Bright sunshine and an easterly wind made for a splendid otter hunt on the Blyth Estuary.
There are only two weeks left to visit the Sculpture Trail.
22nd August on North Deans Beach
On Wednesday 8th August twenty would-be creative beachcombers – oh, and three very well behaved dogs – assembled at Covehithe Church to explore the ancient shoreline that had once been adjacent to ancient Doggerland, now submerged beneath the North Sea. And on this particular day the sea reflected the blue of a breezy sky (most un-North Sea-like) and more akin to some imagined tropical Paradise.
Our happy bunch first sat down to picnic among the fallen sea-washed trees that decorate the Benacre end of the beach, but it wasn’t long before expedition leader Simon Raven had us using foldable frames to investigate shoreline detritus more closely – “getting our eye in”, he called it! We each had to come up with one chosen item from our investigations and some of these were discussed as to their reason for choice. Simon then shared some of his finds and small assemblages to get our creative juices flowing on the long walk down to Covehithe along the shoreline and beneath the cliffs.
After a while we reassembled at a place where Simon told us there had been a wreck of a clinker-built boat only three years before. It turned out that one of the group had taken photographs of it, as well as of Covehithe in general, and he gave us his website address and file name for the photographic record – www.kbonnettimages.com / Recent Work / Time and Tide.
Here we shared our beach finds which included what were identified as 80 million year old sea sponges, now turned into flints. There were also lovely bits of seaglass, holey pebbles, quartz, pieces of driftwood and an old rusting piece of metal that I will be converting into a contemporary life-style shelf!
All in all a fascinating day, full of information and playfulness, as well as time for contemplation – “very peaceful and relaxing” as one participant attested. A great time was had by all. Thank you Waveney and Blyth Arts for organising this opportunity.
Don’t forget – another chance to go beachcombing with Simon, this time at Corton, on 22nd August
It already seems like August with harvest well underway and the seemingly never-ending heat. Is it too hot to write?
Our River Dwellers poetry competition is open for entries until 10 August so you have a couple of weeks left to get your entries in.
Retreat indoors to a cool space and let your imagination take you under the river, with cool green light and the gentle caress of the water. Imagine life on the river, be inspired by its wildlife or its history, and write no more than 30 lines of poetry to share with us.
This year’s judge is poet and author Dr Jos Smith, who is Lecturer in Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia.
The top three entries will be invited to the Arts & Eats lunch on 20 September at the Waveney Inn, Burgh St Peter, where certificates and prizes will be presented.
Please send your entry as an attachment in Word format or as a PDF to mappleby (at) tiscali (dot) co (dot) uk
Please add a ‘Reply Read Request’ if you require acknowledgement of receipt.
Each piece must have a title and be typed on one side of A4 – no indication of the author’s name should appear on this sheet.
Entries should be in a clear font eg Times New Roman and without illustrations or photos
Full entry details elsewhere on this site.
This weekend the River Dwellers exhibition opened at the Ferini Art Gallery, Pakefield.
Don’t miss this great line-up of speakers at our River Landscapes event on 25th April.
A chance for celebrations on 25th April – 20 years of Common Ground.
The equinox has passed and we look for signs of spring.
Today is World Wetlands Day (2nd February 2018) and Waveney & Blyth Arts is pleased to launch its spring conference – A River Runs Through It, taking place on Wednesday 25th April 2018. Organiser, Melinda Appleby, shares some thoughts on the inspiration of rivers.
“I live on a small inconsequential Suffolk river – the Dove. I like the fact that it moves quietly and unobserved through the landscape, a channel hiding among field boundaries. It was not always so; rivers brought people from the North Sea, exploring, looking for food, clean water and shelter. Their map of the countryside would be like the tree, spreading out from a central spine and feeling its way into places, branching and sub-dividing.
Today our maps are focussed on transport corridors of train and car. We cross and recross rivers, often unnoticed until they flood. From the road, the Dove is almost invisible as it disappears into a poplar wood, then through a dense tangle of hedge. I have seen water voles here – plump potterers by the stream side, chewing on mint leaves and making their burrows just above riverline. Once, where the river slips behind the gardens, creeping through a tangle of alder and hazel, we saw a vole swimming with two young beside her.
After the heavy rains of recent weeks, the river now roars over the concrete lip of the water splash and plunges down past the allotments, passing the last of winter’s bulrushes, tugged untidily by the wind. The Dove builds in volume, crossing the A140 unseen, until it emerges in Eye. From there it passes through Hoxne, and under the bridge where King Edmund reputedly hid from the Danish invaders, being betrayed by the glint of the sun on his spurs and so brutally slaughtered. A last mile or two and the Dove slips into the river Waveney, the borderland river that rises in Redgrave Fen and flows east to the North Sea.
The river’s curve reshapes man’s linear landscape, it draws us in, provides a moment of reflection, tempts and betrays, lures and overwhelms us.”
All this and more will be explored at our conference.
River landscapes are the focus for Waveney & Blyth Arts; the two river valleys define our micro-region and are the location for our programme of walks and workshops, and for a network of arts venues, festivals and individual arts practitioners.
What better subject for a spring conference than the inspiration provided by our rivers?
One of our keynote speakers, writer Charles Rangeley-Wilson, sums it up in his Forward to the Little Toller reprint of H.E. Bates book, Down the River (2014):
Rivers lend themselves to being thought and written about. Thought flows like a river. As does language. The river, memory and the impulse to write, the sounds and rhythms of words and water, these things merge time and again across the centuries to become the poetry and prose of rivers, flowing from Babylon to Devon. But so much fine writing is impelled not just because of a sympathy between the forms and expressions of thought and water. A river speaks, too. It has character. And a river is the most animate part of a landscape.”
The conference on Wednesday 25th April 2018 will be held at the Ivy House Country Hotel, Oulton Broad NR33 8HY. More details of the programme and booking information will be posted on our website – see Conferences under the Activities tab.
BUT if you can’t wait and want to be inspired by the river check out this video on our Facebook page – amazing photos of the river Waveney from Bungay Camera Club with a soundtrack by Mike Challis from his sound hide at our Sculpture Trail a few years ago.