Archive for the ‘Artworks’ Category
Traditional henna tattoo
“Look at mine mum”
I bumped into this delightful family in the Ocean Road Community Centre in South Shields at a recent event hosted by “Bangla Awaz” for our small Bangladeshi community, and they were eager to show me their newly acquired mehndi (henna) tattoos. These are a traditional temporary body decoration commonly seen on the Indian sub continent and in Pakistan and Bangladesh, they are extremely popular with brides.
The girls were full of fun and very expressive, as you can see.
This picture proved quite difficult in Photoshop to deal with an obtrusive and fussy background, so a couple of layers and a mask have been utilised to convert the background first to black and white, then tinted, before applying a gaussian blur.
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 30 mm lens, 1/30 second, f4, flash
The Venerable Bede
A detailed look at the public art work decorating the hoardings and screens surrounding construction work at the new Tyne Tunnel crossing in Jarrow. Live in South Shields? Take a walk to Jarrow to see these fascinating panels near the Pedestrian Tunnel.
Beda 672-735 ad
Bede was born in 672 or 673 AD, probably in Monkton, Jarrow, Northumberland, and nothing is known of his parents. At the age of seven, he was entrusted to Abbot (St) Benedict Biscop of the monastery of St Peter in Wearmouth, near Sunderland, Durham. He’d moved with Biscop to the new monastery of St Paul in Jarrow by 685 and was ordained first as a deacon, aged 19, then as a priest aged 30. Records indicate that, apart from occasional calls on friends and visits to Lindisfarne and York, he remained there for the rest of his life.
For modern-day scholars, however, it is for his contribution to history that he is most valued. Although some of his works, such as the life of St Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, tended to be rather uncritical and relate as fact a somewhat improbable number of miracles, his Historia Abbatum (‘Lives of the Abbots’), a book of the lives of the abbots of England, is more typical and much more of a historical reference work. As a priest and a monk, scripture was taken as the supreme authority, but in most of his works he was inclined to explore and rationalise rather than accept unquestioningly. There is no doubt that his Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum is a masterpiece by the standards of any age; it is regarded by modern scholars as the authoritative account of Christianity in England from its inception to Bede’s own time.
Bede was revered and beloved by his community, who kept vigil by his bedside during his final illness. He continued to pray and to work until the last moment; an account by one of his followers, Cuthbert, relates how he completed dictation of a translation of the Gospel of St John on the day of his death, Ascension Day, 735, after which he supposedly fell to the floor of his cell, sang the Gloria, and passed peacefully away. While this account may exhibit some poetic license, it seems likely that this prolific, profoundly religious man was exceptionally well thought of by his peers. He was buried at Jarrow, though his remains now rest in Durham Cathedral.
The title ‘Venerable’ began to be applied within a couple of generations of his death, as the influence and esteem of his writings spread. He was thus addressed by the influential Council of Aachen in 835, and this authority was cited in 1859 by Cardinal Wiseman and the English bishops when petitioning the Holy See for Bede to be created a Doctor of the Church doctor ecclesiastæ be celebrated each year on 27 May (since moved to 25 May).
His influence was and is great, and might have been greater still but for the Danish sacking of the monasteries of North Britain during the ninth Century.
Bede was, it is fair to suggest, the most learned man of his day in Britain, and quite possibly the world. Unusually, he was scrupulous in recording the sources of his information – and in asking those who copied and edited his work to preserve these references (a practice which they all too often failed to follow).
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 28 mm lens, 1/750 second, f6.7, iso 200
Day two of our look at the art work surrounding the new excavations attached to the construction of the new Tyne Tunnel, and here we have a look at the detail in the long panorama that greets us in Ferry Street, Jarrow. This section is dedicated to the death and public gibbeting of the miner William Jobling in 1832.
On June 11, 1832, Jarrow pitmen Ralph Armstrong and William Jobling were drinking in a pub in South Shields.
On the road by the toll-bar gate, near Jarrow Slake, Jobling begged from Nicholas Fairles, a 71-year-old magistrate.
Fairles refused to hand over any money, prompting Armstrong, who had followed Jobling, to attack him with a stick and a stone.
Both men then ran away, leaving Fairles seriously injured.
Two hours later, Jobling was arrested on South Shields beach. Armstrong, an ex-seaman, apparently returned to sea.
After his arrest Jobling was taken to Fairles’s home, and it was established that he had been present but had not taken part in the assault.
