Posts Tagged With: Sculpture
Vampire Trumpet Chimney
Mount Olympus: Origin of the Olympic Ideal
Home of the gods and the origin of the Olympic ideal. Mount Olympus was the seat of Zeus, and the games were held in his honour at Olympia. A permanent crown of angry clouds reign above the peaks, ample inspiration for legends and myth.
I’ve stood at the foot of this mountain gazing in awe, wondering if Spielberg was inspired by such an imposing view. You can imagine how the ancient Greeks saw gods in these clouds.
Exploring the mountain itself is an adventure: wild boar bigger than cars, shrines, snakes and giant waterfalls.
In the shadow of the mountain is a museum, containing art, jewellery and sculpture so sophisticated you would think it was crafted in modern times. Walking round with my mouth open, I was amazed at how advanced ancient Greek culture was. It’s easy to see how this was the cradle of modern civilisation.
Greek culture is rich and colourful, and wandering from Mount Olympus down to Olympic Beach you can see how a different kind of deity dominates. The churches have brightly decorated interiors, adorned with icons, murals and relics.
If there isn’t a church to hand, there are shrines everywhere. Even on the beach!
We finally found some holy wine…(don’t run, Panos!)
Angela Merkel was spotted swimming in the sea…
Greece is a wonderful country which I’ve visited many times. Unfortunately Germany is hell-bent on destroying this proud nation, imposing draconian sanctions on the people, causing widespread poverty and suffering. For some bizarre reason, the western media portrays the Greek people as deserving of punishment, and nothing could be more wrong. The people unfairly pay the price of their corrupt government (Spain and Italy seem exempt from similar penalties: I mean, really. Italy!) As Sea Monster Merkel spies oil in the Greek sea, you can rest assured she will make the nation a slave to her appetites.
Despite the economic upheaval, tourism is alive and well, and you can support the Greek people by taking your vacation there. Take a look at my trip to idyllic Santorini here.
Gaudi Wonderland – Park Güell, Barcelona
‘A fool or a genius, time will tell,’ said Antoni Gaudi’s tutors as they handed him his degree. Spain’s greatest architect is famous for his gothic psychedelic style which predates the colourful extravagance of the sixties by decades. Park Güell, so named because it was based on the English Garden City Movement, was definitely a work of genius: an undulating pleasure garden of vibrant colour and form.
We stayed in Sitges on the coast, just outside Barcelona, and ventured into the city for a Gaudi expedition and shopping at Desigual. You have to take two escalators up a mountainside until you reach the summit which boasts sweeping views of the city, with the Sagrada Familia just a toy on the horizon.
Speaking of toys, Park Güell is like falling down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. A panorama of spiritual symbolism and gingerbread houses create the ideal environment to relax and enjoy the view. I listened to a busking violin as craftsmen repaired broken tiles, which betrayed the real age of the place.
After the tourists have gone and the sun starts to set, the park starts to feel magical, and you can almost see through Gaudi’s eyes. Influenced by Moorish architecture, Gaudi was a visionary, a Modernista with perhaps a penchant for mushroom tea…
I was fascinated to see how Gaudi recycled unwanted ceramics, or trencadis amongst his mosaics and made something beautiful out of damaged and discarded materials. It’s incredible to think this place is a century old.
Gaudi actually lived here in the park in this house which was intended to be a show home: Park Güell was originally supposed to be a housing development for rich aristocrats! I wonder if their names were Dougal, Florence and Zebedee?
To see Gaudi’s work first hand is to be immersed in the colour of Spanish culture, joyful, flamboyant and bursting with energy.
Up next: Barcelona – The Sagrada Familia.
A Tour of The Northern Quarter – Part 3
Peter Freeman’s ‘Toy Boy’ is a beacon sculpture which was commissioned for the Northern Quarter in 1998 to draw attention away from the corporate main drag of Market Street and attract people to the independent retail of Affleck’s Palace and beyond. The wonderfully-named neon tower is currently unloved by the City Council, who left it derelict for years. It still flashes it’s animated message to skateboarders and clubbers alike, and I used some of my artistic license to repair it for this post (it’s falling apart in reality.)
From Oldham Street you can see the graffiti murals of Stevenson’s Square, but my favourite is this one of Frank Sidebottom, the Bontempi Entertainer of Timperley, who bought joy to millions with his unique brand of cabaret and papier-mâché head. Not to mention Little Frank. Sadly Frank Sidebottom and his creator Chris Sievey have passed away, but his TV show is still running on Channel M… after three, now: ‘it really is!’
That’s all from Bohemia for now. No more tiles from Tib Street. I’ve shown you the nicer side of Manchester, hope you liked it! Check out the other posts below.
A Tour of the Northern Quarter – Part 1
A Tour of The Northern Quarter – Part 2
The weather’s sh*t but the clothes are fantastic!
Manchester would be perfect if it was just a little closer to the equator. The second part of my tour of the Northern Quarter looks at the wonders hidden between the boutiques and the bars.
The light in Manchester can be really stubborn. This picture was unusable until I started experimenting. It’s amazing how much information can be extracted from the pictures we delete. This one went through iPhoto and Photoshop and I was surprised at what came out. These metal birds are just round the corner from my apartment. Everywhere you look in the Northern Quarter there are tiles or sculptures, murals and installations. The streets are paved with poetry! You can read Lemn Sissay as you walk up Tib Street.
home and confide
where the silent
We even had a Banksy which was lovingly painted over by the City Council.
This mural was right outside my lounge window for years, and it was only when I took this picture that I noticed how rich it is, detailing the history of the neighbourhood.
These terracotta parrots, loyal to Manchester, can be seen roosting above the flickering neon of Matt & Phred’s jazz bar.
Read A Tour of the Northern Quarter – Part 1 here.