Sunday, April 15, 2007

Carbon Glacier 

We went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on Friday to check out the Andy Goldsworthy exhibitions.
It was great, and hopefully we'll go again before it finishes next January to see how much it's changed.

We bagged our first Goldsworthy one Spring day when pottering up and down the lanes and byways of Cumbria. It was a grassy track, walled on either side, and we noticed an odd sheepfold with a rock in the middle. It looked vaguely pagan. We looked around, half expecting to catch sight of some witches monkeying around in the undergrowth, sacrificing frogs or something, but zilch. A hundred yards on there was another spooky sheepfold, and then another. It was intriguing.
Then we asked a passing walker, who explained they were by an artist, whose name I forgot by the time we got home.
That midsummer’s day there was a news item about a stunt whereby someone had dumped thirteen giant snowballs around central London. It was a Millennium Art Happening. We made the connection that this was the sheepfold bloke and have been big fans ever since.

The park itself is beautiful. There are Barbara Hepworths and Henry Moores, and a rather pleasing Antony Gormley, and we especially like “Basket #7.Oxley Bank”, that you step inside, climb some stairs to the upper level, then go a bit scooty.
It's a wonderful place, brilliant and slightly bonkers, and next time we'll take a picnic.

We stopped for a wander around Hebden Bridge on the way home, had a drink in a trendy little bar/hotel and liked it so much that we booked a room and made a night of it. It was Girlfriend's idea, and the "Let's do something spontaneous!"-ness of it had me flummoxed for a moment. I was beginning to wonder if it was a meticulously planned distraction - visions of Charlie Dimmock and a team of crack nurserymen turning over my gladioli and re-landscaping the Victory Lawn - while Girlfriend got me drunk on fancy lagers and White Russians, like what the Dude drinks in The Big Lebowski. We had to go to Spar for spur of the moment toothpaste and brushes.

It's nice is Hebden Bridge. It feels like a frontier town - you sense that good hippies have worked long and hard to make it the way that it is, all artsy this and alternative energy that, and if it's something homeopathic you're looking for, you can seek it safe in the knowledge that you won't be sneered at.
According to the 2001 Census, it's the UK capital of lady builders, and all the better for it too. I could happily live there, I'm sure. What's so funny 'bout love, peace and gentrification?

In the morning we had a leisurely breakfast and stroll around - the TV news was urging to us apply plenty of sunscreen, it was going to be a scorcher. April! - then I remembered Dimmock and drove home like a loony. No sign of busty gardeners, sadly, but then again I quite like things how they are:
SweetPeaWatch - Day 15. Shoot!

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