Krakow – Art Galleries

As I mentioned yesterday, I was looking to visit some Art Galleries while in Krakow.  However, there are many ‘Museums’ in the city and it wasn’t clear which would have what I was looking for.  So I popped into the Tourist Information Centre, where a young lady swiftly put 5 crosses on one of her free maps. (The map was upside down so I was very impressed with her knowledge of the city – especially when I subsequently discovered that each one was precisely marked!)

My plan was to visit 2, maybe 3, so I set off for the furthest away, which was the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow (or MOCAK for short).  There I discovered a particular exhibition of sculptures by Krzysztof M. Bednarski entitled Karl Marx vs Moby Dick.  (Now there’s a match you don’t see every day).  I’ve shown only a few of his items below, but what that man cannot do with heads of Marx and metal shapes representing a whale is not worth knowing about.

Note that I’ve split this post into the different galleries that I visited, so don’t forget to page further down…  🙂

Next up was the National Museum.  Here there were a number of different themes, including some Henry Moore sculptures, various arts and crafts and an extensive collection of works by the prolific Stanislaw Wyspianski.

I still had some time to spare so I wandered along to the Jozef Czapski Pavilion.  Here I was a little disappointed.  There are one or two paintings on display, but the building is a sort of annexe to the Emeryk Hutten-Czapski Museum.  It houses an important collection of Polish coins and medals, which is OK if you like that sort of thing…

Just around the corner was, perhaps my favourite of them all, the EUROPEUM or Centre for European Culture.  This was to be the last I visited.  (The 5th is above the Cloth Market or Sukiennice in the Main Square in case you ever decide to visit).  And, I think it’s perhaps fitting, given the reason I went to Krakow, that the last image is of the inside of a Tavern!  🍻 Cheers!

 

 

Evolène

I received such positive feedback on the village photographs in my last post, (thank you Jet and M.Oniker), that I decided to take a few more pictures for you to enjoy.  But first, a little background…

Evolène is a village at around 1,380m (4,525ft) in the Val d’Hérens, which itself is in the southern part of the Valais canton of Switzerland.  The population of the whole commune (which includes the neighbouring villages of Les Haudères, Villa, La Sage, La Forclaz and Arolla) is only about 1,700.  Despite this relatively low number, we have 8 bar/restaurants in our village alone.  These survive due to the number of visitors that we get both during the winter, for skiing, and the summer for walking, cycling or mountaineering.  I read that 55% of the available light (i.e from when it appears from, or disappears, behind the mountains), is sunshine.  And with little wind and a fairly dry atmosphere, not to mention some beautiful scenery, you can see why it’s quite popular.

At the moment we have the annual Carnival, which this year runs from 6th January to 5th March, (this explains why some of the pictures still show what appear to be Christmas decorations) and in the summer from 10th to 15th August there will be the biannual, CIME mountain folklore festival.  More posts to come on these no doubt… 😄

Kunsthaus Art Museum, Zurich

Regular readers and some people who I follow will know that I like a good painting.  So when Judith spotted that our hotel was just around the corner from the Kunsthaus and that entry was free every Wednesday, we just had to pop in for a browse around.  As you can see from my not so random sample of photos below, they have a wonderful selection of paintings and exhibits on display.

 

Ovronnaz and Saillon Walks

Yesterday I took Jude’s mum, Angela, out for a drive to Ovronnaz, to catch the chairlift up to Jorasse.  From there it’s a relatively easy walk, with magnificent views all around, to the Lui d’Aout mountain hut.  (My mate Pete and I stayed there during our Tour de Muverans, so it brought back happy memories for me.  Read more about our adventure on this guest post I did for The Marmot Post). 🙂

After a picnic lunch, (see pic 7), we drove back via Saillon, where we walked the Farinet Trail up through the vineyards, following a series of 21 stained glass sculptures.  On our way, we were lucky to spot the last few vines being harvested.  A sure sign that the long hot summer in the Rhone valley must be over. 😦

Arthur’s New Website – artworkbyart.com

I’ve mentioned in the past (on at least these three occasions) that our good friend Arthur Manton-Lowe, is an extremely talented artist.  Some time ago now he asked me to help him set up a new website to both showcase and sell his paintings.  After a few false starts and a couple of tweaks here and there on the layout, I’m very pleased to announce that it’s now up and running and you can find it here.  🙂

You will find all of his paintings For Sale on the 2nd page, while on the first, Home page, he plans to post or blog his latest sketches or paintings (though I’m sure he will sell these too if requested).  Please feel free to follow him, as I’m sure you will not be disappointed.

