Thursday, 17 March 2016

On the beach again

On my travels again - this time to sunny Eastbourne and a course with Alice Fox at Studio 11. Right up my street, it's called Adventures in Beachcombing. 

We've started each day with a walk along a local beach, gathering detritus and natural items, plus words, sounds and thoughts into a makeshift sketchbook.

On Eastbourne parade seafront the haul was enormous 

Couldn't detach this wonderful collection though

Next day to the fishermen's beach, to find rusty things (didn't manage to drag the old mattress home either!)

And today to Birling Gap, between the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head.

A strange chalk landscape similar to that at Lyme and West Bay, with towering, crumbling, striated cliffs and flat pavements, but with white cliffs and grey flint pebbles instead of ochre.

Back in the studio came the bit I'm not so good at - actually doing something with all that collected stuff!

We've been rust printing on fabric and paper

Monoprinting and embossing 

Sketching and drawing 

And today we've been looking at weaving and other textile related ideas - no photos of mine, but here's what Veronica (who is a weaver) is creating 

Great to have four whole days dedicated to doing the work - lots of ideas for forthcoming exhibitions ...

See more of Alice's work on her website:

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Varkala beach resort

Hard to believe it was over three weeks ago, but our last day's cycling, having got off the boat at 7am,

was to the beach resort of Varkala. Roads were variable (for which read . . . from huge potholes to bone-shaking stones the size of your fist), and it was quite a long way alongside the Indian Ocean, which we didn't see much of due to a high sea wall.

We did see the local whitebait catch being liberated from their nets

And various boats on the inlet which we crossed on the ferry - Joseph and Rintu were expert at loading the bikes, having done it many times before

Other things glimpsed along the way included a lorry loaded with coir fibre, and this ancient bike, advertising a bike shop . I think the flower is a delicate hibiscus . . . 

Finally, after lunch, another chance to swim in the ocean and a hairy stop at a level crossing (free for all from a standing start, with us on bikes caught in the middle), we reached our final destination - a total of 500km cycled in 12 days.

L-R Bruce, Lorraine, Marcus, Anne, Hazel, Debs, Jackie, Dave, Me, Mike, Gunhilde & Helge, and in front - Rintu, Maneesh & Joseph. 

Next day we explored Varkala beach, which seems to be populated with Nepali people and hippies!

plus tourists, including Indian families 

The beach itself stretches for miles

With strange rock formations - a kind of mudstone with trapped white shells

Rubbish was an unfortunate feature - they just seemed to sweep it over the cliff - turned into an installation in this tree.

And Banksie had visited (or more likely, his imitator)

So we went for an early morning stroll and then spent the rest of the day in the pool by the hotel

 before our final meal together and a 4am flight home! 

All in all, quite an experience!