Archive for July 2007

Watching Silbury

July 29th, 2007
post #79 

It’s been a tense few days for Silbury Hill, and the rain to come gives no respite.

On the 26th, English Heritage halted all works, due to instability above the Atkinson Chamber (the improperly refilled 1968 televised intrusion from the roadside), “which has also been exacerbated by the volume of rainfall”.

Posting a statement to their weekly updates section, there was no word on just how much instability there was, and rumours began to spread about a ‘catastrophic internal collapse’.

A local radio station picked it up, but on ringing the BBC in the region on Thursday evening, they’d had no word. By morning, and another phone call, BBC Radio Wiltshire we’re investigating and had a statement from English Heritage. Sadly I missed this, and ended up ringing English Heritage myself.

All work had stopped because Skanska’s original (and admirable) plan of not introducing any more modern intrusion than was necessary by using Atkinson’s own tunnel supports was no longer workable. There had been an internal collapse in the earlier, vertical shaft (re-opened in 2001 and had been temporarily filled) and the surface of these tunnels was now so waterlogged that there was lots of loose material. Safety concerns preventing access, it was impossible to judge the extent of the danger the Hill was in.

A new working plan had already been devised by Rob Harding by Friday when I spoke to him (I gather he gave the statement to the BBC, but was more than willing to give me all the detail on the situation again when I rang, for which I am thoroughly grateful), and it is hoped this can begin to be implemented next week. The costs and duration much expanded by the additional works.

More information can be found at the Excavation diary on the Avebury Lodge website, EH’s own pages, and many of the news agencies have now picked up on this story, The BBC posted this on Friday after the interviews and the Guardian covered it on the same day.

Silbury still stands and fingers-crossed the rains will abate and work will continue, The situation for the Dinedor Serpent is not so certain.

Collecting the Past, Present & Future @ Abbot Hall

paintingJuly 26th, 2007
post #78 

¬†This is a marvellous show, spread over many rooms at the Hall by the river in Kendal. I was most looking forward to seeing the Stanley Spencer’s (of which there was only one), but the rest of the collection in this show is very impressive.

I was most surprised by the Paula Rego pastels, three enormous paintings with a strong message about abortion and politics. Having never seen her work first-hand before, but being very familiar from books, I was unprepared for their impact, truly punchy.

Collecting the Past, Present & Future
Highlights of British Art From Turner to Freud

13 July - 27 October 2007

This summer Abbot Hall celebrates forty-five years of collecting by staging the most comprehensive exhibition of its own collection since the gallery opened in 1962. Although perhaps best known for its temporary exhibition programme, Abbot Hall Art Gallery has also been one of the most active galleries collecting British art in recent years, acquiring important works ranging from a Turner watercolour of Windermere to portraits by Stanley Spencer and Frank Auerbach, and abstract paintings by Bridget Riley and Sean Scully. Through its wide contacts with private collectors, the gallery has also secured somes pectacular long term loans, including the largest collection of Lucian Freud etchings to be found in a public gallery.”


Scrolling in SpeedDial

Web ComputingJuly 20th, 2007
post #77 

Scrolling in SpeedDialIt turns out that the SpeedDial extension for Firefox not only gives you regularly updated screenshots of the sites you add, but they’re scrollable too.

Damned useful for photo sites.

Liverpool Bombscare

observationJuly 19th, 2007
post #76 

London Road during the bombscare. 18th July 2007London Road during the bombscare. 18th July 2007

London Road, Norton Street and New Inslington clodes for the controlled explosion at the National Express coach station, 18th July 2007

Silbury Updates no 8 & 9

July 17th, 2007
post #75 

Number Eight - Silbury phase 1 reached.
Number Nine National Archeology Week

Liverpool Culture, still not found

observationJuly 10th, 2007
post #74 


Liverpool 08 search


All things cultured now live at ‘liverpool08.com’, so I searched for ‘liverpoolculture’ to see if the address was still being linked to internally.
The search error is one thing, the fact that their search page is solely titled ‘Googlesearch’ is another entirely.

Liverpool Culture… Not Found

observationJuly 6th, 2007
post #73 

Liverpool Culture - not found

One of those ‘08 links failed on me, so I investigated.

Presently if you put https://www.liverpoolculture.com into your address bar, it redirects to https://www.www.liverpoolculture.com.

Which of course (barring some weird configuration)  fails.

50 Metres inside, Silbury Update no. 7

July 4th, 2007
post #72 

Silbury Update Number 7 (pdf): Scapulas, Ribs, banks, vegetation and widening participation.

Peter Blake - Summer with the (Ruralist) Brotherhood

paintingJuly 3rd, 2007
post #71 

The Sir Peter Blake Retrospective at Tate Liverpool is an awesome show, aside from his excellent Oil works from across his career they’re showing “Summer with the brotherhood” - a film made when I was about 4, so despite my interest had no idea had been made. It explores the motives and meaning behind the Ruralist ideal, and shows Peter Blake, David Inshaw, Graham and Ann Arnold, Graham and Annie Ovenden at work on some of their finest paintings. I must get a copy of this from somewhere.

Exactly a year ago, I saw the Ruralist exhibition at WHM Devizes, and had the pleasure of meeting Graham Arnold at Avebury’s Cove. In the film, Graham Arnold is seen putting painstaking preparation and painterly detail into ‘Warminghurst Church’. The reproductions of this painting in “Ruralists:A Celebration” do not do justice to the scale and the work involved, but I find that in all their work, from Inshaw’s enormous paintings to Annie Ovenden’s haunting pencil works of trees.

A final word on the Tate show is that the guide leaflet has been largely written by Blake himself, which makes it alot more useful, lively and insightful than usual, especially when you reach the final room.