27 October 2020

Pipes

The picture shown above appeared in "Shadows and Light" this morning. It was taken in Golders Hill Park, London by the blog's owner, Steve Reed. Steve thought it was some kind of pipe joint until research indicated that it is in fact an artwork called "Gazebo" by Wendy Taylor.

Let us hope that when googling her name, Ms Taylor does not stumble across Steve's blog. It would be quite traumatic to discover that one's finest artistic achievement has been dismissed as a mere concrete pipe joint. 

Steve's photograph reminded me of a picture I took several days ago at Booth Farm on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border. Two massive concrete sump pipes were just lying in a field. The farmer may have got his order wrong or maybe I am also being philistinic. 

Perhaps it is another art installation by Wendy Taylor. I could go back to Booth Farm and make the farmer an offer before having the pipe ends transported to our garden. I doubt that they would fit in my rucksack so I would need a great big lorry (American: truck) with a crane. If the sculpture is by Wendy Taylor, I wonder what she might have called it? 

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling...

48 comments:

  1. "All art is quite useful". To misquote Oscar Wilde.

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    1. "Oscar Wilde was a pillock". To accurately quote Bernard Manning.

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  2. As a North Country Pythagorean you probably calculate time on a 2800-year calendar, Yorky.

    Hundreds of years from today those two sump pipes will be a place of pilgrimage. England will be enjoying a Mediterranean climate, thanks to global warming.

    Sunburnt pilgrims will gather at the Staffordshire/Derbyshire Border, just to touch those concrete totems. Your historic photo will give you a place in history, laddie. Even Boris Shagger will be dead and (blissfully) forgotten by then.

    The Golders Hill Park sculpture isn't the best example of Wendy Taylor's work.
    Her Timepiece at St. Katherine's Dock, London, is beautiful: I think Pythagoras would have appreciated it.

    Also worth seeing in London: Wendy's Tortoise with Triangle and Time (Holland Park); her Brick Knot (Hayward Gallery); and her circular sculpture, steel or bronze I'm not sure, by the Thames in Wapping High Street. Barbara Hepworth, born in Wakefield, would understand Wendy's artworks only too well.

    Read the online Guardian interview with Wendy by Vanessa Thorpe (September 2019): *I'm livid, sculptor says as Brexiteers use her Sundial artwork.*

    As for the mysterious Pythagoras, read Kitty Fergusson's brilliant biography, published in paperback by Icon.

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    1. Until now, I never knew you were a Wendy Taylor fan John. I thought you supported Celtic. I like your notion about future pilgrimages to the "Danny Boy" sculpture near Booth Farm. It reminds me of "The Book of Dave" by Will Self.

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    2. Wendy and I may never meet but we go back a long way, thanks to my interest in Barbara Hepworth, who was born in Wakefield, as was the playwright and television dramatist David Mercer. Hepworth was married to Ben Nicholson.

      As a heterodox Partick Thistle supporter I shall commission Wendy to create a Gnostic bronze serpent, such as Moses employed. It will (with your permission) be sited in your garden. Devotees will come from far and wide to pay homage.

      If Tasker is not available for the unveiling, Will Self will surely oblige. Please don't ask him if Philip Larkin is Martin Amis's biological dad, a shocking idea Martin has revealed in his new book.

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    3. Larkin was only larkin' about that night.

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    4. The other Larkin was Jim Larkin, the Trades Unionist, born in Liverpool, died in Dublin, one of my late father's heroes, and one of mine.

      He was played by Peter O'Toole in the television series, based on the novel Strumpet City, on DVD.

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  3. I looked up Wendy Taylor and I found some of her sculputures that I like but not the one called Gazebo; it does look like a pipe fitting for a sewer. Maybe that's what it's supposed to remind us of, all of the sewage that runs underground, hidden from sight. I don't know.

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    1. You can leave nursing and become my blog research secretary Lily. Sadly, the salary is quite paltry.

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  4. Photography is documenting the world as is. The good, the great, the moving, the invisible, the ugly, the utilitarian (defined as practical rather than attractive), a hole.

    Next stop: What's your view on Andy Warhol's take on Ketchup and Campbell's Soup?

    U

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    1. I agree that arresting the ordinary in the name of Art can be very illuminating as Andy Warhol proved so indelibly.

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    2. Dada wouldn't buy me a Bauhaus.

      Nobody gets that joke any more because it turns on a silly song of the 1950s, *Daddy wouldn't buy me a Bow Wow*.

      Andy owed a lot to the DADA movement, and in the Factory he got a lot of young people to work for him on the cheap. He couldn't draw very well.

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    3. I get the joke because I once visited The Bauhaus Museum in Berlin.

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    4. Your travels in old Germania, West and East, were all logged by MI6, Yorky.
      You had a cafe lunch, did you not, with Markus Wolf, the Man Without a Face?

      I used to frequent a pub near Trafalgar Square, once patronised by Kim Philby. His crony Graham Greene liked their sausages, rather good with English mustard and a pint of best English bitter.


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  5. Those pipes make a great playground! As a kid, I loved crawling through pipes, climbing on top of them, sliding down the other side, playing "house" inside.

