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Apologies for an extended blog hiatus due to various webby issues plus the distractions of a final massive push on finishing the Lawson Park buildings - but as if by magic (not) the new Grizedale Arts HQ at Lawson Park was opened to the public on June 25th 09, with an opening speech from broadcaster and Cumbria Tourism Chair Eric Robson.
What a day - many hands made light work! Great food c/o Alistair's mother-in-law, great flowers c/o Meg and a very good speech from Mr Robson, bringing together Ruskin, Grizedale and land use very neatly indeed.
And saying the gardens were "superb" too (!)
Phew - now onto the 10th and the art crowd....
The scene at Lawson Park as we ready it for its local launch today, many thanks to volunteer Meg Falconer who really put in the hours, as did web guru Dorian Moore and interns Sophie Perry and Matt Do...
Here's poor Dorian our web programmer in deep Grizedale Arts code on his London commute - no sleep till Coniston.
Len is the grandfather of artist Matt Do (of Matt & Ross fame), he recently visited Lawson Park along with a goodly sector of the Matt clan - Matt is currently working (very hard) with us in the lead up to the opening on the 25th. Len who is 86, still works as a gardener not too mention maintaining his other interests, including wood turning. He brought a group of his turned bowls and other items as a gift for the collection. He also took a chunk of wood away with him to make into Lawson Park pens for us - now thats what I call a grandfather.
The brilliant blue Himalayan poppies have been attracting the passing visitors into the garden to take photographs, which we all thought was rather nice, until we discovered that they had also been pulling up the plants for the unripened seed heads and dumping litter and banana and orange skins, it does rather put you off being welcoming.
1723hrs and a big storm has hit the Vittoriale. Here's hoping the power holds out....
Even though the final push at Lawson Park is well underway, projects continue apace, just to try and prove we are not going to be a slave to our building like other art institutions. Though the bags under my eyes reveal why it's a hell of a lot easier just to do one thing at a time.
So I've buggered off for two days to Lake Garda to finally realise our project with Jonathan Meese, to make a performance from Vittoriale degli Italiani, one time home of futurist poet and militarist Gabriel d'Annunzio and now a beautiful and extraordinary visitor attraction. The hanging gardens provide a gentle green backdrop to the monumental stone constructions celebrating dictatorship.
The best gardening touch of all is the battleship Puglia rammed into the hillside and merged with a network of granite paths, the most impressive garden terrace I've ever seen.
On deck, with Garda stretching out behind it, is Jonathan painting flags and fascist memorabilia all the time being filmed by his cameraman Jan. One tourist/culture offianado got a bit steamed up over the imagery and you can see why. Looking forward to the party tonight with all the dignitaries and skeletons with Hitler mustaches.
We seem to be all set up for the webcast, wunderkind webmaster Dorian remains chipper and so too is Jonathan, happy in this balmy enclave of dictatorial splendor.
tune in turn on drop the tiny mustache
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