Monday, 29 June 2009

Blooming Towns!

I moved to Budleigh Salterton in East Devon partly in search of the acidic soil which had eluded me during my working life. I now feel that I live in the Garden of Eden, although ericaceous plants are I what I enjoy growing rather than apples.

Pictured, left, a red rhododendron with a beetle. Both unidentified.





One day I’ll learn about proper pruning of apple trees and how to deal with canker disease and codling moths. But for the moment I’m just thrilled to see the wonderful flowers of my camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons as they spread throughout the garden, to be followed later in the year by blue hydrangeas. I even managed to take layer cuttings of rhododendrons in my first year here. Right: Evergreen azaleas at their most showy in a woodland setting of the garden




So I was excited to learn that Cape Cod is also blessed with acidic soil: another link to be blogged. They have interesting pebbles as well, though they call them “rocks’ over there. I thought Budleigh’s pebbles were unique, but no, we’re not the only…


Blue hydrangeas surround the pool at Brewster by the Sea http://www.brewsterbythesea.com/

Anyway the most important thing is that Brewster’s gardeners are just as keen as Budleigh’s. We both benefit from maritime climates, though the Cape Cod season comes a bit later than ours. And growing camellias outdoors there is definitely a risky business compared with Devon because of the chillier spring.

Pictured, right, a Camellia japonica ‘Warrior’ from Otter Valley Nurseries http://www.otternurseries.co.uk/


At this time of the year both towns are blooming, both with flowers and with gardening clubs. Brewster in Bloom http://www.brewsterinbloom.org/ started off as a flower festival to celebrate the arrival of the daffodils, but seems to have mutated into a general colourful celebration of everything in the town.

Budleigh in Bloom http://www.budleighinbloom.co.uk/ is one of the various gardening clubs and societies which flourish in our town. It operates solely with volunteer members and donations or sponsorship.



Left: Flowering containers planted by Budleigh in Bloom line the brook which runs along the town's Fore Street.




Pat Prew is one of the club’s keenest gardeners and is proud of its achievements. “The national body of Britain in Bloom have awarded us with a gold award in our category of the small towns in the South West for the last two years,” she told me a few weeks ago. “This is one of the busiest times of the year for us now, planting out the containers with the summer plants.” Starting at the brook in Fore Street, she and her team have so far done the library and telephone exchange troughs, the three tier planters outside the public hall, and the flower beds on the Green.

Pictured, right, a Budleigh in Bloom flowering container at the entrance to the town on East Budleigh Road

Some new hayloft planters have been put on the Public Hall wall to replace the old ones which were well past their best, and the boat on the East Budleigh Road which greets travellers to the town has also been planted up. The boat was donated to Budleigh in Bloom by its previous owner, known as Digger Rogers, and is a colourful spectacle for most of the year.

One major project which the Budleigh in Bloom team are keen to tackle is the neglected area on Fore Street Hill.

“We’re waiting until we have the physical labour to do this – most of us committee are females,” explained Pat. “We thought that we would need more muscle power and so are in the queue waiting for funds to be allocated with the Community Payback workers. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long. When the work starts we want to clear all the brambles and weeds, still retaining the wild plant effect and also plant a couple of shrubs to attract the butterflies, bees and other useful insects.”

In Brewster it’s the Garden Club which has taken on the civic duty of beautifying the town. http://www.gardenclubofbrewster.org/ Its mission, as stated on the website, is “to stimulate the love for, and knowledge of, gardening, to promote the protection of natural beauty and wildlife of the community, and to cooperate with the town agencies in order to beautify the roadsides and other public places in Brewster.”

The Club’s first meeting was in October 1954 and by May of the following year the membership quota of 40 had already been reached.

Members tend over 20 small gardens scattered throughout the town. These include the islands on Route 6A, which they aim to keep blooming, weeded and mulched, as well as at the Senior Center, Drummer Boy Park and Millstone Road at Underpass Road and at “the egg”, by the Brewster Store.