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    1. Happy memories. Why don't we do such things now that we are all grown up?

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  6. Reminded me of some of Barbara Hepworth's work, not to my liking but I'm sure some people appreciate it.
    Briony
    x

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    1. There is a lovely art museum in Wakefield now. It is called simply "The Hepworth" and it showcases her work beautifully.

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  7. "Creativity takes courage." Discuss.

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    1. Yes it does. Because when you create you open yourself up for criticism. It is easier to lie low with your head beneath the parapet. However, I think that being creative is the best feature of humanity. You, for example, were being creative when you had your polycarb installed and thoughtfully prepared the inner space for growing. It's not an artwork but it still required creativity.

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    2. Your own creative warp (one is trying hard not to say *bent*) surely lies in the fertile fields of Conkers, Plastic bins, and Pub Quizzes.

      Now to these rich veins of creativity you have added Concrete Sump Pipes.
      I for one am prepared to sponsor you for an English Arts Council grant, Sir Yorky. Modern art is an Easy Con as Damien Hirst said to his accountant.

      Installing these surreal Sumps throughout Britain could lead to the revival of children's street games, and street songs such as *In and out the Dusky Bluebells*. As Meike said, les enfants love them.

      You could be remembered as the man who reinvented childhood, luring the little blighters away from their devices and computer games.
      And as for the rediscovery of Conkers ... I am hearing Elgar's Pomp and Circumstances !

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    3. Your faith in my abilities dwarfs my own faith.

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    4. My faith in Ye shall move Mountains, Yorky, not to mention Sump Pipes.

      In all honesty I am compelled to tell you that my real name is Quiggin, Horace Quiggin, though I call myself Enoch Arden at Pub Quizzes.

      I live in Hounslow, and have never ever been to Glasgow. My ex-wife Trixie, who ran off with the Tally Man and now lives with him in Benidorm, came from Govanhill, Glasgow.
      Trixie once said she would like to see Glasgow and everyone in it, abducted and abused by Grey Aliens. As a humanitarian I was shocked by that hateful remark, as you can imagine. I believe Trixie needs to be Sectioned.

      Through my connections with the upper echelons in the English Arts Council, I will gladly fast-track your application for a grant, with a clothing allowance thrown in. I can imagine the winds on those Sheffield Moors would freeze Boris's You Know What.

      If you are ever in Hounslow drop by The Black Lion, where I am to be found most evenings seated by the log fire, wearing a Norfolk tweed jacket and an illuminated bow tie, engrossed in The Times crossword.
      I am not much of a reader but give me a crossword and I'm a happy Hounslow man.

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    5. Have you thought of writing your own blog ..... ?
      Lots of things to share x

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    6. Hameldaemepal is an association of ten retired advertising copywriters, all of whom worked for a well-known Irish brewing company. We are concerned about the imminent advent of Intelligent Design, and the threat it poses to our species. Having read your lively blog we would be more than happy to have you on board, John. If we can also co-opt Sir Yorky and Tasker Dunham, then we will have a lucky 13. One of our guiding lights is the late Flann O'Brien, the Deus Ex Machina behind that baffling non-novel *At Swim Two Birds*: A man devoted to Thought, but not Thought as Plato knew it; a man with an unspeakably carnal appetite for Irish stout. Our aim is to eradicate I.D. from the face of the planet or die nobly in the attempt. I.D. doesn't drink the Black Stuff, and we do, and in the long run that may be the tipping point in our success.

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    7. Oh, John, I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. What did I know? That eventually Hamel would get the John treatment. It was only a matter of time for you to make that most trite suggestion (an admonishment by another name) of him writing his own blog. You prefer "Answers on a postcard", keep it brief, don't say anything unless it's honey coated and not challenging. Which is (not so) fine, but ok. Whatever. Others prefer dialogue rather than sitting in a rather limited and limiting little echo chamber - policing their "audience", sending them to Alcatraz. I suspect neither do you play tennis. It's a game that involves two people (unless you play in doubles) batting a ball - back and forth. What about Volley Ball (team sport) - you know, passing balls back and forth to keep the game alive?

      Anyway, and I hope this won't stretch your imagination to bursting point, for all we know Hamel is YP's alter ego, one and the same conversing with each other. YP, Hamel, should this not be the case please forgive my flight of fancy. You bounce off each other so well. Any pub quiz (nay, Mastermind) would be proud to have you, Dr Hamel and Mr Pudding.

      U

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    8. O Miss Ursula !
      Much have I travelled in the Realms of Goldilocks as J. Keats expostulated, but a Cannier Lady than thee have I seldom encountered in Cyberspace, and I speak as a man sans email, smartphone, skype etc.

      Of Shams and Shady Characters this Cyperspace abounds, not to mention the Shadowland of Self Encounter, that Heart of Darkness of which Mr. Joseph Conrad wrote with an authority Yours Truly can only gasp at.

