VERITY

Verity’ by Damien Hirst, Ilfracombe, Devon … Photograph … WHB – 2015

‘VERITY’ is the name given to a stainless steel and bronze statue created by Damien Hirst, the English artist, entrepreneur, and art collector. He is the most prominent member of the group known as the Young British Artists, who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s.

The 20.25-metre tall sculpture stands on the pier at the entrance to the harbour in Ilfracombe, Devon, looking out over the Bristol Channel towards South Wales.  Hirst lives close to the town. He describes his work as a “modern allegory of truth and justice”.  The statue depicts a pregnant woman holding aloft a sword while carrying the scales of justice and standing on a pile of law books.  Half of the sculpture shows the internal anatomy of the pregnant woman, with the foetus clearly visible. (adapted from Wikipedia)

VERITY

Pregnant,
Opened up, exposed,
Exhibit Number One

I am birth corroborated,
Prying eyes sated,
Privacy crushed

Paraded for the populace
To ponder,
To pity

They ogle,
Excoriate,
Turn witty

Solicitudes are rare;
Their taunts I bear;
Reproofs I must abide

And yet, I am the truth
About how it is
To be free

My brandished threat
Repays the debt
My innocence holds

My stance, defiance,
Thwarts compliance,
Demands a voice

But to keep hope alive,
Live long, survive,
I must be exposed

Must confront
The brutal sea,
The relentless incoming tide

No chance repose;
What end my woes;
Torment inside

My frightened stare
Torches the tides,
Seeking solace

Whilst emblazoned in light
Against the torrid sky
The world gawps

I must bear
The stares
And cry

I am torn apart;
My pain is there
For all to see.

In a world that demands
To know,
To know everything

The truth is there
For all to see,
To verify that I
Am VERITY

Poem by WHB . . . 2015 Copyright

‘Verity’ by Damien Hirst, Ilfracombe, Devon … Photo WHB – 2015

LINDISFARNE – Holy Island

Lindisfarne – Off the North-West coast of England in Northumbria

Below is a selection of sketches and photographs based on my previous visits to this beautiful historic and sacred island off the North Sea coast of England

The Sandman

THE  SANDMAN

The sandman looms

long and low in the westerly sun

on the evening shore

treading his beach

with dedicated feet

an image hunter

heir of Autolycus

searching

 for Nature’s hidden ornaments

probing with his stick

revealing the sand crabs

tempting the tide to turn

and wash away his presence

leaving no imprint

only a fleeting glance

a captured instant

of memory

of another world

arcane and mystical

beneath the sand

before the glimpse

releases him

and he moves on

into the dying day.

The Sandman was spotted on the beach beside Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland,UK, in 2003 …
Photo and sketch …  WHB

The Man In The Iron Mask

Photos . . . WHB – Canterbury

THE IRON MASK

by Sian Napier

snapier@thekmgroup.co.uk

The huge mask which stood outside Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre from 2003 until it was demolished in 2009 has returned.

Bulkhead, to give it its real name, was moved back to the theatre in The Friars on Friday but now stands by the river in the newly-created outdoor seating area.

The mask is the work of sculptor Rick Kirby and arrived in the city as part of a sculpture festival called Blok.

It was so popular that Canterbury council bought it and had it installed by the old theatre’s forecourt where it stayed until the Marlowe was pulled down.

It was then removed to the council offices in Military Road where it remained outside until Friday.

Marlowe Theatre director Mark Everett said: “It’s wonderful that the Marlowe mask has returned to its rightful place and it was great to see it settling in to its new home by the riverside.

“The mask was always very popular with theatregoers and we know people will be delighted to see it return.”

THE IRON MASK . . . Poem by WHB

The authors in these lines of verse

Are from a distant time

From ages past into the mists

Of tragedy and rhyme.

Dumas was steeped in history

He set himself the task

Of counts and musketeers to write,

The Man in the Iron Mask

Kit Marlowe’s plays were tragedies

Of complex anguished beings

Of Tamburlaine and Faust he wrote

Portrayed their tortured feelings.

The Mask is that of Tragedy

The Greeks performed their dramas

It brings to mind Marlowe’s great themes

Which glimpse life’s endless traumas.