Jobling was returned to Durham Jail, and after Fairles died of his injuries on June 21, he was charged with murder.
Jobling was tried at Durham Assizes on Wednesday, August 1. The jury took just 15 minutes to reach a guilty verdict.
The sentence was that Jobling be hanged from a gibbet erected in Jarrow Slake, near the scene of the attack.
The judge in the case said: “I trust that the sight of that will have some effect upon those who, are to a certain extent, your companions in guilt and your companions in these illegal proceedings which have disgraced the county. May they take warning by your fate.”
Jobling was the last man to be gibbeted in the north east.
He was hanged on August 3.
After Jobling was taken from the scaffold, his clothes were removed and his body covered in pitch.
He was then riveted into a cage made of flat iron bars. His feet were placed in stirrups, from which bars of iron went up each side of his head, ending in a ring, from which the cage was suspended.
Jobling’s hands hung by his sides, and his head was covered with a white cloth obscuring his face.
In a horse-drawn wagon on Monday, August 6, his body was taken to Jarrow Slake, escorted by a troop of hussars and two companies of infantry.
The gibbet was fixed upon a stone sunk into the slake, and the heavy wooden uprights were reinforced with steel bars to prevent them being sawn through.
At high tide, the water covered up to 5ft of the gibbet, leaving a further 16ft to 17ft visible.
Isabella Jobling, the hanged man’s widow, had a cottage near the slake, so she would have been able to see her husband clearly for the three weeks he was left on display.
On August 31, after the guard on the corpse was removed, Jobling’s friends stole his body. Its whereabouts are still unknown.
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 28 mm lens, 1/4000 second, f5.6, iso 200
Artwork at new Tyne Tunnel, Jarrow
Contractors are busy constructing a new Tyne Tunnel in Jarrow to help cope with increased numbers of motorists wanting to cross underneath the River Tyne. This massive project is employing a number of men from South Shields and surrounding areas and it is so large that it has almost bisected the town of Jarrow.
Major work is being undertaken adjacent to the old pedestrian Tyne Tunnel near the junction of Ferry Street and Tyne Street and huge hoardings have been erected to screeen the site from view, a public arts scheme has been launched and young artists from South Shields Customs House have used the hoardings to paint their own representations of Jarrow’s cultural and industrial history and heritage, as part of their “Find your talent” project.
I’ve created this template in Photoshop to show some of their work, and I will show you some of my shots in greater detail in the next few days. Here we see representations of Jarrows mining past, it’s shipbuilding, the gibbeting of William Jobling, the Venerable Bede and the Jarrow Crusade
St. Hilda’s Church
Inside the nave of St. Hilda’s Church, South Shields hangs a model of Wouldhave’s lifeboat.
William Wouldhave, who was clerk of the parish church is accredited with the invention of the lifeboat and thus made his mark on maritime history, he lived nearby in the closely knit South Shields cobbled streets adjoining the River Tyne. His tombstone lies flat in the church’s yard and describes him as
‘Inventor of that invaluable blessing to mankind the Lifeboat’
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 82 mm lens, 1/15 second, f5.6, iso 800
It’s that time of year
The school children will finish on Friday in South Shields to start a two week Easter Holiday – lucky them!
So the Easter Eggs or “Paste Egg” competitions have already taken place in our local schools. I’ve never quite worked out where the phrase “paste egg” came from, but the basic idea to to get a hard boiled egg, with the shell, and get painting and decorating to your hearts content. Many years ago in some parts of England it was a tradition to have egg rolling contests, to see who had an egg that could roll to the bottom of a large hill the furthest, without breaking. I believe they added vinegar to the bols harder, but I don’t remember any such traditions in South Shields!
Here are a selection of eggs (with the winners) from my local school made by children aged 4 – 10 years old, they were snapped with my Konica Minolta Dimage Z3 and composed into a template that I’d made in Photoshop.
Industrial history illustrated
Way back in 1980 a mural designed by D. Wilkinson was painted by a Youth Enterprise Project team in Commercial Road, South Shields, it is huge and attempts to depict the history of the town from it’s Roman beginnings up to the industrial era of the 1970s, my guess is the mural is around 100 yards long! It is hand painted on a retaining wall of an old railway embankment that used to carry trains into Low Shields station (long since demolished).
It has recently been refurbished for the second time and is once again full of colour.
Camera details: Pentax K100D, 60 mm lens, /350 second, f4.5, iso 200