Monday, September 24, 2007

Jantien's sculptures

For three very special days, this (above) was the view from my kitchen window.


This was thanks to Jantien (above - the link is to her website), a remarkable, talented and generally lovely-to-know young woman sculptor( 'she's splendid,' said my sister, 'like a sun-face.') who drove all the way from Amsterdam in Yip the Yellow Van with six pieces of her work (and a seventh which we were buying from her, more on that anon) simply to enhance our lives immeasurably by putting them in our garden. This was one of the reasons Tom was getting a move on with the terrace this summer. We had worked and worried quite hard about this, but I really did not expect the lurch of excitement I felt when she began to unpack them.



Above was the view going up the steps to the house (which nobody fell down).

There were five sculptures on the terrace itself: above is 'The Queen of the Sea', in serpentine with a chalkstone base,

next to which was 'Blackbird Flight'(above), also chalkstone (I think),



on the other side was 'Iris' in serpentine(above), I had seen this one in the making the first time I met Jantien, she told me how it was inspired partly by her baby niece of the same name, with elements of the flower and the eye;

in the centre was 'Leaves'

and in front of that the chalkstone swan. Jantien is big on swans. Then there was one more in the apse at the end of the lawn ( both 'apse' and 'lawn' are somewhat grandiose words in the context, but the only ones available),




which was the marble swan (above).


Though they are glorious forms seen as a whole, they also need to be experienced more intimately and, naturally, touched.






Yet 'The Queen of the Sea' I found very photogenic,



And 'Iris', who is, of course, also the rainbow, contains a wealth of colour and pattern.

One of my great pleasures was to walk among them early in the morning,

and see them in the rosy first sunlight, when they were beaded with dew.


***
It all started with the alabaster swan. This was Tom's birthday present ( partly from me, partly from 'ourselves'). It was suggested that he wait until the day of the party to unwrap it, but neither he nor Jantien could be doing with such deferred gratification, and he fell to unwrapping it with much excitement.


It was the time of the afternoon when the sunlight slants through the dining room window, and it lit up the sepia veining in the alabaster in an almost unearthly way.


For the first time, I think, I had an inkling how people can become obsessed almost to madness with a beautiful object.

15 comments:

Robin Starfish said...

Enchanting sculptures and the pictures to serve them.

marja-leena said...

So beautiful - all the gorgeous sculptures, your terrace and garden, the details... thank you for sharing. A lovely birthday present for Tom, lucky man!

Bee said...

How beautiful! And just look at the light shining through the marble...

meggie said...

Totally engrossing, & beautiful.
I think Tom's gift is so special.

herhimnbryn said...

I want to touch. I want to walk in your garden in the morning!

Tall Girl said...

How wonderful! A sculpture garden outside your door. They look such beautiful pieces. Yes, my hands miss the experience of touching them... You must miss them now they are gone, but the swan remains!

jzr said...

Lucy, This is gorgeous work and you're so lucky to have this work in your garden.

Also thanks for your comments on my blog. I was reading Jane Smiley's book, The Greenlanders, while I was visiting there and for me too it is one that will stay with me always.

Thanks again, Joan

Jan said...

Yes, I'm sure you're right, Lucy; there IS a kind of "madness" felt when an object pleases you beyond belief, when something is SO special( often just " personally") that its loveliness completely engulfs....

Olivia Kroth said...

Beautiful sculptures in a lovely garden. The marble swan is my favourite.

http://olivia-kroth.blog.de.vu

annie said...

wow! really magnificent.

Touch is one of the senses too often ignored when it comes to art forms such as sculpture. I'm a tad jealous of your chances to run fingers over those surfaces.

Lucy said...

Thank you. Olivia, hello and welcome.
On reflection, I wonder now if I made enough of a point of touching them, and I do miss them, and would like to do so again now!
But the swan certainly gets plenty of strokes; one of the nicest things, when I'm hot and tired, is to rest my forehead against her.

zhoen said...

So often, at museums, I have wanted to rub my face on marble or alabaster sculptures, restraining myself with no small effort.

julie said...

I typed out a nice long comment yesterday about the feel of marble and chalkstone, but somehow I must have hit the wrong button to post, and it's gone. Instead, I'll just say that the photos are absolutely gorgeous, and the sculptures delightful. What a wonderful party it must have been!

Avus said...

Lucy, these are really beautiful and just asking to be stroked.

marly said...

Oh, yes, one wants sculpture in the garden...