Wednesday 2 June 2021

Blyth Spirits

Two years ago, Bob and I visited the Sculpture Trail arranged by the Waveney and Blyth Arts group. We enjoyed our day immensely, and I went onto their mailing list. Due to the pandemic, there was no trail in 2020 - but then I had an email saying they were doing one this year, in early summer, at a new location. 

So we pootled down to Potton Hall near Beccles, and spent a pleasant couple of hours walking round looking at the different artworks. We had timed tickets- but arrived early enough to enjoy excellent coffee and cakes sitting in the gardens. 

In the loos I spotted a poster which proclaimed my word for the year - but I'm not sure I need adventures at a Spa Day! My gkasses had srteamed up due to my mask - I read the top three lines before focussing on the details below.

I like representational art best - where I can see what it is meant to be. So some of the pieces were not really to my taste. But I will share some pictures here, and you can make up your own choices. Many artists had chosen themes of pandemic/lockdown/climate crisis/eco, using recycled or natural materials.

Flying figure - a row of suspended pieces "representing a flying figure pulling out of a dangerous descent. An image of hope for the environment" Rob Harries

My Dog "the best mate I ever had" Craig Hudson [I loved this, it reminded me of Rosie's persistent question 'Excuse me, what is your dog's name, please?']

Cormorant by Spadge Hopkins- this laser cut steel looked amazing, whichever side you view it from.
Tree Of Life by Cindy Lee Wright was made in the same way - celebrating all the animals which live on the site.

All Animals Are Equal by Bobbie Watchorn is a playful take on George Orwell's phrase.
This steel and stained oak Sculpture reflects nature 'you shall not pass'. Bob thought it was an electrical insulator- I thought the discs were like the ones baristas use to make patterns on top of the coffee. Sorry, Patrick E - we didn't get this one! 
Pakefield Man was HUGE. Tobias Ford made this for the 2019 First Light Festival in Lowestoft - it was filled with straw and set alight. Amazing!
I really liked Elizabeth Cooke's Siege Of Herons [I didn't know that was their collective noun]

Bob sat under the Leave of Absence tree - poems written on pieces of bark, suspended in a silver birch copse.[by Caroline Gay Way]

You Are Never More Than 6 Feet a ceramic piece by Bobbie Watchorn reminded us that rats are never far felt a little strange when we were surrounded by posters encouraging us to maintain 2 metres distance between other humans! 

My favourite piece was James Barrett-Nobbs' Butterfly, Stainless steel wings reflecting the iridescent colours of the flower meadow in which it stood, a wire dandelion head- and the insect's body made of recycled cutlery.
A couple of pieces in the guidebook were absent, and we asked about them at the end. One artist had not realised her piece was too big to fit in her car till the night before the show opened - so she never delivered it! We said we stood by the sign saying 34 - the number of the 'sound piece', but couldn't really hear anything "reminding us of foreign lands and environmental threats" - and were told the recording of cicadas was silent because its battery was dead. I said I had just closed my eyes and listened to the birdsong and the wind rustling the leaves - and wondered if it was an "Emperor's New Clothes" piece- nothing there, you just had to imagine it for yourself. The woman at the reception desk said "I like that idea - perhaps we can put that spin on it, if anyone else asks"

This trail is open till the end of June - details HERE
Parking, cafe, toilets excellent - but accessibility not so good for anyone with limited mobility. Lots of slopes and steps - and signs warning that the flower meadow is very uneven, and pitted with rabbit holes. There are 41 pieces in total - but they are not displayed in numerical order- which makes the trail a little confusing to follow.  But we enjoyed it nonetheless. A thought-provoking day out in pleasant sunshine.


  1. It looks like an interesting art-trail. Isn't it great to be able to get some new experiences, after all kind of lockdowns?

  2. Good to get out and about - and to enjoy the creativity of others. Hope the restrictions are easing for you in Scandinavia

  3. What a great place to visit and I enjoyed seeing everything as we still don't get out and about yet. Only thing I really missed was the coffee and cake you mentioned! 😋

  4. What a lovely art trail! I'm not aware of anything like that over here! Glad you were able to enjoy a cup of coffee and a piece of cake as well. :)


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