Saturday, January 10, 2009

The World in Winter

At last, a proper winter. Admittedly, the first photo looks more like a nuclear winter, but that's only because sub-zero temperatures are a novelty these days. I took these pictures at lunchtime today:

If I could control the weather, I would have a short, extremely cold winter, beginning in mid-December and ending in late January. The rest of the year would be warm. I want heatwaves and frost fairs. What I can't stand is the dull, grey, mild weather that seems to have replaced the seasons for much of the year.

The graveyard belongs to St Michael and All Angels' Church, Berwick. On the outside it is a pleasant, 12th century church. However, the interior is quite unlike anything else in Britain:

Before the Reformation most church walls were covered in murals and during the 1940s, Bishop Bell of Chichester sought to revive this tradition, commissioning works of art from contemporary artists like Chagall and Piper. The result was a triumph, in which masterpieces of modern art sat alongside their medieval counterparts.

Bishop Bell also commissioned members of the Bloomsbury Group to decorate the church in Berwick. During the next few years, Virginia Woolf's sister Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Quentin Bell and Angelica Bell embarked on a series of murals, paintings and decorations:

There paintings aren't great works of art, but the sum is greater than its parts and it's interesting to see a contemporary interpretation of the medieval church. If you're in the area it's well worth a visit and Charleston, the home of the Bloomsbury group, is only few miles down the road.


The Poet Laura-eate said...

As someone whose central heating decided to collapse from the intense cold earlier this week (thankfully now restored albeit at great cost and effort), I cannot say I am best friends with winter right now. However your photographs are stunning, as is the church in them. What an amazing interior too! I was in Lewes visiting my remaining relatives the other week and was again struck by what a special area it is/is in.

The Poet Laura-eate said...
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Scriptor Senex said...

Amazing church. I love church architecture and spent a happy holiday on my own at the age of 15 cycling round the Cotswolds, youth hostelling and studying churches. Happy memories.
As for the weather I love your idea of the short sharp burst of winter but can we have a bright, sunny, cool snap of three weeks before that for the autumn colours please.

Jim Murdoch said...

Yes, whatever happened to the winters of our childhood? I know nostalgia is a creeping disease but I thought I'd survive a few more years before I turned into my dad. But looking out the window this morning at the pouring rain is depressing. I know it's all water when you boil it down but I prefer mine crystalline. Nice church BTW. It's been on the tele twice in the last couple of weeks, once on SkyARTS (a whole programme) and once as an aside on one of those antique shows.

Ms Baroque said...

Absolutely lovely. I am desperate to get out of London. And on top of that, here we have this wonderful cold winter and has there been any snow here? No.

Barb said...

It was lovely to see the photos of this amazing church. Was there last summer during a visit to the UK. It is just a lovely part of the country. Visited Charleston for about the 4th time.
Nice to have a look at things in winter time now.