      Consider Dear Lady ! You are playing straight into the hands of Intelligent Design, that Omniscient Other more terrible in aspect than Jehovah the Desert Deity, Who will soon rule despotically over all our lives.
      Do not imagine for a moment that you will be able to keep anything from Him. This is a Being with an IQ more astronomical than all the Stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, your deepest thoughts and private memories He will plumb as easily as we Republicans quaff our Stout. (The Ladies enjoy a Milk Stout.)

      Already He is (as they say in Glasgay) *Fcuking Wey Yer Heid.*
      That Hamel(d) could be YP's alter ego, that Haggerty could be John Do Not Go Gentle Into That Night ... that way lies madness, Dear Lady, those seeds of self destruction which Intelligent Design (Antichrist by another monicker) will sow in all our hearts. Of decent emotions He knows nothing, for Psychopaths never do.

      Our glimmer of hope rests with a man christened Brian O'Nolan, whose name was really Brian O Nuallain, who wrote under the Nom de Guerre Flann O'Brien, whose Better Aspect was (un)known to all as Myles na gCopaleen. A man, if indeed he was a man, whose strategies will flummox (not to say f***) Intelligent Design's Masterplan of World Domination.

      'Twas na gCopaleen who said of holy Ireland's last unreformable genius, *I declare to god if I hear once more about that name James Joyce I will surely froth at the gob.* Upon hearing these words Yeats fainted, Sam Beckett was struck dumb and Bernard Shaw continued to drool over his idol Joseph Stalin.

      In this spirit of solidarity I ask thee to join us in our Good Fight, Ursula, which will mean making your peace with John Do Not Go Gentle. A small price to pay in the endless struggle for freedom, dignity, and decent Public Houses where men and women may gather Platonically and speak Socratically.

      On a lighter note I must go now and feed grain to my Canaries. I see you are an Early Bird too.
      As the Benedictine monks used to say in the days of Saint Bernard of Clairvauz, *A Hard Bed to lie on is a Sweet Bed to die on.*

      With these words I leave thee, Dear Lady for my yellow pets are trilling melodiously that they need their Vittles. Till we discourse again ...
      Hamel(d)

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    9. Lol I don’t always understand what you write but you have a wealth of knowledge behind you and that shines here.
      If I was insulting you, as Ursula gleefully surmised ,
      I would not have added the kiss of warmth behind my words.
      Write a blog
      You are an interesting old bean

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    10. Ursula
      Bad mouth me as much as you like, what a waste of time it is doing so
      I have asked you not to comment on my blog because you constantly got into spats with people
      a request you have sporadically ignored
      If you had played nicely and not tried to teach everyone a lesion
      You would be still there

      Delete
  8. I'm sure Ms Taylor got paid a huge amount of money for her 'creation'. I'm with Steve on this one, it looks like it belongs in a sewerage plant, not a beautiful park.

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    1. That is what they used to say about Salvador Dali's work.

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    2. How do you DARE, Sir? To imply Salvador's Dripping Clocks were painted for gold?
      'Tis true Mrs Dali locked Salvador in his studio with the words, *Paint me a masterpiece, I need another mink stole !*
      That is what wives do, it is their trade.

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  9. I quite like that Booth Farm installation. Much better than our local "Black Plastic Bags Hanging From Trees" exhibit at the farm above us on the hill.

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    1. Was the Harpenden art installation created by Doug Walker?

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  10. LOL -- yes! That is CLEARLY a Taylor original! Worth millions of pounds, no doubt.

    Actually, I wonder if Taylor would be bothered that I thought her sculpture was a pipe joint. It seems clearly INSPIRED by a pipe joint, at the very least!

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    1. I hope that you do not sue me for breach of copyright Steve!

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  11. Anything can be considered art in the eye of the beholder. Maybe you should offer to buy it from the farmer and set it up in your garden. Give it a name and have a fancy plaque engraved to set in front of it. Maybe, eventually someone will offer to buy it from you at a profit!

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    1. Mmmm...I think I might call it "It Seems Like Only Yesterday"!

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  12. I'm sure Ms Taylor was paid a lot more for her pipe installation than the pipe delivery driver who placed the pipes so artistically.

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    1. Perhaps Wendy Taylor WAS the pipe delivery driver!

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  13. More important would be how much does Wendy Taylor want for this mother of all sculptures?

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    1. Wendy Taylor has asked me to negotiate the sale Red. It will look so fantastic on your front lawn in Red Deer. What is your opening bid?

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  14. Mr YP, I must tell you how much I enjoy your blog and I love he way you place the "American" translations for boots,trucks etc. I laugh each time.

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    1. Thank you Terry. I am glad that someone has picked up on my slightly mischievous translations. When I was a boy here in England we all used the term "lorry" but now with American films etc., "truck" is far more common.

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  15. It just needs a dab or two of spray paint to add another few thou to it's worth....... and no doubt that will be forthcoming shortly! With the addition of some nice net curtains to make it more homely?

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  16. I think it is sad that artists have freedom to create nothing but silliness. Dirty beds come to mind, well obviously it made an impression on my mind Emin and now I am thinking of that poor calf Damien, who would stick that in their sitting room? Then Weiwei (unfortunate name) and his gallery full of sunflower seeds. Statements? but statements of what?

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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