To encourage others in the town to match their high standards, the Garden Club makes an award annually to a business or residence on the main roads of Brewster that maintains a lovely garden or landscaped area. The 2008 Brewster Beautification award was presented to the Handcraft House, located on 6A, owned by Jeff and Eileen Smith http://www.handcrafthousegallery.com/

Pictured opposite (left to right) are Sheila Garran, President of the Brewster Garden Club, Jeff and Eileen Smith, owners of the Handcraft House, and Jane Wick, Chair of the Horticultural Committee


The 2007 Beautification Award was presented to Ruth and Cliff Manchester, owners of The Bramble Inn http://www.brambleinn.com/

Pictured (l-r): Ruth and Cliff Manchester, Sheila Garran, Maryanne Vetrano and Louise Crane



Brewster’s Garden Club members are keen fund-raisers. The Club's cookbook, A Taste of Brewster, containing members’ favourite recipes continues to be in great demand. A plant/bake sale took place on 9 May. The Club raised $3,000 to be used for civic projects in the town and for the $2,000 scholarship they give to a Brewster resident each year. That is impressive.



The Garden Club's first ever Educational Grant was recently awarded to Brewster’s Eddy Elementary School http://nausetschools.org/brewster/eddy/

Pictured are (l-r): Maureen Perri, Garden Club Liaison; teacher aids Rebecca McVickar and Debora Bergstrom, and President Sheila Garran.


On 3 June the Club had its annual luncheon at the Academy Ocean Grill in Orleans http://www.academyoceangrille.com/ when President Sheila Garran gave the gavel to incoming president Gerry Emmert.

Club meetings start up the first Wednesday in October. The club website, http://www.gardenclubofbrewster.org/ gives more information and details of membership. I am indebted to the webmaster for permission to reproduce photos.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Over the pebbles and far away… Knowle > East Budleigh > Knowle


I’ve been asked to record my favourite walks by the pebble people at http://exmouthroadies.blogspot.com/2009/04/rolling-stone-survey.html I hope that this is the kind of thing they want.

Other people might find it interesting anyway if they want to try a walk that they may not have done before.

This could well be the first of various guided rambles that I’ll post exploring the beautiful countryside around Budleigh. I suspect that I have to make a legal disclaimer to state that I am not responsible if you fall into a rut or a puddle, get scratched by brambles or bitten by ticks. Such is the stupid age we live in.

Also I might get some details wrong, so please let me know if corrections are needed.

This first one is about six miles. It’s also fairly orthodox, following public footpath signs. Personally I prefer getting totally lost and then coming across unexpected views, follies and other weird stuff, but many people don’t like surprises.

Start at the Dog and Donkey (above) in Knowle http://www.thedoganddonkey.co.uk/ We admired the colourful gardens in Rolle Cottages and collected gardening tips from local resident ex-submariner Colin before taking the peaceful Dalditch Lane opposite the pub.

On the left you pass the charming little St John’s church. It has only a couple of services a month, but the well-tended garden makes up for that, so do have a quick look. On your right you pass Lily Farm where they sell ducks, arum lilies and now wine. Admire the neatly tended vines. See http://budleighbrewsterunited.blogspot.com/2009/05/not-just-beau-sejour-but-bonne.html
Pass under the viaduct of the old railway line, now transformed as a cycle path, so you might hear disembodied voices above you as you pass underneath. A bit further along on the left is a drive marked Long Orchard, which I mention only because it leads to a house called Coxen, mentioned in Pevsner’s architectural guide to Devon. Many architects associated with Budleigh homes in the early 20th century were influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement http://www.artscrafts.org.uk/ Coxen was designed by Ernest Gimson (1864-1919) a prominent member of the movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who had attended a lecture on 'Art and Socialism' at the Leicester Secular Society given by Morris. In 1893 he moved to the rural region of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire “to live near to nature.” The use of Devon cob, an eco-friendly material, in Coxen’s construction is characteristic of his work. The house is not open to the public, but I mention it only because it took me ages to find out where it was in Budleigh.






