Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Royal Park

A section of the old boundary wall built when King JamesV of Scotland created Holyrood Park in 1540.
Today it is a managed wild park in the centre of Edinburgh.

Park guide.

Click to enlarge

Edinburgh skyline from Queen's Drive with Salisbury Crags on the right
 and Edinburgh Castle on left.
The perimeter wall runs behind the trees.

15th century St Anthony's Chapel above St Margaret's Loch.

Whinny Hill with East Lothian fields in the distance.

Dunsapie Loch and Dunsapie Crag,where traces of an early fort have been found,possibly Iron Age.
Beyond is the East Lothian coastline with Bass Rock barely visible on the horizon just to the left of
 Berwick Law (small pointed hill).

Heather on Whinny Hill.

Bell heather and whin bushes  :  Arthur's Seat,the highest point, from Whinny Hill.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse and ruined 12th century Holyrood Abbey, from the hill above St Margaret's Well, looking towards the Firth of Forth and the hills of Fife.

Holyrood  Palace was built by King JamesIV at the time of his mariage in 1502 to Margaret Tudor,sister of HenryVIII of England.Their son JamesV extended the palace and had rooms lavishly decorated in the French Renaissance style.The palace has been changed and remodeled during the intervening centuries and today the north-west tower is the only surviving part of the original building. Holyrood is the official Scottish residence of Queen Elizabeth II and for most of the year is open to the public.In July this year it was the venue for the wedding reception of the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips and her husband Mike Tindall.

A closer view of the turrets.

James V (1512-1542) and his french queen Mary of Guise, parents of Mary Queen of Scots.

Tapestry made in Flanders around 1500.

JamesV built up a collection of over 200 tapestries,some of them bought on his trips to France.
Tapestries were hung on walls for insulation as well as decoration.They would be rolled up and transported from one residence to another and cared for by tapestry repairers.

Image source : Wikipedia.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Rosebay Willowherb in the Wind

Rosebay Willowherb in the Wind (2004) : Wall hanging : Acrylic on calico (140cm x 130cm).


The idea for the artwork originated in this wood near Galashiels,Scottish Borders. While walking with my beautiful now departed dog Xiggy (above),I came upon a clearing ablaze with rosebay willowherb. I didn't actually make the wall hanging till some years later.

These old photos are a pale reminder of the vibrant field of colour.

Rosebay Willowherb or Fireweed is native throughout temperate zones in the  Northern Hemisphere.It can quickly colonize areas after forest fires or felling,the seeds remain in the soil for many years awaiting a time for germination. Young leaves and stems can be eaten as greens.In Russia the leaves were used as a tea substitute,known in Western Europe as Kapor Tea.

Flower heads

On the banks of  Loch Earn .

In Holyrood Park during July and August this plant showers the landscape with patches of magenta.

Holyrood or Queen's Park is a 650 acre royal park in the centre of Edinburgh.Associated with the palace of  Holyrood House,it was formerly a 12th century hunting estate. The park was created in around 1540,by King JamesV of Scotland and enclosed by a stone wall,much of which still exists.Today it is a managed wild area,popular with walkers,rock climbers,sightseers,cyclists and naturalists.

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