Below is an immensely sized sculpture by Jonathan Borofsky. Molecule man 1+1+1. I enjoy being able to glimpse the greenery through the little holes in the metal men.
Disturbing figures linger under the trees.
Below are Riace – works by Elizabeth Frink. Frink was a leading figure in British sculpture and was part of the post-war group of British sculptors known as the Geometry of Fear school.
The four Riace sculptures were inspired by the discovery of two fifth-century BC Greek bronze sculptures in the sea off Southern Italy in the 1970s.
Frink saw them on display in Florence and described how ‘the original figures are very beautiful, but also very sinister’. The bronzes depict ancient Greek mercenaries: warriors who would fight in exchange for sacrificial offerings in their benefit
On a lighter note here is Niki de Saint Phalle’s, Buddha 2000. I love all the colourful mosaic detail on this one.
On a grey bank holiday we headed off to Yorkshire Sculpture Park for a dose of culture and some fresh air. There’s around 60 sculptures set in 500 acres of park land on the Bretton Estate as well as five indoor galleries.
Below is one of Marc Quinn’s huge, sexualised orchids. At first glance it’s a beautiful flower but it also bears a rather close resemblance to lady bits as well!!
It might have been a bit of a grey day but we still managed to whizz around acres of park land and enjoy some art.
There’s plenty of Henry Moore’s imposing sculptures dotted around the place, sometimes placed in formal gardens and other times they’re marooned in fields,surrounded by sheep!
The sculptures sometimes almost blend into their surroundings, seeming as if they have always graced the grounds of the 18th century Bretton Estate.
Below are several sculptures by Masayuki Koorida. According to YSP’s info the sculpture specialises in “highly finished sculptures in granite. Incredibly smooth and beautifully curved, the sculptures remind the viewer of amoebas, molecules and the aesthetic of Japanese anime.”
Brian Fell’s Ha Ha bridge spans an empty cutting. Its rusty, metallic industrial feel provides a foil to the lush greenery of nature.
YSP says: “By incorporating the word itself into the sides of the bridge he not only refers directly to the ha-ha beneath but also provides an amusing reminder of the original coining of the term derived from the cry of surprise at discovering a boundary.”
Next up we see colourful tiled sculptures, LED horses and contemporary trees made of toilets and sheds!
On route to our next photogenic village we stop off briefly to take a closer look at one of the many traditional water wheels that are still dotted around the region.
They are protected monuments so if you buy land with one on it, it has to stay there forever!!
They still function as well as ever, even if they’ve been left to rust for decades.
Next on the photo tour we head to a pretty little village called Altes.
It’s a typical, Algarve village of whitewashed houses with lattice work, handcrafted chimneys and narrow, cobbled streets nestling in the foothills of the Serra do Caldeirão.
There are so many pretty windows that I became virtually delirious with snappy delight!
Dotted about the whitewashed alley ways are delightful terracotta pots full of fleshy succulents and geraniums.
Some of which I have absolutely no idea of what they’re called!
Sunlight bounces off the blindingly white buildings, contrasting with the solid blue of the sky.
Here’s a few more colourful snaps of plants and paintwork.
Plus a local feline stares me down as I capture them in my view finder.
At the eastern end of Alte, past the school, are the springs (fontes) for which Alte is well known. The area around Fonte Pequena (little spring) is very pretty with a bridge across the stream, the start of a series of waterfalls and a picnic site.
There’s also a paved garden area dedicated to Alte’s famous poet, Cândido Guerreiro..there are tiled plaques on the wall with some of the poet’s works on.
As usual there are lots of pretty tiles to be found on the local houses.
While sunshine bathes some of the local flora in glorious light and colour.
Photo tour – two little words that strike fear into my loved ones and frenzied joy into me!! Luckily for them I am more than happy to grab my camera and head out solo.
Here’s some snaps from a few of the sights we saw on a full day snap happy tour of the Algarve region .
Below is the futuristic looking sanctuary of Loule, perched high on a hill above the town.
The original Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy (aka Sanctuary of the Sovereign Mother) was built in 1553 while the super modern dome was a far later addition .
The next stop is Loule itself. It features a castle and a bustling market hall.
The castle used to boast a series of defensive walls approximately 940 m (0.58 miles) in length. Three towers, a turret and a stretch of ramparts with a walk way along the top define the defensive structure.
