Roseberry Art

A really good piece of work by Rachel Lonsdale, simple but effective. But I’m not convinced Roseberry needs it. I fear another step towards turning the National Park into a theme park. The idea is to discourage graffitists but with the artwork only on one side, there are three other blank canvasses. It is only a matter of time. Ste and Sarah have already left their mark.

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

A trip into Middlesbrough and lunch at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art or Mima as it is locally known. I did have a quick look at the gallery. Not my scene but the cafe’s good, well recommended. The architect designed building (Erick van Egeraat Associated Architects) cost £14.2 million funded by Middlesbrough Council and Arts Council. I’ve heard no money was allowed for running costs so Teesside University have taken it over.

I was more interested in the reflections in the glass frontage. Kept hoping Harry Worth would appear.

Graffiti of Roseberry

A damp miserable morning so I will have to resort to an old favourite. Is this graffiti? Is this vandalism? Questions I’ve touched on before.

Behind Dove Cottage in the Lake District, one time home of the poet William Wordsworth there is a rock with WW inscribed on it. There is also DW and JW, his siblings, Dorothy and John. MH, Mary Hutchinson, Wordsworth’s future wife and STC, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, his best friend. Academics wax lyrical about these initials. They “celebrate a code of the private known to a few” and “a kind of possession of the local that strengthens their bonds as a group. The significance of these markings rely on the fact that people won’t know them. It’s exactly a literal meeting place, and it shows how they use this landscape. But it also becomes symbolic of their friendship. The place becomes invested with emotion.” And on and on.


Can the same things be said about the graffiti artist who spray paints “Baz woz ere” on the rock face.

The Dove Cottage rock incidentally was originally by the side of Thirlmere and was blasted out the way by Manchester Water Authority during the construction of the reservoir. The pieces were salvaged by Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, one of the founding members of the National Trust, and brought back to Dove Cottage. In 1984 they were meticulously put back together.

“Framing the Landscape”

A new piece of art erected in Newton Wood entitled “Framing the Landscape” and with the sub-title “Many people look but only a few see”. I don’t know who the artist is. There is a signature but it’s indecipherable. There are also a couple of logos engraved on the frame: the National Trust and the sponsor, Grand Central Railway Co. Ltd., with a couple more, the University of Huddersfield and the fabricator’s, on the reverse.

Do I like it? Well I’m not in the least arty but I do like the work of those artists who use natural materials such as Andrew Goldsworthy, Miha Brinovec or Spencer Byles. My first thought was yuck but maybe when the frame has a patina of rust and the bracken has regrown covering the easel it will not be so obtrusive. I didn’t like the Angel of the North at first but I have to admit that has grown on me. Although that of course is in an inner city and not in the beauty of the National Park. Furthermore although somewhat discrete I saddened by the addition of the various logos, especially that of a sponsor and fear the slippery slide of turning Roseberry Topping into a theme park.

Rock Art or Graffiti?

With rain forecast for the day I headed for Garfitt Gap below the Wainstones to try and photograph some Bronze Age cup and ring marked boulders. The boulders were easy to locate but the markings were not. The book I have has some drawings showing some intricate markings. Seems a bit of wishful thinking to me. A disappointment then but I did manage to photograph this piece of art on the way back. I know its not a Venus de Milo and not quite an antiquity but it is curiously pleasing. On a crag overlooking Hasty Bank.