A River of Stones, Day Twenty-Nine: More and Moore

I am pretty happy with my lot and don’t yearn for huge wealth. I have more than enough for my needs, being of a frugal disposition, and can support the various charities and causes I believe in without being a martyr. I’m a long way from the gutter or even the widow’s mite.
I’d love enough money not to have to work, as opposed to not towork, but the lifestyles of Paris Hilton and her like look thoroughly uninteresting from this scruffy sofa.
However, from time to time, and especially when I look in estate agents’ windows, I wish I had semi-serious money. I was going to say I wish I were rich, but the houses I was lusting after this afternoon are in parts of town the really rich have probably never even heard of.
Yet earlier in my walk, which was brisk and did not involve many photos as I wanted to keep my thermal-gloved hands up my sleeves, I walked through a housing estate that I found thoroughly depressing. I think it was the air of unlovedness that got to me. That and the abundance of bins.
I walked there as I wanted to look at the Henry Moore sculpture. It is an incongruous setting and certainly under appreciated. Usually it is covered in graffiti. I have been thinking about t quite a bit since the theft of the Barbara Hepworth from another local setting, Dulwich Park. At least that was behind locked gates. As I approached, all I could see was this:


I am guessing the Moore is underneath. Maybe this is the council’s way of protecting it. But somehow, if the thieves who took the Hepworth, almost certainly for its scrap metal value, want this one too, that corrugated iron isn’t going to stop them.
It made me start to muse on how so many treasures are locked up so no one ever sees or enjoys them. Then thinking of how when pieces like this are left for everyone to enjoy they are routinely vandalised, I began to wonder how we deserve the environments in which we live.
So maybe I just don’t merit any of those houses I saw in the estate agents’.


29 thoughts on “A River of Stones, Day Twenty-Nine: More and Moore

  1. It is a shame that works of art have to be protected from the very people they were created to please in the first place but then again, think about Mother Earth and what we’ve done to THAT! 😦

    Have a good Sunday…..
    Pam and Sam

  2. Yes, just imagine the basements of the Smithsonian museums and the V&A and the British Museum…. !! Those places could earn a small fortune arranging walking tours of the underground vaults and hidey-holes!

  3. That’s very sad, Isobel and a disgrace really, that it’s been “protected” in such an ugly way.

    A Henry Moore statue in Gloucester that lots of people admired ended up being attacked and ruined.

    These statues should be sited somewhere where they can be under surveillance.

    • Ah but whom? The Moore is overlooked by several tower blocks. That may mean it is safer than the Hepworth. Who knows?
      I like the fact that it is in a rundown environment where ordinary people who would never go to galleries see and enjoy it. The trouble at the moment is the high price of scrap metal puts all such objects,as well as railway lines and church roofs, at risk from people who don’t see the art, only the money.
      I blame Margaret Thatcher.

  4. There are some housing towers in Sydney which look much like this one. I keep noticing window coverings (not bins). I said to Andrew I wanted to take photographs of all the different window covering materials around his area. Blinds, sheets, curtains, coloured somethings, wood panels… it’s such a mish-mash. Fortunately they put blinds in the new department of housing properties so it doesn’t look as motley.

  5. What a vicious circle it all is, and how sad. I’ve never been able to understand people who keep art in bank vaults. But at least their treasures won’t get melted down or obliterated with grafitti. (In such cases, are they treasures, or just investments? Perhaps, in their own way, such people are just as bad as those who deface or remove artworks. It poses the very real question – how deprived do you have to be for art to become a complete irrelevance? You could, of course, rephrase that by changing one letter. How depraved…
    I used to live in East Dulwich, and am sad to hear about the Hepworth. I am now fascinated to know whereabout you are…
    The photo challenge is fun.
    Someone somewhere isn’t allowing me to post comments today, so this may be coming to you via facebook!
    Writing from the Edge

    • You went into spam!
      I am not a million miles away from where you were.
      And in a couple of weeks I hope to be in Ireland!
      The loss of the Hepworth is so sad. Such a lovely piece, but someone just saw the scrap metal value. Almost certainly melted down by now.

      • I left a comment somewhere wondering whether you were coming to Ireland for work, or family, or pleasure or a bit of everything – and where in Ireland you were coming to? Also to warn you to pack your wetsuit. I have no idea where I left the comment, or if you got it!

