Monday, January 19, 2009

Of Chagall, running and some knitting

There is a little church in the village of Tudeley that we have been meaning to visit for some time now and so we headed out to find it on Saturday. The church of All Saints is one of only 2 in the world that has all of its stained glass windows designed by none other than Marc Chagall who also happens to be one of my favourite artists.

From the outside it is not an attractive church, having a rather ugly square bell tower which you can see in this photo but the side entrance is much nicer.

We were very fortunate in that the sun was streaming through the windows and really showed off the amazing colours in the glass. The inside of the church is very plain and provides a perfect backdrop for the windows.

I'd often wondered how Chagall came to design the windows in a small Kentish chapel. Apparently Sarah d-Avigdor Goldsmid and her mother, who lived nearby, had seen an exhibition of his stained glass works in the Louvre in 1961 and fell in love with them.

Sadly, Sarah d’Avigdor Goldsmid was drowned, off the coast in Rye, when only 21 years old and her parents commissioned the window in the East in her memory. This first window was installed in 1967 and the remaining windows were commissioned gradually over the years up until Chagall's death in 1985.

The symbolism of 'Death and Resurrection' is used throughout - in the lower half you can see Sarah lying dead in the sea with grieving figures looking on and higher up you see a ladder leading to heaven. You can read about the messages contained in all of the windows here.

We took photos of all the windows as they were so beautiful but I've just put a few more on here to give a feel for them.

You can see photos of all of them here. I love his colours - the blues are so deep and jewel-like and the yellows glowed golden with the sun streaming through.

All of Chagall's favourite images are there - the ass, the birds, butterflies. I defy anyone to feel sad when gazing upon a painting by Chagall as they are truly joyful, even when exploring a sad subject.

On Sunday I did a mid-length training run of 10 miles at my target marathon pace - ie 10 minute miling. It's been a while since I've done this speed so I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, especially as it's rather hilly on the route I chose.

The weather forecast had been for strong gales and torrential rain so I was relieved when it was just the wind that turned up. Unfortunately I didn't gain any benefit from the wind as it was always either blowing from the side or I was running into it.

The good news is that I managed to keep my pace for the full 10 miles so I was very pleased.

Of course I had to take a couple of photos though! The first one is a view I often stop to admire. It is taken from the top of Sempstead Lane, looking towards Great Dixter, former home of the late Christopher Lloyd, a brilliant plantsman and one of my heros - I wrote to him when I was 7 years old asking for advice on choosing the correct manure for my rhubarb! Yes, he did reply and I was really excited that he had taken the time to write back to me.

The next one amused me and is probably of no interest to anyone but me. As I was running along the road into Northiam village, a car sped past me causing the speed warning sign to illuminate. If you enlarge the photo and squint a bit, on the right hand side you will see a sign displaying "30mph Slow Down!" and I pretended that I was running so fast that I'd caused it to light up. Ah well, a girl can dream...........

Now for the knitting. My running chum, Val, has recently become a grandmother for the first time so I thought I'd knit something for the little 'un. I rummaged in my stash and found this pretty pink cotton/silk blend and the blue speckly Rowan yarn, Summer Tweed. As for the pattern, well I'm just making it up as I go along so I hope it turns out OK.

The other thing I'm doing is knitting a scarf for the kind person who bid on my Guinness World Record scarf and then let me keep it. I'd been thinking that it wasn't fair that he didn't get anything so I'm knitting him his own special scarf.


Shan said...

Wow, that is just AWESOME. I LOVE the idea of Chagall stained glass windows! They are so gorgeous.

I laughed out loud at you lighting up the "slow down" sign - you go, girl!

Valerie said...

That looks lovely! You are very kind! See you soon xxx

Marina said...

They're beautiful! I love stained glass.

There's so much green there. Nothing like what it is like here!

boinky said...

I am linking to the story of the Chagall windows.