June 2019

Spring has sprung as they say, and good to see the seasonal flowers ‘springing up’ as it were.


Long, light days – I love them and then soft, mellow nights. Bird song everywhere where I live.







I take a trip down to my ancestral home in Cornwall – also looking at its best.








Whilst there, I join in a history project looking at modern – mining…..








– and prehistoric history; of the latter, some fine examples of a ‘chambered tomb’, Mullfra Quoit and Treseagal stone circle: all around 3 – 4000 years old:












A useful reference point:





This month, I also saw quite a lot of art.

In London, the Spanish master of light: Jaoquin Sorollo (1863-1923):







Some lovely colourful washes here, and indeed light. Moreover, he was no doubt successful – selling huge amounts on the USA making him famously. I liked his work. Finally, however, he was somewhat caught ‘out of time’ – not quite an impressionist or a post-impressionist and, by the time he died, rather overtaken by Picasso and what would come next!!


Also, at the National in London, was an exhibition my Sean Scully, one of the Young British Artists coming from the 1990s (YBAs).

I wrote some studies of them: http://www.michaelgrenfell.co.uk/art/173-2/


This work was inspired from a Tuner painting of an Sea Star.Of course, his own extensions go way beyond the original piece.












In the Tate St. Ives Cornwall, an exhibition of the work of the Lebanese artist Huguette Caland (1931). Interesting pieces: a kind of mixture of Heron and Georgia O’Keefe. Her topic was ‘body parts, but these disguised amongst large surrealist forms:











Some wonderful contemporary art in Cornwall from Chloe Holt from Harrogate:







My reading this has pursued my Latin-American explorations. So, two books of the month: firstly, a history of South America and then an allegorical novel of the same – The Stone Raftby Jose Saramago:







My listening has been centred on another continent: Africa and the music of the Camaroon singer-guitarist Francis Bebey. He was around a lot in London when I was there in the 1980s. A beautiful guitar player and singer, he also specialized in Pygmy flute music. His recordings range from the most traditional to the more electronic / way out.




Amazing. I spoke to him on various occasions – in park concerts on the lawn. He was very friendly and so well versed in literature and philosophy. A fascinating man. Sadly, he died in 2001: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Bebey