        • Pleasure and family. My mother is from Co Derry. She was born in Antrim, but that was an aberration, and we don’t mention it…
          My cousin has a new dog and I am hoping for lots of walk and play. Fingers crossed it won’t rain all the time.

  6. Same sort of thing here. Some of the blocks are quite nice. They look rundown because people, for whatever reason, don’t or can’t take pride in them.
    Pix of window coverings might be interesting. Not sure how occupants would react!

    • Thank-you Eldy! That is very kind. I have received it before, it was my first award. So I think it would be fitting to make this second time of receiving it the moment to say I am closing this blog to awards.
      They are lovely to get, but I am hopelessly behind with passing them on. I shall try to do my best with this one, and perhaps over the coming months I shall pass the others on too.
      I enjoy reading your blog ver much too.

  7. Good Afternoon Isobel! It’s sad, but every day we watch the morning news and I have to just wonder what is going on. Almost every day I am looking for something to restore my faith in people. Most days I do find it 🙂

  8. I wish we all, humans, could find the way to a more aware, peacefull and thoughtfull way of living. Once more, thank you Isobel for sharing your thought, feelings and interests and to lay them to us in such a clear and rich prose.

  9. That’s the Brandon Estate, isn’t it Isobel? I lived for a while a short walk from there, in Westcott Road, when the estate was being built. The locals were very proud of it then. I only vaguely remember the sculpture, that’s how much impression it made on me. Maybe it was installed later, I don’t know.

    Close by, the 1848 Chartist Great Meeting was held on Kennington Common (now Park). With typical Irish exaggeration yer man Fergus claimed that over 300,000 attended. You’d be lucky to get 30,000 in there if it’s still the same size, which I believe it is.

    I think I mentioned the two cottages opposite Kennington Road were designed by Prince Albert? He had the bright idea of building them with 11″ cavity walls, which was quite innovative at the time. Then, to make them absolutely water tight, he filled the cavities with bitumen tar.

    Bad idea.

    • I thought you might know it. I think it was placed there in the 70s. I am rather fond of it. I can’t for the moment think where Westcott Road is, I shall look it up.
      Kennington Common was bigger than Kennington Park, and it took an hour for all the Chartists to cross Blackfriars Bridge so there must have been quite a few coming from the assembly points of Stepney Green, Clerkenwell Green and Russell Square, as well as those from south of the river who assembled in Peckham Fields.
      Albert is often wrongly credited with the design of the cottages. The designer was Henry Roberts, a pioneer in model housing.
      Maybe I’ll do a post about it.

      • Really? I don’t have my Bannister Fletcher any more. I could have sworn they were in it. Perhaps the Prince commissioned them? And it was his idea to fill the cavities? An experienced architect surely wouldn’t do that.

  10. By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask you to identify my banner picture on MyT, but I think you might even have photographed it yourself recently. Now there’s no need for clues, I’ve given it away!

    Oh, due to enemy action I post there as Jan Francis these days. Which is truthful enough, I suppose.

      • Can your readers post pictures in threads Isobel? I tried some months ago with a rather sinister portrait of a local cat-in-the-green but it didn’t display so I never tried again.

        I used the same method I use to post in blogs on MyT (can’t do it in threads any more), namely:
        ** (without the asterisks of course).

        I wasn’t sure how you would take to readers’ clutter on your site.

        Oh, before I forget. Can I go further back than the list of ‘Recent Posts’? I often wonder if further comments have been made on some blogs, only to find they’ve dropped off the list.

    • If your pic has an URL you should be able to post it, so either upload to your own page, Flick’r or wherever. Then type a pointy bracket and follow it immediately with img src=open inverted commas and write your photo’s URL, close inverted commas space then width=open inverted commas 400 close commas height=open inverted commas 310 close forward slash pointy bracket
      and that should work.
      Sorry about the baby speak, but everytime I tried to write it, it inserted a picture frame or left it blank!
      Google would tell you other methods, I’m sure.
      I don’t think pix in comments use up my allowance. I may be wrong. I am thinking of switching to Flick’r in anticipation of running out of free photospace on wordpress.

      You should be able to look at the archives. Just click the month you are interested in. Again, I’m not an expert, so Google may give you more direction.
      I shall look forward to seeing your local cat!

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