Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Aldeburgh Art Ancient and Modern

Amazingly another alphabet gone and we are at number 12 of the rounds of ABC Wednesday, so new year, new badge and new alphabet words. With no more ado let me take you to the south east of England to the coastal town of Aldeburgh in Suffolk and head for the beach, which may have snow on it at the moment, but what better time to dream of sunny summer days when you can wander along the beach picking up shells, but this one is not for picking but for admiring
"Scallop" by Maggi Hambling is dedicated to the composer Benjamin Britten who lived in Aldeburgh and used to walk along the beach in the afternoon.  The words written on the edge say "I hear those voices that will not be drowned" and are from his opera 'Peter Grimes' which was based on part of a poem by George Crabbe a native of Aldeburgh.  This year a beach performance of Peter Grimes will take place at Aldeburgh as part of the music festival.  East Anglia is the driest part of Britain so hopefully they get a day like the one in my photographs.
Mermaid on the Scallop
Maggi Hambling's idea was for the Scallop to be both visual and tactile. It proved controversial with some local people who said it spoilt the shingle beach.  I went to see for myself and loved it on the crest of the beach, it would seem that
visitors do too for every time I passed it was either being photographed or as in the previous photo sat on. Hambling thinks of it as a conversation with the sea
"An important part of my concept is that at the centre of the sculpture, where the sound of the waves and the winds are focused, a visitor may sit and contemplate the mysterious power of the sea,"
Maggi Hambling, before The Scallop, was probably most famous for being a portrait painter full of bold strokes and lots of paint.  She also became well known for appearing in the 1980s as captain of the TV quiz show "Gallery" where the panellists of the two teams used to identify and discuss works of art. Described as a "cerebral quiz show" I couldn't see it being made for today's television even discounting the fact that Hambling was rarely seen without a cigarette in her hand.

That is the modern (2003) part of Aldeburgh in my title but walk away from The Scallop and towards Aldeburgh to find the ancient
 Moot Hall built in 1520.  Moot Halls are local meeting places and this once this held local council meetings but today although the Town Clerk has an office here the rest is a museum, which as the sign says is "open".  The building was restored in 1854 hence its good condition.

 Going around the side and there is the sundial from the times before the railways when each part of England had a different time.  The coming of the railways meant that there had to be a standardised time for all the country otherwise the timetables would not make any sense.

Go around the back and a couple of cyclists have arrived, the relatively flat and rolling county of Suffolk being ideal for being active on a bike.


Leslie: said...


abcw team

Carol L McKenna said...

Wonderful post for A and the photography is fascinating art ~ Great!

(A Creative Harbor)

richies said...

What a neat old building. I love the chimneys

An Arkies Musings

photowannabe said...

Amazing sculpture and the architecture is fascinating.
I enjoyed your post a lot.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Both modern and ancient views of this beautiful place are enchanting! Adore the creativity of the scallop and the words attached! And love the little bundle of flowers decorating the old brick wall! Gorgeous post!

Roger Owen Green said...

love the art and architecture. Fond of Britten!

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Melanie Boudwin said...

That's something I love about England- the eclectic mix of old and new. I enjoy both elements, especially the way you've shown them here.

Rajesh said...

Very artistic.

Martha said...

Love the old building! There is something fascinating about it.

Chubskulit Rose said...

I think Santa always goes to its chimney on Christmas hehehe.

Catching up with ABC entries.

Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

magiceye said...

Wonderful captures that bring to life your commentary

Beverley Baird said...

Great info on this pl;ace and sculptures.

Dave said...

This was an interesting blog Joy. I never knew that Benjamin Britten wrote operas. I only understood that he was an orchestra conductor. Nice photos too - Dave