Re purpose: WPC

This week’s photo challenge is about repurposing? …”discovering an object for which you’ve discovered a clever new use.”

Like Phoebe Anna Traquair?

Painted in 1920s by Scottish Artist Phoebe Traquair for the Great Hall of Lympne Castle, Kent

Painted in 1920s by Scottish Artist Phoebe Traquair for the Great Hall of Lympne Castle, Kent ( National Museum of Scotland)

Art galleries and museums ‘repurpose’ objects all the time to engage visitors, of all ages; to make them inquisitive; puzzled; challenged to compare, and contrast; to critique and make recommendations: to appreciate differences and similarities; to remember images of what they treasured; to open up to wonder. It’s more than just labelling and classifying – they want to get people talking and reflecting on what was most memorable for them.img_1035-1Most Scottish museums and galleries are free. We visited Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum last year for a special (ticketed) Mucha Exhibition. I’d last been in the building when it was a dusty museum/storehouse last century.

fullsizerender Caught a glimpse of some refurbishment and wondered why they put these objects together – a Spitfire behind an elephant? Did you have to guess which is heaviest?

Our tour guide was very informative but I didn’t get time to ask these objects which caught my eye, so I nipped back and took this photo to look at later.

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The curators must have a sense of humour. What do you reckon? These are twice the size of tennis balls and thought to be pre-Viking.

One ‘repurpose’ – You stirred them in the cauldron to help tenderise the meat being cooked.

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PS. An adult elephant can weigh up to 4500 kg. This 1944 Spitfire’s max. weight is 3565 kg. For an image of the completed display, click here.

PPS. Yes. The Mucha Exhibition was pretty. But I got fed up looking at so many draped, ornamental women on posters … time to move on. Spent a more engrossing, enlightening time in the galleries upstairs. I’d go again any day.

All text and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Graceful Nature: Weekly Photo Challenge

When I wonder about ‘graceful,’ images of dreamy movement and soft curves come to mind.

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Sometimes graceful movement is so fast – like a butterfly. I have to follow till it rests. Standing very still, I hold my breath and ‘click.’

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Other times, a curve catches my eye. As I stare, I sense some infinitesimal movement within … an unfolding.

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and then … there’s my own, walking times, when what I see makes me feel infinitesimal … and my heart leaps!

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Sometimes I go about pitying myself, And all the while I am being carried across the sky by beautiful clouds. (Ojibway poem)

Here’s another graceful image from a story that I tell –

Out in the cattle kraal, a silver cord descended from high in an African night sky, down, down … to its dusty centre. By the light of the moon, a crouching man keeping watch behind the thorn-bush fence, saw his black and white, speckled cattle move apart. Hearing singing, he looked up and there, round the shining cord, he spied a line of beautiful women floating down, one after the other. Singing softly, they spiralled down till they touched the ground. All wore wondrous clothes and ornaments which flickered in the moonlight and carried a calabash held against one hip. Then they walked silently, gracefully, to an animal and murmured soothingly as they sat. Sing together again, they steadily milked his black and white cows.

As a child, Laurens van der Post was told this story about women of the sky by a black woman –servant. It’s on pages 132-4 of his book “ The Heart of the Hunter.” If you want to hear my version of the whole story, you’ll have to come to Storytelling Unplugged: the Meetup group I organise, next first Friday of the month!

Graceful

All text (except those in italics) and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

The Kelpies : WPC Names

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Since 2013 these 30m high sculptures have attracted thousands of tourists to Central Scotland. Their creator, Andy Scott, sought to celebrate the mighty horses which pulled coal barges along the tow paths of the Union Canal, more than two hundred years before. He didn’t name them Kelpies, but this is the name remembered from old legends which has caught the public imagination. I wonder why?

Perhaps you haven’t heard of them –

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Long ago, folk tales about Kelpies warned children not to go near deep, lonely water, or untended horses, lest they be carried away. These legendary creatures were said to feed on human flesh. Children, young women or weary travellers, once they mounted, were held fast, to be carried off, drowned and devoured.  William Stobbs’ cover illustration captures the underlying mood of such stories.

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There’s one gruesome story of a school child who laid just one finger on a Kelpie. When it was held fast, he knew from the look in that horse’s eye that this was a dreaded water horse. Only iron could save him, so he quickly used his penknife to cut off his own finger . All the other school children on its back were carried off and never seen again. He was the only child left in that village for a long time.

In Australia today, a ‘Kelpie’ looks like this.

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 It’s a breed of smart, hard-working dogs: almost an icon of Outback life. This one’s a Red Kelpie.Perhaps you’ve seen the movie Red Dog, based on a real kelpie’s story. There’s a sequel out in cinemas right now.( I’ll have to take hankies if it’s anything like the first one.) There are also Black & Tan, Chocolate and Smokey Blue Kelpies. They make faithful family pets – that’s more my kind of Kelpie.

All text and photos by Meg

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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