To me this linkage then arose

Between the two famed authors

Take or leave it for what it’s worth

It’s what this conceit proffers.

VENICE


Venetian Sunset – from Piazza San Marco … Pen & Wash – WHB … 2013

City of Islands
City of dream
Inscribed with colour
 Every line.

City of History
City of deeds
Imbued with story
Every step

City of Passion
City of pride
Engorged with fashion
Every stride

City of Clamour
City of bells
Ringing with meaning
Every knell

City of Turmoil
City of strife
Threaded with suffering
Every hurt

City of Mansions
City of graves
Instilled with ardour
Every shrine

City of Titian
City of art
Awash with beauty
Every part

City of Merchants
City of trade
Echoed by Shakespeare
Every shade

City of Conflict
City of strife
Turbulent city
Every vice

City of Water
City of flood
Sea taking over
Every surge

City of Magic
City of spells
Present in each pile
Every shell

City of Revels
City of fun
Carnivals rule life
Every fete

City of Intrigue
City of masks
Sophistry renews
Every day

City of Drama
City of sin
Would I were there now
Let new life begin.

Venice . . . Pen & Wash – WHB: 2013

SCOTLAND – Pen & Wash

A Gallery of my pen and wash sketches of notable scenes visited in various parts of Scotland – Highlands and Islands

Click on a drawing to enlarge it and view the titles

  1. Ailsa Craig – Firth of Forth
  2. Castle Tioram – Loch Moidart
  3. Castle Dtalker – Argyll
  4. Castle Tioram – 2
  5. Glen Lochranza – Isle of Arran
  6. Lamlash – Isle of Arran
  7. Newton Stewart – Galloway
  8. Rannock Moor Sunset
  9. The Road To The Isles

A PLEA FOR FAITH


‘The Incredulity of St. Thomas’ by Caravaggio (c.1601) Now in the Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam, Berlin, Germany

I composed these verses many years ago, in my youth, when struggling to come to terms with my staunchly Christian upbringing, and to move into a less accepting, more questioning future.  In many ways I have moved forward very little since.

Print words of faith into my heart;
Brand me with irons of proof;
Dispel the doubts that have held me
So long from thee aloof.

I need the truth, I can’t say why –
I won’t let you desert.
I want to find those inner wounds,
I need to feel your hurt.

My outer self accepts you whole,
And shields you from assaults.
Effectively, I water down
And camouflage your faults.

Believe me when I say I try,
But that will not suffice.
A great despair dispels the light
And the devil’s fiends entice.

But when the doubts arise inside
I can’t dispel the gloom,
Because I know I’m losing you
and hurtling to my doom.

The devil prompts and makes me ask
That central question “Why?
Do I really believe in God above,
Below or in the sky?”

Then I reflect and need to know
If all my past is sham.
Why do so many still believe
He was the Son of Man?

Print words of faith into my heart;
Brand me with irons of proof;
Dispel the doubts that have held me
So long from thee aloof.

The Pebble Path to Peace

At evening with a heavy heart
I’d had enough of talk.
My mind’s reflections overwrought
I left the house to walk.

I came across it quite by chance
Whilst ambling by the sea.
I’d hoped to clear my head of doubt,
To find some certainty.

I dimly saw the trail ahead
Climbing to my right,
A Pilgrims’ Way to paradise;
It was not there last night.

Its pebbles seemed to call to me
To follow where they led;
To seek their end where ere that be,
Pursue them without dread.

Their blue and red encouraged me,
Spoke to me of hope,
Of everlasting certitude,
The means by which I’d cope.

They led me on beside the sea,
Meandered to and fro
Until abruptly then they ceased;
In front a golden glow.

The certainty I’d hoped to find
Was there in front of me;
A testament to Nature’s Grace –
The Glory of the Sea.

A feeling of contentment spread
Throughout my fatigued mind.
My body too relaxed in peace,
Resentment left behind.

I’d found what I was searching for,
Afforded by that path
Of coloured pebbles on the shore;
My soul’s search aftermath.

Both photographs were taken by me (WHB) one evening in 2009 
along the seashore of the English Channel at Swanage, Dorset, UK.