Just to give you a flavour for some of his work (as I always like to post a picture or two) here are a few of my personal favourites…

Art’s Gallery, Triacastela, Galicia, Spain

The main reason we travelled over to Spain was to see Arthur and his exhibition at his gallery along the Camino de Santiago.  Arthur had walked the Camino several years ago and fell in love with what was then a dilapidated building right on the path about 130km (112 miles) from Santiago de Compostela.  He decided to buy it and set about renovating it and now, 10 years on, it’s both his home and an art gallery.  The garden is still work in progress but the flowers he has planted, which includes 20 to 30 lavender plants, are already attracting numerous butterflies.

Any pilgrims passing by (who will need to turn right to San Xil at the split in the route in Triacastela) are welcome to enter and marvel at the work he’s done as well as his obvious artistic talent.  They may even be lucky enough to get their Camino ‘credentials’, or log book, ‘stamped’ with an Arthur Manton-Lowe original.

I guess this is a timely moment to add that I’m currently putting together a website for Arthur (using WordPress of course) to showcase his paintings, called www.artworkbyart.com.  It’s also work in progress and we will be adding some more pictures soon, so please feel free to follow that site and if anyone out there is interested in purchasing or knowing anything more about the paintings that you see, please do get in touch.  🙂

 

Galicia, NW Spain

Some months ago now, Judith and I were invited by our good friend, Arthur Manton-Lowe, to an art exhibition which he was holding at his gallery on the Camino de Santiago, near Triacastela.  I shall post some pictures of that area tomorrow, but on the way there, we stopped off to explore some of the western coast of Spain.  It’s an area that we had never been before and it was noticeable that there were very few English speaking visitors.

We stayed in an area of Poio, called O Covelo, and drove out to find some wonderful beaches near San Vicente do Grove.  The following day we took a boat ride from Portonovo to the Illa de Ons, which is one of a number of National parks along that coast.

We learnt that the weather in that area had been very wet (possibly the worst since records began) but we were fortunate to have some fabulously sunny days.

Exhibition Walk to Lac d’Arbey and Les Haudères

For the third summer running the Commune have decided to exhibit some pictures along the footpath from Lac d’Arbey to Farquèses.  Two years ago it was a series of photos of the Himalaya and last year, some paintings of the Evolène region by Belgian artist, Paul Coppens.  This year it’s images by the comic creator, Derib.  Some of his stories cover our local region, including the race of Val d’Hérens cows and the Patrouille de Glacier ski touring race.

An old friend of mine, Matt, is camping with two of his friends in the village and yesterday we walked up to Lac d’Arbey and along the path, before dropping down to Les Haudères (for a well earned beer 🍺😊) and then back along the riverside to Evolène.

As always at this time of year, there were many butterflies, but I was particularly pleased to capture a Violet Carpenter Bee feeding on a Woolly Thistle, which, my Alpine Flora book says, is “rather rare” (see pic 18).  I have to say, given its stiff spikes, there was nothing woolly about it!

Melbourne, Australia (last of many)

It’s obviously not for nothing that Melbourne has been voted ‘the most liveable city‘ 7 years running.   So it would be remiss of me not to finish this series of posts with a few more pictures, all taken in and around the city centre.  Even for a non-city person I was pleasantly surprised, (but I still wouldn’t live there myself!)

Beechworth and Mount Feathertop, Alpine National Park, Victoria

I guess there’s only a certain amount of the big city a mountain man can take.  So, with Joanne and Aaron going back to work after their holidays, I took off for a few days to the Alpine National Park.  My aim was to climb (well, walk to the top of) the two highest mountains in the state of Victoria – Mount Bogong (@1,986m/6,516ft ) and Mount Feathertop (@1922m/6,306ft).  My base for the next 4 nights would be a sleepy little village called Harrietville, which sits at around 600m/1,969ft, just below Mount Feathertop.  So it was my first challenge – where I took the Bungalow Spur route to the top.  (See map / last pic).  I’m afraid I have no idea what all the plants are called, but I found it fascinating to see all the different shapes, sizes and colours.  There was also clear and quite eerie evidence of the bush fires which had swept through the area 10 to 15 years ago.  Thankfully the whole area is recovering well, as you will see.

On my way to Harrietville, I stopped off at Beechworth, which is an old gold mining town.   There, I called in at the Burke museum and had a wander down to lake Sambell.