the culmination of three months work, Feast was set up and open this weekend in the Lund gallery in Easingwold. a curiously flat feeling ensued. of course, it’s quite grand and theatrical and brightly lit in a very newly converted building, so while it looks rather glamorous, it’s perhaps not quite the “ghostly banquet” I envisaged. ripped tablecloth, dust and cobwebs everywhere, old beams, earth floor, and a certain air of wabi-sabi might have been more appropriate.

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a few of the bats which had to be housed in a separate part of the roof here, might have helped to produce a mood of decay and dissolution. however, it is also meant to be a celebratory piece, and I think it does that. the dogwood stems in the four vases, flushed dark red and reaching for the light, help to usher in Spring; their leaves will be sprouting soon.

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closer up, the pots themselves have that crumbling darkness, the texture of times lost or forgotten, a reference to the life and death of past generations. so perhaps the eternal cycle of planting and harvest, I don’t know!

maybe the muslin wrong-foots it. there is something which is not quite working, I think.

you can see pictures of the whole group of pots on a web page here

back in Bale, a few flowers are poking though the mats of dead grass, which is mostly still looking pretty dormant. the first white violet on the verge in Clip Street.

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in Cake’s lane clumps of primroses are exposed by the drastic february hedge trim.

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it looks terrible, broken branches all over the place, and the brushwood shaved down to the ground, but without this treatment biannually, we would never see the primroses.

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they are at the first stage and in another two weeks the clumps will be twice this size.

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today I saw two roedeer in the wood. another magical moment, as we walked in parallel, stopping to look at each other. it was most likely a mother and daughter, the daughter a little smaller and behind, staring at us. their winter coats perfectly camouflage them against the bare trees. my dogs are a little calmer these days, and Tilda, blocked by my legs, didn’t make a sound, bless her.

another hollow oak has gone down across the lane. there are several waiting to fall. the last one was the home of tawny owls; I hope they have found a safer haven.

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