Artistic Licence

1. A circular walk from Dedham taking in Flatford Mill and East Bergholt. This view is very well known, since Constable painted it 200 years ago. Since when trees have died and seeds have grown into new trees, East Anglia has dropped 30cm (so the River Stour has deepened a bit), and following the 1949 floods an embankment has been constructed (concealing the water meadows to the right). And today, no spaniel to provide foreground interest. Or for that matter, a hay-wain.

2. This afternoon to the RSPB Stour Estuary Reserve. A total birding failure. But a passing elf pointed us in the direction of the house in the extra. The most bizarre house I have ever seen - anywhere. It is Grayson Perry’s, and looks like a surreal gingerbread house overlooking the Estuary. Googling reveals it to be a shrine to fictional “Essex Everywoman” Julie Cope”. Covered in handmade tiles, the iconography seems to involve lots of pregnant or birthing women, safety pins, nappies, “Julie”, and other stuff which is totally beyond me.

Western art has taken some interesting directions since Constable painted his large landscapes !!!!

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