When you get to this big oak tree outside Dalditch Farm take the farm track to your right. Like many of the farms round here, it is owned by Clinton Devon Estates.




The route is uphill and stony for about 100 yards, and suddenly you see a little signed footpath on the left.





The path is little used, passing through bracken and often blocked by brambles but I prefer it that way.






The heather was beginning to come out in its purple magnificence, and there was a buzzard circling over the sunlit valley down on the left of the picture (above). It’s really peaceful and beautiful. The photo of this buzzard (right) was taken as it sat in our garden, and I just had to put it in. As I was typing that sentence another buzzard settled in the eucalyptus tree at the front of the house. (They’re pretty common round here)

The path suddenly emerges at Squabmoor Reservoir. This is also a peaceful place where you can spend a day fishing for “carp, tench, bream, roach, rudd, crucian carp and eels” according to the notice posted by South West Lakes Trust, from whom you can get a permit.

Take the path on the north side of the reservoir (pictured here from the west). We found a suitable place for a picnic in the shade of silver birches and young oaks, and watched the swallows and dragonflies darting over the water.

Carry along the footpath through a stile until you reach a small car park area to the west of the reservoir and then the road which crosses East Budleigh Common. Turn right and follow the road uphill to the next small car park at Wheat Hill. There is an informative display telling you that you are on one of Europe’s largest and oldest pebblebed heaths, “a Triassic site over 200 million years old.”



It’s also the site of a Second World War Royal Marine Camp (see the photo, left), and one of the best sites in East Devon for butterflies, so the notice says.

This is real heathland, with its own special atmosphere: silent except for the buzzards and other twittering birds that I should be able to identify but can’t. Somewhere around here there are supposed to be Dartford warblers, but I’d probably mistake them for robins. In spite of my admiration for buzzards I’m a pretty clueless ornithologist.
I imagine that with all that gorse it’s the kind of Egdon Heath-type landscape that Dorset writer Thomas Hardy painted in his novel The Return of the Native. Not that it’s a pretty-pretty type of setting: the adder that bites and kills Mrs Yeobright is a dark force in Hardy’s book. When I read of the grandmother and the marine who both died on separate occasions a few years ago after being scratched by gorse on Woodbury Common not far from here I thought immediately of Mrs Yeobright. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1518810/Grandmother-dies-after-scratch-from-gorse-on-dog-walk.html

So it’s worth taking a few precautions and avoiding being scratched. This heathland, you see, unlike the sleepy pastures of Devon has had a far from pacific life. Fighting men have left their mark on it through the centuries, from the Iron Age fort at Woodbury castle to the military manoeuvres in the Napoleonic era, when a whole army camped on the commons to repel a French invasion.

A century or so goes by: the brick buildings still standing on the heathlands remind us of the allied forces there, readying themselves for D-Day and the attack on the Nazis’ Fortress Europe.

And nowadays we have the marines from Lympstone using it as a training-ground. Perhaps the gorse is just imitating the humans on these heaths in its aggressiveness.

Gardeners in this part of East Devon are warned about the damage to lawn machinery caused by the pebbles constantly rising to the surface, many of them massive, not to mention the radioactive ones. Perhaps the pebbles simply want to join in the conflict above ground, like so many dragons’ teeth of Greek legend turned warriors, intent on a clash with your lawnmower blades.

Enough fantasising. Now you have to head eastwards. The helpful public footpath signs have disappeared, but a good landmark was a row of temporary lavatories, hidden behind the heather and gorse. What they were doing there I’ve no idea, but you know you’re following instructions when you pass them on your right.

More good landmarks as you follow the path through Wheathill Plantation are the tall stacks of logs belonging to Devon Clinton Estates. It all looks pretty organised apart from the lack of public footpath signs. There are little tracks going in all directions.