Inside it lies the – “alcaidaria” – where the commander of the castle lived – which was possibly built in the 14th century and was rebuilt in the 18th century
Above is a bronze statue of an elderly farmer selling her wares close to the central market.
The attractive arabian style market hall is home to lots of colourful stalls and I waltzed through it with unbridled delight!
Decorative shaped tomatoes, colourful sardine tins and fresh fish offer plenty of photo opportunities.
Look at the shiny, fresh, dead little fishes.
Or you can enjoy them in more sanitised, colourful packaging such as these little sardines.
We’ve still got lots of little villages to check out so come back soon!
Another day, another tour of the delights of Portugal. This time it was a day exploring the eastern Algarve.
First up was a brief return to the capital of Faro before heading onto the port of Olhao. Sadly we had mere minutes to take a look at the market hall before speeding onwards.
Next up we briefly cross the border into Spain and the town of Ayamonte.
Again we had very little time to spare in the town so we just snapped some of the colourful tiles in the town centre.
Patterns galore and palm trees make the town a pleasant place to sit and watch the world go by.
Here’s a few more colourful painted tiles.
Next on our whistle stop tour is Vila Real de Santo Antonio.
This pretty town is easy to find your way around, because it’s laid out on a grid system. The town was designed that way by the Marquês de Pombal.
Vila Real has a large town square, ‘Praça Marquês de Pombal’, which is edged with orange trees and surrounded with white buildings, shops, cafes and restaurants. Its grey and white cobbles radiate out from a central obelisk.
There’s lots of lovely details scattered around the town. Including highly detailed tiles on many of the buildings.
Lots of the buildings are in a sad state of disrepair. Partly because anything over one hundred years old can’t be knocked down, only refurbished.
Here’s another of the decorative tiles.
Another of my favourite touches is that some of the houses are completely tiled from floor to ceiling. Whether this is purely decorative or whether it helps keeps them cool in summer I am not sure.
At the end of the 19th century the town was a major canning centre for sardines and tuna. There’s a museum dedicated to the business.
It includes lots of the surprisingly decorative packaging and tins.
There’s also an exhibit of lithography which was used for the print of the labels.
Finally we visited the lovely town of Taveria. Thanks to a cock up I have already posted about that though!!! Opps 🙂
Faro, the capital of the Algarve, is often overlooked by the hoardes of tourists who disembark at the airport and head straight for their beach resorts.
However it has a wealth of beautiful buildings, a quaint old town and some macabre secrets to share with anyone who takes the time to explore it.
I hopped on a local bus from Praia D’Oura but I must have picked a route that literally went around the houses as it took nearly two hours for me to arrive!
First up I headed for the main square in the old town. This peaceful, orange tree lined open space is also home to Faro cathedral.
The cathedral, with its family of storks nesting on the roof, has a wealth of ornate details waiting to be uncovered. From gilded cherubs to the ubiquitous white and blue tiling that is a feature of the region.
You can also get a marvellous panoramic view over the old town and out towards the marsh flats from the roof top of this venerable old building.
The old town itself is a maze of whitewashed houses, punctuated with vivid splashes of colour from Bougainvillea and ornate tiling.
Grafitti, deep red walls and endless tiles all via for my attention.
However the main attraction of Faro for me is to be found behind this facade of the Baroque Igreja do Carmo.
The Igreja do Carmo originally dates from 1719 with the money for its construction financed with Brazilian gold from Portugal’s colony in South America.
It has some wonderful features including these serene figures of Jesus and Mary. However, they are not the reason I am visiting.
The reason is a little more macabre . . . it is the Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones) set within a small walled garden within the church grounds.
The bones and skulls that can be seen are those of over 1200 Carmelite monks that were exhumed from the nearby church cemetery when the ossuary was built in 1816.
An inscription over the entrance reads: “Stop here and consider the fate that will befall you.” A fitting thought as you examine the skulls and femurs that “decorate” the interior.
It’s not the first bone chapel I have visited. The Capuchin bone crypt, a larger, multi roomed, version can be found in Rome, complete with chandeliers made from pelvic bones!
But each one is a fascinating way of emphasising the brevity of human existence and giving us pause to consider our own mortality in the empty eye sockets of those that have gone before us.
I personally found it very serene and peaceful, not at all creepy. Indeed I think it shows a healthy respect for, and embracing of, death.
Back amongst the living, out on the streets there’s always time to pause and appreciate some street art before heading back to the bus station to head for home.
Next we’ve taking a trip to the pretty town of Silves and the highest point of the Algarve!