Ever since it appeared outside Sheffield's Millennium Galleries on 1st March, this object has been causing a lot of controversy. It's a sculpture called Aurora by Anthony Caro.
Sheffield Galleries & Museums Trust is cock-a-hoop about the piece. According to the Trust's website:
”It is extremely significant that one of the world’s finest sculptors
chose Sheffield, of all the cities in the UK, to site his work. It is a
wonderful statement of the progress that the city has made in its
reputation for the arts, and we are absolutely delighted that the
people of Sheffield will be able to enjoy this stunning sculpture for
the next 2 years.”
Some of the people of Sheffield are less convinced about the sculpture's merits. Here are a few of the comments that have been posted the Sheffield Forum website:
"It looks like a piece of cast iron junk, tarted up with cheap paint."
"I walked past it today and thought someone had left a boiler in the middle of the street."
"If somebody went and painted Aurora blue, could we pass it off as Thomas the Tank Engine?"
"It's a boiler. Painted red. How inspiring."
Speaking personally, I'm not quite sure what to make of Aurora. On the face of it, I find it pretty uninspiring. So far it has not
intrigued, provoked, aroused or engaged me... but I'm willing to give it a second
Part of the problem is that Aurora has been sited in a position where people hurry past, when it ought to be located where people are encouraged to linger and look at it more closely. The subtleties of this type of sculpture cannot really be appreciated from a passing glance.
Flickr regular Sam Judson has taken a lot of photos of sculptures in Newcastle. I have to say that I find many of them much more interesting than Aurora.
When I peeked through the curtains yesterday morning, I witnessed a rare phenomenon: blue skies and sunshine on a Bank Holiday Monday!
Liz and I decided to make the most of this unique occurrence and caught a bus out to Foolow in the Peak District National Park. From there we walked across the fields to the head of Cressbrook Dale, on a path which must have more stiles than any other in Derbyshire.
We entered the National Nature Reserve and walked down the dale past Peter's Stone. The slopes of the dale were dotted with cowslips and early purple orchids. There seems to be a bumper crop of orchids this year. As we climbed the hillside towards Wardlow we also noticed huge drifts of wood anemones - more than we've ever seen there before.
After a brief stop to catch our breaths and gawp at the view, we dropped gradually back down into the wooded lower part of the dale. The valley bottom was carpeted with ramsons, which flavoured the air with their garlic scent. The ash trees, which dominate these woods, won't come into leaf until late May. The absence of leaf cover allows sunlight to reach the woodland floor. Bright yellow brimstone butterflies danced about in the sunny glades.
At Cressbrook Mill we turned right into Miller's Dale and followed the River Wye upstream, pausing by Water-cum-Jolly to look at a coot's nest which held six tiny chicks. The parent birds seemed to be trying to coax them out on to the open water. Further on, three buzzards wheeled high overhead making their cat-like calls. They were joined by a raven, which did its best to drive them away but the odds were against it.
We made our way up Tideswell Dale and across the fields to Tideswell itself. As we entered outskirts of the village, the heavens opened. By the time we reached the bus stop Liz and I were both drenched. Business as usual for a Bank Holiday Monday!