To the left is what looks like a World War Two brick firing range wall, but if you see that you’re going the wrong way. The correct path should take you past a small brick WW2 shelter hidden in undergrowth to the right of the path.





Eventually you meet a footpath sign which points to the right rather than ahead. Carry straight on, ignoring the sign until you see two tall grey metal posts which mark Hayeswood Lane track.



As you go through the woods you will see another footpath sign, which you should follow. The path is deeply rutted and gets pretty muddy when it’s wet. On the edge of the wood you arrive at Hayeswood Cottage where you see acres of pig arks, and Hayes Barton in the distance. Follow the track past the cottage until you meet the road. We amused ourselves by watching a massive boar making a pig of himself with several sows. I was going to include a photo with an obvious caption on the lines of “Who said life was ….?” (Sorry. I’ll stop there.) But I’ve been told that it’s not suitable for a nice family blog like this one. Great photo though. I can send you a copy if you ask.




A few minutes’ diversion along the road to the left to pay homage to the wonderful thatched house called Hayes Barton, birthplace of Devon’s Elizabethan hero Sir Walter Raleigh. It belongs to Clinton Devon Estates.


Now go back on your tracks following the road to East Budleigh. Pictured, left, is the village with the parish church of All Saints in the distance. They're keen gardeners here, having won numerous Britain in Bloom awards. http://www.eastbudleighinbloom.org.uk/



We turned right opposite the Sir Walter Raleigh pub with its colourful sign showing Sir Walter and Queen Elizabeth I at the famous puddle, and followed the road through the village.

The flowers are beautiful but it was the sight of scarecrows springing up everywhere in readiness for the Festival that caught our eye.
http://budleighbrewsterunited.blogspot.com/2009/06/meeting-these-scarecrows-unexpectedly.html



There are many antiquities and curiosities to see in the village. We passed this sign marking the spot where the ancient ceremony of 'beating the bounds' took place.


If you’re now feeling a bit feeble, as we were, you can stop for refreshment at the East Budleigh Tea Rooms. I’m tempted to return here one Friday or Saturday evening to try out the Caribbean cuisine that they offer at the Tea Rooms – surely an unusual attraction in this part of Devon http://www.yurt-holidays.co.uk/Fancy%20That!%20Cafe%20and%20Tea%20Rooms.htm

There’s even a bus stop opposite the Tea Rooms if you want to take the bus back to Budleigh. We would have been tempted to take the bus back, had we not seen it disappearing into the distance at this point. Rather than follow the B3178 in the direction of Budleigh we decided to go back on our tracks into the village to take what was supposed to be a short cut back to the starting-point at the Dog and Donkey.

So if you’re feeling masochistic or super fit, go as far as Wynards Farm, where they offer bed & breakfast accommodation, and take Hayeswood Lane track on the left through the farm buildings. It could be described as a pretty route lined with hedgerows fluttering with Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood butterflies. But the cowsplats swarming with flies are smelly evidence that farm cattle rather than townie hikers have priority here. And it goes on and on, upwards and ever upwards. I kept promising that there would be a sea view at the end.

At last we found on the left the footpath which would take us back to Knowle. Before taking it, reward yourself by admiring the sea view looking towards Peak Hill and Sidmouth.







Heading towards Knowle the footpath runs along the edge of a field and then over a stile through Shortwood Common, where the thistles were growing head-high. The path leads downwards into a wood, where there are hidden masses of bluebells in the spring.




Soon you find yourself following Shortwood Lane track, which meets Bear Lane. Try to get this little sea view of Budleigh. You'll find it will give you strength for the last stretch. Pass Shortwood House and Pooh Cottage camp site in its idyllic setting http://www.poohcottage.co.uk/ and at the B 3178 turn right and follow the road into Knowle and the pub.


This is a moderately strenuous walk and I reckon I lost 2 lb. But you could easily put this back on by sinking a pint or two of Otter Ale at the Dog and Donkey.

