Monday, 21 July 2014

Barbara's Garden








Barbara's garden is slap bang in the centre of St Ives, halfway up a cobbled hill and hidden behind high walls. If it wasn't for the sign, you'd probably walk straight past it's entrance. It is a secret haven amid the tightly packed streets and narrow houses. To take a walk around Barbara's garden is an experience not quickly forgotten. I have wandered here many, many times. There is always something new to look at. Depending on the time of year, the sculptures either blend in or stand out in the garden. The weather and even the time of day has it's own impact on them, creating light and shade in different places.







You are enticed to reach out and touch these tactile forms. I have to carry something or thrust hands in pockets, because you. are. not. allowed. It's a shame, but I understand. Almost. I don't think Barbara would mind. I think that she created her garden not just as a showcase, but as a place where senses can come alive. So I content myself with photography, and trying to take abstracts of the abstract. I can still get close and look at the shapes and colours. And I can run my hand hand along the plants as I walk around, and listen to them rustling in the gentle breeze, casting shadows in the sun.












I peer into her workshop and see her overalls hung in a line on pegs. I look at all the tools of her trade. I think how dusty it must have been. How physical the work. How satisfying to see something emerge from a block of stone or wood or slate. How it must have felt to see the result of your hard labour sit so peacefully among the plants. I sit in her sun room, and conjure up an image of this tiny formidable woman. Busy, always busy I think. I hope that she was able to stop and pause every now and again. I hope that she was able to just be in this beautiful space.


I am very fond of Barbara.

Leanne xx

13 comments:

  1. Oooh, *that* Barbara. Thank you for sharing her garden and sculptures.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is on my 60 x 60 list, I have been trying to organise a trip down to see it with my friend for ages. Looks beautiful, thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'd just want to go and stick my head through the sculptures with circular holes. Go through the round window! x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow. What an amazing experience that must be. I love it all but especially those - mirrors? - going up the wall diagonally, that really caught my eye.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Leanne you really ARE a gifted writer who is able to take the reader on a delightful journey. Thank you! And your photos aren't bad either! No blonde curly companion today? Did you actually have "time to yourself!" I hope you took the time to "just be" in that beautiful space. Love your blog Xx Mary @shirleygoldendoodles

    ReplyDelete
  6. How fascinating! When I saw the title of the post I was expecting you to be blogging about visiting a friend's garden. I had never heard of Barbara before. If I was there I think I would have had to sneak just one touch. I'm like that. The minute someone forbids me to do something I get this irresistible urge to do that very thing. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's a real shame you can't touch the sculptures- I would feel as you do about them. How nice to have such a special place to visit when you want to and so near home. xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. We went there several years ago and thought that it was wonderful. All the sculptures were so interesting and amazing to see, but set in the gardens it just made the whole experience even better. Thank you for reminding me of a great visit. xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. It looks wonderful. Such a shame that you can't touch the sculptures though, they were made to be touched, surely. Thanks for the recommendation - I will look out for this next week! x

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beautifully written post, Leanne, love it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Another delightful and beautifully written post. I enjoyed this one too. And I'd be just the same, I'd want to caress those forms.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Leanne, I have just discovered your blog via the colour collaborative. I love your style of writing. I am spending a few days in St Yves and it is lovely to read your insights on this pretty part of England.... We will be heading to Barbara's studio today, which was always one of my top places to visit in Cornwall.... I can't wait!! Enjoy the sunshine....we've been so lucky with the weather so far..... Pati x

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm enjoying your blog which I found only recently. I visited Barbara's garden last year and could have wandered around forever! I had to hold on firmly to my camera to resist feeling the sculptures' smoothness, it is so tempting to touch... Eventually her sculpture was my inspiration for a design for some curved piecing which has worked out brilliantly. Thank you for reminding me of my visit to St Ives which I so enjoyed.

    ReplyDelete