Yesterday saw us heading out to Edinburgh to meet up with some other people from Ship of Fools. It was fun to see people again (nobody new for me to meet, though there were a couple of people that HD hadn’t met before) and catch up. During the lunch there was football on a large screen, showing the first semi-final from this year’s Scottish Cup between Queen of the South (first division) and Aberdeen (from the SPL – Scotland’s equivalent of the Premiership down south). Having bumped into Derf and scz at Queen St station heading for Hampden (he’s an Aberdeen fan) we had half an interest in the match – at one point there were 5 goals in about as many minutes, and the end result was QoS winning 4-3. It’s not often I like having football on while eating, especially with other people, but it was quite exciting.
After lunch we all (apart from Wet Kipper, who’d already been) went along to the Ansel Adams exhibition. He was the leading American landscape photographer, and some of the photos really were stunning. Well worth the visit – though if you’re around Edinburgh and want to go, you’d better hurry up as it closes next weekend. We had thought instead about going to Edinburgh Castle, as this weekend Historic Scotland (the UpNorth equivalent of English National Heritage, for those of you down south) was having a free weekend, and the castle is usually extortionate (though well worth the money). We eventually decided that as it was free it would be heaving, and both of us had been before, and this may be the only chance to see the Ansel Adams photos in this country. I think we made the right choice. As we walked along Princes Street towards the place where the exhibition was, looking up at the castle you could see loads and loads of people on the battlements.
Once we got home we watched a DVD that we’d got as a wedding gift, Rivers and Tides which is about the sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. We both really like his work (he was one of the sculptors whose work we saw at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on Easter Saturday), and both enjoyed the DVD a lot. Like many artists discussing their work he did occasionally sound a bit Pseud’s Corner, but never in an inaccessible way, and I found I loved his reflections on the processes of working with nature (he works with natural objects – leaves, rocks, ice, trees, bracken, all sorts – many of which are quite vulnerable to the elements and so are sometimes quite ephemeral, though others have a hugeness and solidity about them which is very impressive and awe-inspiring, for me at least). I particularly loved when they showed him at work on a beach and the sculpture he was working on (a cone-shaped cairn) kept collapsing – he talked about how this particular sculpture had collapsed four times, but each time he started again he felt he understood the rocks a bit better, so he was able to build up the sculpture higher each time before it collapsed again. I really loved the thought that the longer you spend getting to know the medium – whatever it is you’re working with – the more you understand it, the more intuitive you become with it. It reminded me of my own work – the interviews and the literature and everything is just the beginning, the more I immerse myself in it the more understanding I gain and the more creative and intuitive I can be. HD has written a similar reflection on his blog, about the same bit of the film, in relation to his line of work (programming) – I think that art at its best can do that, speak the same message in all sorts of different contexts.
And now I’m starting to sound all Pseud’s Corner myself 😀 Anyway – worth a look if you come across it. It’s also beautifully filmed and (I thought) very sensitive and not intrusive – a great way to spend an hour and a half.