Breaking the cycle in the cause of art


Setting out for a bike ride last Sunday we spotted a notice advertising a two-day art show in Knowle Village Hall. It was 21 June, the final day, and the show was going to close in two hours. We were still on the outskirts of Budleigh, heading north. “The aim of every artist is to arrest motion,” wrote the novelist William Faulkner, and this seemed pretty apt advice. So a quick decision was taken: a turn off the main road through the pretty hamlet of Kersbrook, then back towards Budleigh and in a few minutes we were in Knowle.

Left: Budleigh beach huts, by Janie Heyde



Five artists and their work were on display. All were local, and all very different from each other. Budleigh-based Janie Heyde sells her work as World's End Originals. She spent much of her childhood in Cornwall and was influenced by the St Ives School of Artists.

The coast and scenes in small Devon coastal towns like Budleigh and Clovelly inspire much of her work, which is often, as she says, “quirky, with a liberal use of colour.” Her late husband described her work as “sunny pictures to make you smile” and she thinks that is not a bad description. Right: Beside the Seaside, Janie Heyde's current favourite piece

Left: Anticipation by Gail Jensen

Exmouth artist Gail Jensen told me “I'm into people... I don't do landscapes” although she was painting Blackberry Camp, near Beer, famous for its bluebells when we met. She specializes in nudes, but finds that landscapes sell better.



Gail Jensen started an art college course but did not complete it; painting for her is an enjoyable hobby. She sells her work through exhibitions with Exmouth Art Group, which has its 63rd Annual Exhibition on 30 July 2009 http://www.exmouthartgroup.org.uk/
Right: Tea for Two






Keith Beaney has lived in Devon for 13 years but came originally from Kent. He told me that he has “always made things” and aims to convey the energy of the natural landscape in his work. His Nexus was inspired by crop circles.





His mirrors are unique designs which will not be replicated. This one was made with Douglas fir flowers, sorrell seed, birch catkins, stinking iris berries, oak and beech leaf, oak acorns, and mud from South Farm.



Budleigh artist Bridgee Malone has lived in the town for 18 years and is a fan of the Heritage Crafts Association http://www.heritagecrafts.org.uk/ Her work Eden which was on display (pictured left) is clearly inspired by the Italian artist Lucio Fontana (1899-1968)



Another influence on her as seen in her Spot the Dog has been the abstract expressionist painter Lee Krasner (1908-1984), wife of the artist Jackson Pollock (1912-1956), who similarly played a part in the Abstract Expressionism movement.



Frances Margaret was the only sculptor exhibiting. Growing up on the family farm in Devon left her with a lifelong passion for horses. She has been sculpting commercially for the last ten years, creating original equine pieces in bronze or bronze resin.


Left: Grace, by Frances Margaret



Right: Spirit of Desert Orchid
Frances Margaret’s work has been shown widely at events including the Society of Equestrian Artists’ annual exhibition at Christie’s and the Horse of the Year Show. Her equine sculptures are seen in the homes of horse lovers worldwide, including celebrities like Olympic rider Mary King and opera legend Luciano Pavarotti.
Our visit proved to be fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable break from our ride, all the more so for being unexpected. If you would like further details about the artists, drop me an email at mr.downes@gmail.com






















Saturday, 27 June 2009

Brewster contemplating wind turbines on public land

Could Brewster be the Kobe Bryant of wind energy?
[For UK readers: Kobe Bryant, American baseball star - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe_Bryant ]

Sean Tilly, a consultant from Black and Veatch of Boston, thinks so.

“You have a decent wind resource,” he informed the Brewster board of selectmen last week, when he presented the conclusions of a wind turbine feasibility study. The rapid slide show was dense with data.

“Anyway you slice it this project is a slam-dunk,” he proclaimed. “So under the net metering scenario it is a great deal.”

So much so that a one or two turbine project could pay for itself in a little over one month – provided it’s financed entirely with debt.

