Monday, 17 December 2018

Walking the Thames path - a 'retirement' project - part 1 - Thames barrier to Deptford

Retirement beckons.

OH (my other half) and I are doing a lot less work than we used to.

Neither of us has completely given up the day job, but there are a lot more days when there is no 'job'.

Which means we have to think of something to do to keep ourselves amused, trying to find something that we both enjoy, in order to avoid sending each other to an early grave through too much time spent at home together.

Some friends happily enjoy long breakfasts together and drink coffee in cosy cafes....

Another couple take it in turns each week to choose an activity that the other must join in with.

Those options might push us to the limit; I do not wish to attend a football match, and OH would hate to go to a poetry workshop.

So we must walk. An activity that we both enjoy, that gets us outdoors, and gives us something new to think about.

We will walk the Thames, from mouth to source.

It will take as long as it takes, and is a relatively easy project to start, as a short train ride gets us to the start.

Day 1

A grey overcast day.

Thames barrier to Deptford.

day 1 Thames barrier to Deptford

A salubrious part of London, much of which was new to us.

Across the river, tidy blocks of flats on the north shore.

On our side, a selection of building sites and unusual art.

You may have noticed a man in a red anorak striding off into the distance.

And this on our very first leg.

We may be doing this together, but we are not together......

Every time I stop to capture the view, OH keeps marching on. I run to catch up, and then take another photograph.....

No matter. At some point we will find coffee, and later lunch. And even talk to each other.

Quantum Cloud by Anthony Gormley 1999

There is very little vegetation on this stretch of the river, so some reeds were welcome.

Only 24,859 miles around the world , north to south, from here to here.

'here' by Thomson and Craighead 2013

Pylon art next, as we drew nearer to the Greenwich peninsula.

inverted pylon by sculptor Alex Chinneck

Building sites and industrial areas.

Not a pretty walk, but interesting, none the less.

If you would like to know more about the route there are books and guides aplenty.

There's a very detailed unofficial web guide of The Thames path national trail with much more history than you will ever get from me.

Blame that on Mrs Newsome, my history teacher. She killed history for me .


(She probably is too by now).

And there is the TFL guide  which tells you how to walk along the river, and that by doing so you will avoid diabetes and heart disease.

And then some trees at last, followed swiftly by new developments of riverside living.

The broken concrete pathway gave way to immaculate new surfaces.

new housing, north greenwich
everything clean and tidy in Greenwich

New gave way briefly to old in Greenwich.

Cutty Sark pub, Greenwich

 past the Naval College and our first selfie taking tourists of the day.

Royal Naval College, Greenwich

Past the Cutty Sark, sitting in its strange new housing.

Cutty Sark , Greenwich

 None of the guides tell you where toilets might be found, where you can get a cup of coffee, or something to eat.

But we did not go hungry or thirsty.

It is not in OH's nature so to do.

lunch, Deptford

All photos were taken with my iphone. Travelling with OH does not allow time for fancy photography. We are walking. Not stopping.

You get the picture.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

So said the Sun ; a new artist book

So said the Sun

When I was studying book art we spent a whole morning debating the question

 'when is a piece of work finished?'

It was a rather silly session involving lots of equations and collaboration in groups.

At the end of the morning I came to the conclusion that the answer to this question was not a mathematical equation but was

'when I say so'.

And now the book that I have been working on for the last 3 weeks is finished.

I wrote about its progress in my last post, and after enjoying the Japanese aesthetic at Japan House, I had a clearer idea of how to make my book of abstract images of light on water work( for me at least).

Along the way a new title came to me that I hope expresses what the book is about.

So Said the Sun .....

Messages from the sun.

Asemic text ( an abstract text that cannot be read except by one's imagination)

So Said the Sun © Caroline Fraser 2018

 I finally mastered getting the thin Kozo paper to print, by temporarily sticking it to a sheet of more robust paper.

I bought some strong but soft Satogami paper for a hard cover, and for the first time in years made a hard bound book.

satogami paper cover

It looks and feel so much more serious than a soft card covered book.

The inside is delicate and fragile.

The outside is firm and protective.

title page..... So Said the Sun © Caroline Fraser 2018

So Said the Sun © Caroline Fraser 2018

So Said the Sun © Caroline Fraser 2018

So Said the Sun © Caroline Fraser 2018

 And on the last page appears a rabbit.

So said the Sun

It is done.

I will be making 5 copies to sell as a short edition. 

Message me if you are interested. 

So Said the Sun © Caroline Fraser 2018