Sunday Pt 3 – the artist Sally Bradborn – identifying reality using forms


So we are within a two week event, Somerset Art Weeks Festival 2017,  starting yesterday 23rd September where the artists display their finery and the public can meet them in their homes.  One such was Sally Bradborn. Interestingly the surname originated from the village Bradbyrne in Derbyshire. The name comes from two old English words; biad, meaning broad or wide, and burna meaning stream. I derive from this the term ‘streaming broadband’ but that’s just my left brained take, being a mere male.

Sally moved away from the metropolis with her lawyer husband the while producing three children. The focus on the art suffered somewhat but art is like riding a bike – you never forget it, indeed a rest or a pause can enhance growth on the subconscious level. She and I have one thing in common apart from the fact that she has read the same book by Claire Tomlinson on Samuel Pepys. We do not know what is going to happen when we sit down, she with her ceramic materials and me with my keyboard.

I commented that Barbara Hepworth waited for her stones to call her. I believe that we are not originators of creativity but the receivers of harmony or otherwise.  I am very sympathetic to all artists which is why I forgive them for what they have done, are doing or might do sometime in the future. They are seeking to reach into base matter and produce gold, rather like the alchemists of old. This is not possible without INspiration. NB it is not EXpiration. In order to do so the psyche needs to be held in a space between matter and spirit, or half way between heaven and hell if you want to be fundamentalist.

This is why artists are so often ‘oddballs’ as if they to interact with normal (compromised) people they lose the very essence of what they are trying to achieve. Same with musicians I guess. I get very excited when I recognise a kindred spirit and nothing stops the flow of what appears to be inspiration coming out of my mouth. There are so many DEAD people around that it is such a joy to find a live one. Artists often have difficulty in marketing their work. They are either too greedy and try to monetize everything or they give their work away. This is why an agent should be sought to give an unbiased second opinion.

Sally’s studio

Alas due to the peculiarities of my humble camera (or was it the shaking of my hand) the photos made in her studio – a converted garage – were not as clear as I would have liked. I quite like the ethereal look.

My wife talking to Sally
All work should ask a question. I am fascinated by the nuance of the face and what is behind it.
this model does not have a point to prove. She is asking questions but falling short of interrogation.
this example shows how important the lighting of the work is

I almost feel I could use this as a Rorschach Ink Blot test and see what people see in it. Such an interesting psychological study. I found with Sally’s work that a group of her works would have considerable interaction power or should I say ‘presence’.  We both agreed that space and being alone was an essential ingredient for inspiration.

I love Edward Hopper’s quote “If I could see it in words there would be no reason to paint” and Francis Bacon’s quote “the job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery“. We should not do the viewers work for them but ask questions, then more questions.

I know we shall be seeing many good things coming from Sally and I can’t wait to visit her first one woman show. Watch this existential space.


Back to Rockaway studios (see yesterdays blog). I wanted to see Marta the wife of Mark the owner to offer to do some voluntary work. She greeted me with a lovely smile although she was rushed off her feet. I think I could really do a good job of helping with the web site, a newsletter, and the garden which for such a place needs to be something special.  We agreed to talk in the week.

Meanwhile my camera was out, itching to make more photos so here are a few:

Richard and Joyce, who is supporting traffic cones on her head.
an intricate design made by cutting up a tyre.
children soaking in the atmosphere wile a band plays in the background.
A worker building up the heat to forge metal
The creativity bubbles up from the word go on his website.
speaks for itself

Oh and I put this image in because I think it is funny. If you are doing or thinking exactly the opposite of the majority you must be getting something right.

Lots of love and good night

Sunday Pt. 2 – the local Cider and Ale Barn


We discovered this jewel about four years ago and it is now part of our Sunday routine when we go to the boot sale in Cheddar. (see previous entry). It is not a ‘pub’ but an ‘import’ from somewhere like Australia. The Cider Barn is presided over by the ever characterful Jason who works the most horrendous hours and is universally liked by the mixed clientele that appear at the door.  Cyclists, tourists, local colourful characters, farmers – you name it.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

BS27 3RU don’t drive too fast or you will miss it.
the bar area as seen from the door
side wall (use Ctrl and + to enlarge)
one of the most unpleasant physiognomies I have ever seen.
NO chemical produced rubbish beer
and many local groups
free library
The Guinness campaigns were masterly “Guinness is good for you”
another seminal ad. situated in the back room of this establishment

Oh and they do offer a selection of hot food. It is cooked on the premises and microwaved. The dishes are served with a very large doorstep of bread. There is an outdoor sitting area for smokers and sight seers. The ciders are to die for.

My wife insisted on driving us onward afterwards even though I only had a pint.