Black and Veatch’s 157-page report is available on the Brewster town Web site http://www.town.brewster.ma.us/
Above: This is a simulation, somewhat vertically enhanced, of how a turbine at the town pumping station off Freeman’s Way would appear from Route 6, facing west. Photo simulation from Black and Veatch

Black and Veatch studied six potential turbine sites; Commerce Park on Freeman’s Way, the parking lot or between the fairways at Captains Golf Course, the water department pumping station on Freeman’s Way, the Barrows property (next to the Freeman’s Way recreation fields, behind the police station and at the transfer station.

Commerce Park was tabbed as the best site for one turbine. The recommended spot for the turbine’s footprint is between the sand pit, driving range and Route 6.

The Barrows property was the best location for two turbines but it has potential endangered species problems. The pumping station, golf course and transfer station could all host two turbines while the other locales were evaluated for one.

On most sites a 40-foot wide road to the turbine location would to be built to allow for crane access.

Tilly estimated the average wind speed across the sites at around 11 mph at 49 meters above the ground (150 feet) and 15 mph at an elevation of 80 meters. B&V relied heavily on measurements made by a test tower at the golf course. Wind speeds peak in March and hit a trough in August. Breezes from the southwest would generate most of the power.

Tilly recommended large-scale turbines, either a Vestas V80 or V82s. They’re 80 to 100 meters tall with a height to the blade tip of 394 feet. Vestas is a Danish company that has around a one-third share of the world wind market. Hull uses a V80, which is rated at 1.8 megawatts. The V82 is rated at 1.65 MW and operates at lower wind speeds (between 3 and 20 meters per second). It is used at Jimmy Peak in western Mass. It is 80 meters high with an 82-meter rotor diameter and was the one used for all the modeling.

Some sites have setback issues (golf course). The Barrows, police station and transfer station are close enough to residential areas to cause shadow flicker over some homes. Three of the sites also contain biological core habitat and could harbor rare species. Noise from the turbines would be between a quiet whisper and home sounds.

“Initially sound dosen’t seem to be an issue at these sites,” Tilly said. “There could be shadow flicker affecting some houses especially around the golf course.”

Benefits to Brewster:

The financial analysis in the report assumes the turbine(s) will be municipally owned. An alternative approach would be to have the Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative build and run the turbine. Brewster would lease the land to the cooperative and get lower electric rates in return. Brewster will meet with the cooperative next week to discuss possible projects and benefits.

“If you go through the coop the payoff is better,” opined Jillian Douglass, Brewster’s assistant town administrator. “You’re simply reaping the benefits and you’d have a lease revenue stream in addition to the power you’re generating. They’ll even issue the bonds.”

However, you would have to buy the power from the coop.

“If you have the capital to spend you would do it municipally,” Douglass said.

Tilly noted Brewster’s annual electric consumption of 2,645,480 kWh would be offset entirely by either one or two turbines. For example a turbine at Commerce Park could produce 2,875,000 kWh a year and two turbines at the transfer station might churn out 6,654,000 kWh a year. He estimated the turbines would operate between 20 and 23 percent capacity over the year.
However, the electricity generated would hit a low during June and July, and it would not match consumption during those months.

Looking forward B&V postulated an electricity cost of $175 per MWh for the town, or $463,248 per year.

Each turbine would cost about $4.8 million, with the price jumping to between $8.5 million and $8.9 million for a twin turbine site. Taking the one turbine Commerce Park site as an example, assuming the town benefits from net metering (pumping its electricity into the general grid and receiving offsets) the 20-year cash flow should be $6,657,145 vs. a total project cost of $4,766,850. Using a discounted cash flow value of $3,693,858 the project would provide a profitability index (cost benefit ratio) of 0.81.

Assuming the town finances the turbine solely with debt and pays 4.5 percent interest on the debt over 20 years, and electricity costs $175 per MWh for an annual energy expense of $463,248 in Brewster. Factoring in a $40 per MWh renewable energy credit, the projects should pay for themselves in between 0.09 and 0.14 of one year. That’s because the return from electrical bill savings would quickly outstrip the interest payments on the bonds.

