For our first visit in the resumed programme of activities, there was a good attendance to The New Arts Centre Sculpture Park and Galleries. The sculpture park is based at Roche Court, originally constructed for Lord Nelson, but never occupied by him because of the battle of Trafalgar. It is in a delightful setting at the head of a valley on high ground and on a fine day had he survived, he would have been able to see the sea (with his good eye!). It was a bright sunny day, and we admired the way that some of the sculptures had been positioned throughout the grassland, splendid gardens and walled gardens which comprise part of the estate.
Just before one o’clock we took a break for lunch at the Lord Nelson nearby and was joined by three other members. The lunch was enjoyable and fun sitting in our little wooden pods. We would certainly recommend the Lord Nelson, excellent service and quality food. By the time lunch had finished it had turned quite hot and some members decided to return home, and for the brave went back to finish their tour. Our next visit will be Southsea Castle and the nearby D-Day Museum Friday 23rd July ‘21. Ron Bryan
The sculptures were mostly modern and abstract with the odd literal figure, some were witty. For some of us it was very thought provocative and raised some interesting discussions. A member of staff lead a short discussion about how some of the abstract pieces may be interpreted, and in particular the three Barbara Hepworth’s from her family series, which we were advised were the stars of the show. One of the galleries also featured several of her drawings and watercolours, which showed how she developed some of her ideas. If the sculptures were not to everybody’s taste, the stroll through the grounds were absolutely a delight with so many blooms and colours.
At our June meeting the subject of 'Older than me' resulted in a wide variety of interesting pictures and provoked discussions which included many memories not necessarily related to the actual photos being discussed! Apart from tree pictures, the oldest object was a 1790 writing slope with an 1805 edition of the Times resting on it. Amazed it cost 6d in those days (£1.90 today value) almost equivalent to the price of Saturday's Guardian today.
We are going to try an outside meeting for the first time in a long while. Venue is St Mary Bourne, at 14:00 hours on Monday 5th July.