It can be quite surprising what you see when you visit castles in Scotland. When we went to Drum Castle in Aberdeenshire – I have to say a couple of years ago now, I didn’t expect to see an exhibition of textiles and clothes by Marian Clayden who I hadn’t heard of before but is very well known in her field of textiles and weaving. You can see my earlier posts on Drum Castle here.
The photos really don’t do her work justice as you can’t see the textures so well. The fabric is mainly silk and velvet, absolutely sumptuous looking.
Marian Clayden was born in Preston, Lancashire which had a thriving textile industry back in the day, so her family was involved in various crafts, but I think we can safely say that Marian picked up that baton and ran with it. You can read about her life here.
She trained as a teacher but after having a couple of kids and being stuck at home she decided to try dyeing some textiles in her kitchen, using skills she had learned in her teacher training. Moving to San Francisco in 1967 must have influenced her hugely – with all of those flower power people and bright colours around the place.
Her career took off and there were exhibitions of her work all over the world. Sadly she died in 2015 but her work lives on in major collections all over the world in places such as the V&A in London and the Metropolitan in New York. We were just incredibly lucky to stumble across this exhibition in a Scottish Castle.
Art from the Second World War is one of the books that I got for Christmas. It was published by the Imperial War Museum and it’s their collection of artworks.
I’m interested in the war although mainly from the social home front aspect, and many of the artworks depicted in this book are of war workers and even of people queuing outside a fishmongers and poulterers.
It’s a lovely book although some of the images are quite disturbing – such as the one of bodies in Belsen. I prefer to concentrate on the more domestic images.
It contains works by Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, Henry Moore, Mervyn Peake ( I didn’t even know he painted), Laura Knight, Eric Ravilious and many more.
The image below was painted by Evelyn Dunbar.
And the one below by Laura Knight (Dame) is of a balloon team.
I love this painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. I was amazed to discover that it was painted so long ago, 1565 – as it seems quite modern to me, it must be something to do with the clean, crisp quality of it. The original is in Vienna. I first came across Hunters in the Snow about 30 years ago when a friend sent me it as a Christmas card and I managed to find a framed print of it not long afterwards. However it was one of the things which disappeared during our last removal to this house 24 years or so ago. Things always seem to go missing when we move and we moved around the country a lot before we got here.
I haven’t replaced it in all these years but I’ll really have to get around to it, or maybe I should leave it until after we downsize, just in case another removal man takes a fancy to it.
I love just about everything about it. Click on it to enlarge it and you’ll see the smaller details. I love the trees and the snow, mountains, dogs, skaters, curlers, the church in the distance, the birds, the person carrying wood for a fire across the bridge and especially the sign which is on the left hand side and is dangling lop-sided in the wind. I can just about hear it squeaking and creaking and I can almost smell the snow and the fire. I have a very eclectic taste in Art. What about you? Has anything ‘disappeared’ from a removal of yours?’