Yesterday I went up to Southwold to see Susan and Caroline and set up a new joint blog for our lighthouse project Eastern Light - we are using this as a working sketchbook/discussion platform between ourselves - think it will provide a useful way of working in between meeting up. Susan has been recording lighthouses on the Norfolk coast. My work has focused on Harwich as there is an overlap with another project I'm working on which is about the River Stour.
On the Stour Valley project I will be retracing many of John Constable's steps, as well as those of my father, who in the 1950's worked surveying and looking after the Stour for the local river authority. The River Stour flows into the estuary at Manningtree - but following the estuary to the sea takes you to Harwich - so the natural place to start the work.
I also came across this postcard view of the Low Lighthouse at Harwich from Huelse http://www.unc.edu~rowlett/lighthouse/engse.htn
Yesterday I went over to Harwich and had access to the Buoy Yard at Trinity House, where they refit buoys from all along the East Coast, as far afield as the North of Scotland down to Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Equipped with reflective jacket and hard hat I was able to record all the different shapes and sizes of buoys, in varying stages of refit. They are also refitting a Light Vessel at the moment with solar panels - the Sandette, which is usually to be found off the French coast near Le Touquet. It was a fascinating place and I found lots that might form the base of a series of paintings.
Harwich too is an interesting town, with a lot of history and many fabulous Georgian buildings as well as the Electric Palace, built in 1911 and now beautifully restored, about to be able to show digital films as well as maintaining their traditional film projectors. Harwich's long naval history was evident, with plaques to the Mayflower and Samuel Pepys as well as boards documenting all the Man o' Wars that were built there together with RNLI rescues.
Later I found I had been selected for the Parallax Art Fair, to be held in London in February 2012 and recently the exhibition submission by a group of us, 'Future Perfect', has been accepted by the Cut, Halesworth for 2013. Must get painting!
Putting the flags out
Light Vessel LV18