiet in a peaceful setting, despite the size of much of the work, it had a dignified grace. Beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder but I think most people seeing the work would feel amazed.
Every day life can be an exhibition. Sitting outside a cafe offers a fascinating display of different sights, people, fashions, a little tableaux of sorts. As usual I get carried away trying to share my thoughts with all of you but hope you understand what I mean. Life is a constantly changing exhibition which we are all lucky to experience.
I recommend checking out the two websites below for better examples of both artists’ work, my camera photos don’t do them justice.