Art | I Hate Computers | Cleaning

Had a jolly little time camping at West Wittering – great weather and sea-bathing for the first two days, then explored the area with great success. Found the Cass Sculpture Foundation (near Goodwood) which was absolutely fantastic = beautiful wooded grounds housing around 80 large scale late 20th and 21st century british sculpture. Some of it was utterly beautiful. The place is thoroughly recommended, and can be found by clicking here.

A day was well spent in Chichester, shopping for clothes in the Next and Monsoon sales (we’d stumbled early on the day they both dropped to 70% off!). Having worshipped quite successfully at these temples of Mammon (and had breakfast in Starbucks), we repaired to the Cathedral to read Larkin’s “An Arundel Tomb“* with tears in eyes while looking at the real thing, and marvel at the stunning old wood panel paintings which I am slightly obsessed with.

Returned to Chichester the next day to visit the newly refurbished and expanded Pallant Gallery – well, what can I say – a feast of modern art, with lots of Paolozzi and PETER BLAKE, the chap’s a bit of a genius if you ask me.

Returned from the camping jaunt to find that the internet connection had failed. Ridiculous problems were eventually only resolved by reformatting the machine, resulting in a sleeker fast beast.

Tent and stuff now being tidied away, and house being cleaned before getting my nose properly back to the grindstone – um – tomorrow?

An Arundel Tomb

Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat
And that faint hint of the absurd –
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the pre-Baroque
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with a sharp tender shock
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithfulness in effigy
Was just a detail frends would see:
A sculptor’s sweet commissioned grace
Thrown off in helping to prolong
The Latin names around the base.

They would not guess how early in
Their supine stationary voyage
The air would change to soundless damage
Turn the old tenantry away;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly they

Persisted, linked through the lengths and breadths
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the glass. A bright
Litter of bird-calls strewed the same
Bone-riddled ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came

Washing at their identity.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
Above their scrap of history,
Only an attitude remains.

Time has transfigured them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost instinct almost true,
What will survive of us is love.


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