Friday, 23 July 2010

Larkin Toads, Flower Spoonin stage 2

Now Kingston Upon Hull is not THE most wonderful of places, though we have a great deal of worthy history and many, many redeeming features. Well yes, we were a whaling port once upon a while, when it was okay to slaughter whales..........so times change, as we know, thankfully.

And William Wilberforce lived here and we have his house to meander through with its fascinating (and some appalling) exhibits about his life and his anti slavery fight.
Atta boy Will!

Amongst the oodles of other historically interesting things about Hull, we also had the poet Phillip Larkin, as librarian at Hull University for some 30 years.  He wrote the poem which said parents '**ck' us up, bless him.
Most recently, a series of toads.........yes toads, were erected around the city over night, in time for the celebrations that took place to welcome the return of the Clipper Race vessels. Toads since he wrote two peoms called Toads as I understand it.

Now I'm more literate and arty than yaght-y, so all credit to the crews who went all the way round the world on these boats and Im sure it was one hell of an adventure for them.....But I still find it hard to understand why our NHS had a million pounds 'spare' a year ago, ( that wasnt invested in equipment/nurses/direct health issues) to buy a clipper, for folks to sail round the world in/on....However I'm just a tax payer, what would I know of these mighty money matters.

Hull came in 4th so not at all a bad run for our money and by all means theres promise of some £20,000,000 of business deals going to be made , off the back of this year of sea miles .............but I cant help but wonder how much of that our NHS will get back?

Anyways, there was all sorts of fun stuff going on around the town, street jugglers, artworks, craft stalls, music on stages set up for the night, jazz at the marina, lots of smiling faces ................ and these toads to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Phillip Larkins death too.
See some of them below
St Georges Rd Toad, outside a school.
Hawthorne Rd Toad, an area which had a bad reputation so its being syetematically flattenbed and new homes rebuilt there. Which will be great as long as they dont move the roughshods back in!


Topographical Toad nearby, is quite cleverly painted showing the port of hull, its estuary and shipping.


http://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2010/05/hull-to-honor-philip-larkin-with-giant-toads/

Now I havnt photographed all 40 - yet lol.........but several were damaged within days of their unveiling of course, by mindless twats, who have little interest in poetry in any case..but are just as likley to tag a motor car as a piece of artwork in the community!
The fabulous Punkphibian Toad had his mohican pulled out and the Nasa toad had his space suit damaged and others have been tagged!
So the huge amount of money in conceiving them, placing them and now upkeeping them, seems to me another waste of finaces, but some of them are very charming and beautifully painted, to be fair to the artists who took on the commissions.
I will post pics as I stumble on them in later posts. Theres alot online about them and some fab pics on the BBc site to see them in all their glory.
Now I have begun to work on the flower spponed pieces I mentioned in a  previous post..

Ive got thus far with stitching one of the spooned pieces. I have laid one and two layers of voile over the stained flower impressions, then machine stitched round two of the flowers and hand stitched the other two. Ive used variegated Madeira threads and a sparkly Madeira too, with some perle in the centres so far.
Ive got no great plan, just winging it as I go along, but don't intend to stitch all the shapes in, so watch this space.
Okay a mozzie has snook in through the open window, so had best go on swatting patrol or it will eat me overnight!
But, if your in the area, do come and see our Toads, they will make you smile Im sure and the ones round town are on a  kind of trail, so you can
see all else of interest as you trundle round too!

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