Marble church and Llandudno

It’s another grey drizzly summer day, so where better to go than North Wales! After sitting in traffic and arriving two and a half hours later than planned we were all a bit tetchy . .

But first stop was the marble church of St.Margaret’s in Bodelwyddan. The church was erected by Lady Willoughby de Broke in memory of her husband, Henry Peyto-Verney,

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The church contains pillars made of Belgian Red marble, and the nave entrance is made from “Anglesey marble”.

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It also contains elaborate woodwork, and in the tower can be found stained glass windows featuring Saint Margaret and Saint Kentigern.

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Close to the church is Kinmel Camp, which was a military camp located in the grounds of Kinmel Hall.


The camp was used by Canadian troops during the First World War.

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In total there are 112 Commonwealth service personnel commemorated here from World War I. More than 80 of the graves are Canadian.


The churchyard contains the graves of numerous victims of the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19 in the camp.


Next up we head to the seaside resort of Llandudno. Still grey but the colourful plastic tat on the pier makes up for the dismal weather. . .

Trees from an alternate landscape

As we continued to explore the 500 acres that Yorkshire Sculpture Park has to offer we came across this Dennis Oppenheim installation “Trees from alternative landscape components”


YSP says: “Formed of florescent trees, fake hedgerows, seemingly genetically modified flowers, the Trees have branches laden with a range of curious domestic artifacts including, baths, toilets, sinks, dog kennels, dustbins, plastic chairs and parts of fences.”

It’s a deliberately incongruous piece, setting the natural beauty of the rolling landscape with a harshly man made interpretation of nature.

It makes us consider the relationship between natural and artificial  environments and perhaps makes us think a little about our intrusion and destruction of the planet we live on.

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More to my liking are these joyful, colourful mosaics by Marialuisa Tadei. The huge double sided medallion is Night and Day.


And here is her take on the sea creature of my nightmares – the octopus! *shivers*


Below is Tom Price’s Network – a huge man engrossed in his phone (plus a little Neil too) and Eduardo Paolozzi’s Collage City.

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Finally is Julian Opie’s Galloping Horse. An LED display that shows exactly that. Opie looks at the idea of representation and how we perceive and understand images.

He takes photos of his subject matter then digitally manipulates the photographs and creates his final images by a process of elimination.

YSP says: “He reduces the features that characterise a person or object to the bare minimum, so that with just a few lines he is able to identify what makes something unique and recognisable.”


What do you think? Is less more? . . .

Ghost trees and creeping rabbits

Some sculptures in the park have an ethereal, ghostly feel about them such as this white, skeletal tree. I think it’s called “air gets into everything even nothing,” (2006) by Ugo Rondinone.


Meanwhile Sophie Ryder’s Crawling is an unsettling, gigantic sculpture of a rabbit / human on all fours. It’s a tactile, creepy thing to behold.

Made from bronze the sculpture incorporates lots of little details including toys, car parts, pistons and cast hands.

Yorkshire Sculpture Parks’s website explains: “Her work is an exploration of the female psyche and sexuality and frequently references the artist’ s own body as it morphs with the powerful energy and form of the hare.”

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YSP’s explanation of the work goes onto say: “Ryder’s work includes human, animal and mythological figures, frequently melding forms to combine the attitudes and instincts of each. Anthropomorphic characters are used both to explore the human condition and as a metaphor for Ryder’s own feelings.

“Over several years she has evolved an ongoing narrative around the female / mother figure of the Lady-Hare; a hybrid with the head of a hare, and its body modelled on Ryder’s own.”


The overall effect is unsettling but strangely alluring. You can’t help but put your hands on it, trace the half hidden tokens set within the roughly hewn surface and marvel at the sheer scale of the piece.

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Above is another of Ryder’s work – Sitting. A huge hare 18ft x 14ft, cleaved in two and made out of shaped wire. Another imposing edifice. Plus another view of the dead, white ghost tree . .