Thursday, July 2, 2009

What this place needs is a good dose of culture

Graham has had the last few days off work so we've been mixing up cultural visits and charity shopping. I'm sure anyone reading this (like me) would probably want to know about the charity shopping side of that equation but here is some culture for you instead - I'm reading a book about old ladies and am feeling cantankerous :)
When we went to Paisley a few months ago, we spent so long charity shopping that we managed to miss the Abbey so on Tuesday we went back and did the Abbey first. It was very much worth visiting and was the probably the coolest place in Scotland (temperature wise!) so was exactly where we wanted to be.
I'm not religious at all but I love visiting religious buildings to see the time and effort (and probably money) put into every tiny little bit of decoration. These three wooden carvings above were at the ends of pews and no two pews were the same. I love to think of someone actually carving these by hand - just look at the dog's tongue hanging out!
This was one of the many (hundreds?) of stone carvings decorating the roof and is maybe a foot across. If you look carefully, you can see it shows Jesus giving out loaves and fishes to the crowd. With every little decoration being different (and so detailed) there was just so much to look at. This particular one was on a low ceiling in a side room but it looked like the ones on the incredibly high ceilings were equally detailed.
There were lots of amazing stained glass windows but I liked the autumn-y colous in this one.
The other thing I love about being in churches (and graveyards) is all the evidence of 'things' having happened there in the past and how you can actually see the history and everything (well, not everything but that mystery is part of the fun too) is recorded and commemorated. I don't really know anything about King James the Fourth but now I do know that in 1491 he received Papal absolution from Abbott George Shaw for "whatever responsibility he might have had for the killing of his father"!

In other cultural activities, we went to see the Edvard Munch prints at the Hunterian gallery yesterday. It's free (my favourite kind of outing! ha!) and brilliant. If you're in Glasgow you should go. Printing excites me. I want to be a printer with a proper printing studio with humungous pieces of equipment and ink stained work surfaces. I think I might do some printing again this week... on a small homemade type of scale.

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