On Sunday we visited Down House the former home of Charles Darwin in the pretty village of Downe in Kent.
We managed to get a bus all the way there from Bromley town centre, which was very quick and cheap!!
We had a pot of tea and cake before touring the house and gardens and then did the ‘sandwalk’ where Darwin walked on a daily basis pondering ideas on evolution and natural selection :)
The house was stunning, with furnished rooms downstairs including his study filled with scientific study materials and a more multimedia, display cabinet section upstairs. The whole house had a lovely atmosphere (as old houses do I guess) and enviable amounts of space!
Darwin came from a very wealthy family, having been related to the ceramics pioneer and entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood. The wealth of the Wedgwood family enabled him to travel the world on voyages of scientific discovery and spend time in England formulating his revolutionary ideas.
You can read more here http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/home-of-charles-darwin-down-house/
After our tour we intended on walking to High Elms Country Park (approx 2 miles away) but it was a bit cold so we sat in a pub and drank cider instead :P
Whilst waiting for the bus back we noticed that most of the buildings in the village were made of flint
Apparently this was a common building material in Kent before the development of brick building techniques.
The flints were knapped by chipping off the rounded edges which made them much easier to cement and were arranged decoratively with other types of stone and variations in the knapping technique.
All in all it was a great day out and a brilliant start to the exploring season ;)
I am totally in love with my die cutting machine the Silhouette Cameo, every shelf in my house seems to have been taken over by cute 3d paper models and I’ve developed an obsession with finding paper and card…
I’m also learning a 3d modelling program that should enable me to design my own 3d paper cut files :)
Here are a few trees I have cut recently, the orange and pink one is a real stunner, I created it after running out of my fave green paper so am now on a mission to find some more :P
I hope your Sunday’s are going well? I’m hoping to take a trip to Downe in Kent today in order to visit Charles Darwin’s house, then walk to High Elms country park.. it should be a fun day out..!!
A couple of weeks ago Cha guy and I decided to visit the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. I had spent most of my teen years in Greenwich and nearby Kidbrooke and Blackheath but had never visited the museum so it was quite exciting.
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
On arrival I immediately recognised a large fresnel lens which had been used to amplify light from the Tarbat Ness Lighthouse in Scotland.
My interest in fresnel lenses comes from their use as a magnifying glass in flea circuses after I had found this amazing clip of performing fleas archive footage (I work as an archive footage producer in my day job) in the British Pathe catalogue
performing flea circus
This link is from my archive footage blog, if you click on the picture it will take you to the video
I also managed to visit the ‘Voyager’ video installation that I had given archive footage advice on a few years ago and had been created by ‘The Light Surgeons’
Voyagers exhibition installation
Here are some more interesting exhibits.
Bulldog and Union Jack ship’s figure
Afer wandering around the museum we decided to sit in Greenwich Park and do some sketching, here is my sketch of a fountain inside the herb garden.
Greenwich Park fountain sketch
Here is your desktop wallpaper calendar for April.
It was shot at the botanical gardens in Paris.. I just love the vibrant red colour of the stems with green ‘nodules’ forming on them, it’s a space-age looking plant!
(click on the picture, then again to make it bigger, right-click then save)
April 2013 desktop wallpaper calendar
Had a restful morning after much stress during the week.. thankfully all gone now :)
I decided to design and make some greetings cards for upcoming birthdays, taking inspiration from a little cardboard box with retro paris imagery on it. I used silhouette cameo files to cut the shapes and added some bling!!
Paris amour greetings cards
Am looking forward to having 2 more days off for rest and play, we are hoping to get the river boat up the Thames on monday, in order to visit Tate Britain for ‘Schwitters in Britain’ exhibition. Hopefully it wont be too cold. brrr.. this cold snap is really dragging on and nothing in the garden seems to be growing. Am looking forward to warmer weather, exploring on my bike and enjoying nature..
Earlier in the week I finished a cute little miniature house with tiny furniture :)
Miniature house interior
miniature house exterior
I hope your saturday is going good!!
I spent the morning cutting shapes out of scrap paper and card using my silhouette cameo :)
The purple butterflies below are gorgeous! You can never have too many purple butterflies :)
I also received a new batch of Shwe Shwe fabric from South Africa, will be making lots of new pouches etc for family and friends :)
Shwe Shwe fabric
I hope you are all having a fab weekend.
Tomorrow I will be performing a live cinema piece at the new Live Cinema Foundation launch event in East London, am very nervous but hopefully it will go ok.
I have an interest in African geometry, especially in printed fabrics, wood carvings and metal work.
Whilst studying for my environmental biology degree (many years ago!!) I took up batik fabric printing and made cushions and wall hangings using African patterns.
More recently I’ve been visiting the British Museum in london to explore the African galleries, here is one of the videos I shot there, (it also contains imagery from the Horniman Museum in South London)
Last christmas I made zippered pouches as presents using South African Shweshwe fabric and batik
Shweshwe fabric was originally manufactured in the UK using an acid discharge printing technique developed by Gustav Deutsch
The patterns proved popular in Africa so when the Lancashire based manufacturer ceased production in the UK, the operation moved to Cape Town and it is now known by the popular brand name Three Cats
I also have an interest in Adinkra symbols and have used them in much of my artwork including this highly stylised painting of a rhubarb leaf and Adinkra symbols
Rhubarb Leaf and Adinkra symbol
Adinkras were used as a form of written communication in West Africa during the 1800’s, the geometric shapes express and symbolise various sayings and proverbs.
Another fascinating example of African geometry can be be found via this Ted Talk about African Fractals in buildings and braids by Ron Eglash the author of a book with the same name.
He studied aerial photographs of African settlements and found that some were built around complex fractal geometric shapes, many of which were considered sacred by the villagers.
The talk then goes on to explain how other symbolic traditions could have led to the development of the first form of binary used in computer engineering.
It really is a fascinating talk!!