“That assumes you look to the entire life of the project to payback the loan,” Tilly said. “It will be cash flow positive almost every year.”

Sonia Mitchell of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative said the collaborative would offer the town cash grants to hire consultants.

Reproduced with permission from The Cape Codder newspaper, Orleans, Massachusetts USA; http://www.wickedlocapecod.com/

Paula Rego: The Ultimate Story Teller


"We interpret the world through stories... everybody makes in their own way sense of things, but if you have stories it helps," says Paula Rego, explaining her work.

Paula Rego, internationally renowned contemporary artist, exhibits her etchings and lithographs spanning over 20 years at the Brook in Budleigh Salterton from 12 July to 10 August, with a private view at the Brook on 11 July, when she will be joined by acclaimed British contemporary artist, Chris Orr MBE RA.

Left: Moon Eggs

“Paula Rego is one of the leading figurative artists working today,” says Brook spokesperson Kendra Grahame-Clarke. “She cleverly entwines her own experiences with those of dreams and fantasies. Gleaned from the frailties of life and exploring the struggles between men and women, this series of original prints is inspired by modern and classic literature and the political and social realities of today. Her work knows no boundaries; adept at painting and drawing, her simple and strong images translate perfectly into original print, a medium that she values and celebrates.” Above: The Baker's Wife

Born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1935, Paula travelled to England in 1950s to study at the Slade School of Fine Art. Paula made London her home with her husband artist Victor Willing, in 1976 and dividing her time between London and Portugal, her work retains an element of energy, confidence and some say 'Goya influence' that underlines her style; an "Iberian magic realist," is how The Washington Post has described her work.

Her first exhibition at a commercial gallery took place in 1982, and from 1987, Paula started to produce graphic work which paralleled her concerns as a painter. This portfolio of work at the Brook celebrates her independent approach to the print medium and to its long association with storytelling, including Nursery Rhymes, Peter Pan, The Pendle Witches and two beautiful etchings released this year. Above: Wendy and the Lost Boys

Paula highlights the drama of the stories, creating a snapshot of human life within a cameo of an existing story; one looks, one understands, one considers, however one may not conclude. With the stark contrasts of light and dark subject matter in much of the work, Paula stuns you with an image that needs further thought. Her ideal is for you to perhaps reconsider and dwell, no decision or outcome need be reached. 'Searing narratives, not easily defined, drive her work' said Julius Purcell, writing in The Washington Post.

Paula's inventive and honest work is a constant throughout her life, and oblivious to passing fashions, she didn't achieve the recognition as a great artist that she deserved until in her 50s. Now internationally acclaimed, Paula's solo exhibitions in the UK include The Dulwich Picture Gallery, The Serpentine Gallery and The South Bank Centre in London; The Tate Gallery in Liverpool and Arnolfini in Bristol. Paula's work is held in a large number of public collections, including the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The 'Rego Gallery' devoted to Paula's work is due to open later this year in Cacais, Portugal. Above: Sewing on the Shadow

Opening hours for the Exhibition which runs from 12 July to 10 August are 10.30am - 5.00pm. The Gallery is closed on Sunday mornings.
Contact details for the Brook Gallery are:
Tel: 01395 443 003
Email: art@brookgallery.co.uk
Brook Gallery Ltd
Fore Street
Budleigh Salterton
Devon EX9 6NH
Website: http://www.brookgallery.co.uk/

Changing Times in Budleigh

Bloggers are a rare enough phenomenon in Budleigh to merit mention in the national media, so I was not all that surprised to find myself mentioned in today’s Times http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/outdoors/article6582488.ece

Thank you, Alex. A nice little piece, and it would indeed be a great honour to welcome President Obama to our town.

It’s not quite accurate to describe Budleigh and Brewster as twins however. ‘Sister-towns’ is how they were described when I first discovered their relationship, and I’m happy with that.

Above: A future visitor to Budleigh?
Picture credit: http://hiphop.popcrunch.com/