Sunday Pt. 1 – the pictorial low-down on the Cheddar Carboot


Friday 23 September 1664

…Pepys writes….My cold and pain in my head increasing, and the palate of my mouth falling, I was in great pain all night. My wife also was not well, so that a mayd was fain to sit up by her all night….Dined with little heart at noon…So home, and late reading “The Siege of Rhodes” to my wife, and then to bed, my head being in great pain and my palate still down.

You certainly needed to be tough to survive without the medications that we take for granted today. Average life expectancy was just under 40, but this is heavily skewed by the high rate of infant mortality. Over 12% of all children born would die within their first year of life.
I love the fact that Pepys reads to his wife. We do not know if she is literate. My wife enjoys being read to. I enjoyed being read to when a child. ..just one more chapter, dad……


Today is day two of Somerset Art Weeks ‘Prospect’ Festival 2017. We plan to visit a few centres but before that, to celebrate breakfast with two duck’s eggs which we purchased yesterday Saturday at one of the events. They are about a fifth bigger than large chicken’s eggs. <later> they should be cooked for seven minutes. They are very rich so one egg at a sitting is enough.


Cheddar Carboot and market is one of the larger events of its type in the UK. This is my first in depth report, and probably my last unless something extra ordinary happens. I do TripAdvisor reviews and to date I have done 671 written reviews and offered up 1,340 photos from 42 countries around the world. You can say I am fairly used to doing them.

History of Cheddar Carboot- started by a local farmer in 1996.
Location – Winchester Farm Wells Road BS27 3RP
Layout – at least 150 grass pitches, about 60 hard ground pitches, a large indoor area with many wet weather pitches.
Car park – large enough! You pay £1 per car but can walk in free.
Facilities – toilets, restaurant, cafe.
Hours – Sundays from 6am to 2pm ; the public can arrive after 7 am
Cost of stall or space – from £8 to £20
Contact Mr Ashley Hann – 07831277327

That’s the mechanical bit over, now the detail. The majority of the spaces in the grass area are families having a clear out of their children’s’ clothes, toys or removing from their house unwanted bric a brac. I can say that if you don’t mind buying second hand clothes there is no point in spending more than 50p an items for clothing your new child. People also try and get rid of books and rather old Hi Fi sets.
A few plant and flower stalls (normally good quality grown locally) can be found. Sweets and drinks are always of low quality, virtual sugar bombs with added chemicals. Garden tools, normally second hand, are available and are of good quality but beware petrol driven mowers and chain saws. People keep them in their sheds for years and swear blind they work well. Ask when they were last used. If they cannot answer you then take a chance but don’t pay more than a tenner.

An old fashioned look means that the model is well out of date and spares impossible to get. Paintings and photographs are neither well stored (been in the attic for years) or of ‘popular’ quality. Anything over a fiver and you are paying for the frame. There is normally a good fishing equipment table in the main hall. Cheese is available (and yes it is fresh). The star of the show is the amazing butcher who has the most convincing chat I have ever heard. For this reason he is popular with Chinese and Indian restaurants who stock up for the week. He piles on steak after steak, chops after chops, chicken after chicken and says ‘who will give me £20?’ and goes on piling the meat on until someone says yes. You only have to move an eyebrow for him to register it as a sale. See video here.

Having given all the caveats above, you can get some amazing bargains. My wife purchased five art books for £2.50 from someone who was clearing her mother’s house. As I left I saw a chap walk away with a Stihl strimmer, lightweight, new cost £230 + for which he paid probably about £40. Their Chinese equivalents are well built but weigh a ton and you need to wear strapping in order to carry it.

As the day goes on and stall holders are getting tired, the price of everything will come down. What was sold for £1 comes down to 50p. Anything to get rid of them and save having to pack them up again. When you leave, expect a queue to get out. If you are at all civilised you will move on to the Cider Bar about a mile east along the road. Part two will cover that noble establishment. And now, to the photos in random order…

why pay full price for a childs new bike?
the jam and marmalade woman is always here rain or shine
skeletons taken out of their cupboards
dog and some cat food
cheap and cheerful tools
good quality plants
sugar bombs
potted flowers
typical grass space – take it off me or it goes to the recycle
very good tools normally at the far side of the indoor hall
tools – detail
fishing stand – you name it…. they are regular attendees
the indoor hall – full when it rains
army stuff
a sad and unloved mower. Don’t touch it.
£3.99 for an item costing 50p tops to manufacture.
The amazing Garry Davies. He ‘performs’ high speed selling for up to 5 hours. Hypnotically amazing.
this mannequin needs a head and shoulders massage

click here for next part of day