Spent a great day yesterday on Dartmoor with a group of 22 photographers. We had long walk over some of the old mining areas and were given very interesting commentaries along the way by Tom Greeves a cultural environmentalist.
The music broadcaster Sara Mohr-Pietsch, who is the new Artistic Director of the Dartington Summer School & Festival of Music. She will be curating the 2020 Summer School.
Two views of Achill in County Mayo on the West coast of Ireland. The first one shows Gráinne Ó Máille’s castle at Kildavnet facing the mainland. Gráinne was a well known historical figure in 16th century Irish history known as the Pirate Queen or the Sea Queen of Connacht.
The currach used in Achill is a traditional lightweight Irish fishing boat made from a wooden frame covered with canvas which is then tarred. This one was opposite the island of Inishbiggle and the hills of North Mayo are in the distance.
While in Achill I explored the interiors of the abandoned single storey cottages that had been built early in the twentieth century. They usually consisted of only three rooms, a bedroom at each side and a living space in the middle. A few have been built onto and modernised but most have just been left and the inhabitants have either emigrated or built a brand new bungalow close by with all the facilities that these cottages never had. They are very atmospheric and poignant places. Often it looks as if the owner had simply walked out of the rooms leaving everything behind except just a few clues as to who they were and how they lived. The fireplaces in particular stood out as usually great care had been taken to build a decorative fire surround in what must have been a fairly plain room. These photos show a couple of those hearths and an old bed with straw bursting out from the mattress.
While on holiday on Achill Island recently I photographed the young boxers at the Achill Island Boxing Club run by Pete Digweed in an old school building in Dereens. I’m not a great fan of boxing but I was very impressed by their poise, confidence and dignity. Here are Ben Dempsey, aged 13 who is the current Connaught champion and 13 year old Áine Curtis.
It has been announced that Sara Mohr-Pietsch is to be the next Artistic Director of Dartington Summer School and Festival 2019. She is a well known broadcaster particularly on Radio 3, and also hosts music events and talks, has led education workshops and written for a number of magazines and newspapers. She has visited Dartington many times over the years and it sounds like an exciting new appointment. I photographed her at Dartington a week or so ago.
A beautiful Devon day out yesterday at Gammon Head with Red Admirals and bees feeding in the hedgerows.
I haven’t been to London for a long time and the contrast between Devon where I live and the city is enormous. I loved it and found it so stimulating.
At the weekend I went to London for the opening of a friend Nicholas Pope’s exhibition ‘Sins and Virtues’ held at The Sunday Painter in South Lambeth Road, Stockwell. The centre of the installation is the piece called The Conundrum of the Chalices of the Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Virtues with fourteen beautiful glass chalices produced in collaboration with glass maker James Maskrey and fourteen accompanying drawings. It is a beautiful and unusual exhibition in an interesting new gallery.
Last week I took some head shots of the bursary students who are playing in the Baroque orchestra performing at Dartington Summer School and Festival of Music 2018. From top and then from left to right – Jolyon Loy, Thomas Coltman, Seth van Embden, Sophie Simpson, Rosalind Ridout, Anjelika, Abel Balazs and Sarah Matousek,
I’ve just sent some photographs to Jill Kemp the recorder player who I photographed in 2016 at the Dartington Summer School of Music.
Oliver Knussen sadly died a few days ago on the 8th July. I photographed him at Dartington Summer School and Festival of Music in 2011 at the rehearsal of one of his compositions in the Great Hall. In the top photograph he is seen discussing the score with fellow composer Huw Watkins. Knussen had been a regular visitor to Dartington over the years.
I recently photographed Alice Carfrae – the photographer – for the exhibition to mark 70 years of Dartington Summer School of Music. She is an ex student of mine and we also worked together for a few years documenting the Summer School. Alice is a very talented young photographer who studied documentary photography on the renowned Newport Documentary photography course and has worked extensively in India and China documenting social issues.
Here is a small selection of photographs from a slide show which will be shown daily at the Visitor Centre at Dartington for the whole of August, as part of the celebration of 70 years of the Dartington Summer School & Festival of Music.
I recently photographed for Dartington Arts, the German pianist Volker Bertelmann known as Hauschka who is a proponent of the prepared piano. He played continuously for 70 minutes at a concert at Dartington Hall creating some extraordinary sounds by placing and moving a selection of objects inside the piano as he played, at times amplifying the sounds.
Edinburgh International Festival contacted me recently for permission to use this photograph of Thea Musgrave, the celebrated composer who is ninety this year. It was taken when she was running a composition course at Dartington Summer School of Music.
A final photo taken at the crazy and joyful last jive and big band night of the Summer School.
Dartington International Summer School & Festival is over for another year. As always, I enjoyed it very much – meeting the musicians and composers and hearing some sublime music. This was my last photo shoot – a small brown piano in the Private Garden.
Some more photographs from Dartington International Summer School 2017. From top left – Stevie Wishart – composer and hurdy-gurdy player, James Runcie – playwright and broadcaster, Eliza Carthy – folk musician, and Adriano Adewale – Brazilian percussionist.