Saturday, 2 August 2014

Harvestry

The harvest means noise and tractors trundling past and fragments of cereal dust blowing in through our open windows but I like it. I don't know if it's a brand new one, but the local farmer's got his combine harvester out this weekend and I'm quite comforted by its constant drone as he works methodically in the fields behind my house.


It was droning away in the background this morning while I was in the garden and something caught my eye: a small leggy creature trying unsuccessfully to get itself out of the bird bath. I scooped it up on a leaf and gently placed it on the rocky edge whereupon it scuttled around in a drunkenly haphazard fashion before ending up back in the water to flounder once more. I rescued it again and placed it further away this time; a closer look revealed it to be a Harvestman.  Maybe it was a Harvestman with suicidal tendencies.


I came indoors to cool down and switched on my computer; I've been meaning to look at some more images by the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich as mentioned in a recent post. On Tuesday I'd been discussing him with a lovely friend to whom I was talking about my trip to Tate Modern and (being the creator of some brilliant and notable record sleeve art himself) he told me about how Malevich's work had been an influence on Barney Bubbles. Those of us of certain musical tastes and vintage will be very familiar with Barney Bubbles' output; I think he designed over 90 record sleeves. Lots has been written and spoken about him so I won't go on here.  However, I must admit that until that conversation I didn't actually know much about his background myself and I hadn't appreciated his artistic influences. Now, on bringing to mind the record cover art I know best (mostly those Stiff label releases), I can more easily identify Malevich as a source of inspiration.


The Damned: Music For Pleasure


Malevich, suprematist composition


Ian Dury & the Blockheads: Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick


Malevich, dynamic suprematism

So anyway I was looking at more Malevich art and smiled to myself when I saw this: 'Taking In The Harvest'...


...which seemed simply appropriate for today. And then I thought I'd have a rummage through some of the less familiar Barney Bubbles record sleeve designs and up came the Edgar Broughton Band's 'Oora' - which so happens to be on the Harvest label...


Must just be that time of year!




(Combine harvester picture attribution: Hinrich)

13 comments:

  1. Early morning can be a nightmare at certain times of the year. I am already Fall because of the leaft blowers starting before dawn! I love the painting of The Harvest. Well done C!

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    1. I can imagine that's a bit of a rude awakening! Here, I seem to hear the harvesting more late at night than in the early mornings, so it's still somehow feels quite comforting.
      Malevich's harvest painting is visually very rich, isn't it? Yet I understand that the context of the era in which it was painted, under Stalin's regime, gives it a more cynical message!

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  2. Strange how that Haverster Spider is much less scary than the house spider which scares the 'living' out of most people....did you know that chestnuts keeps spiders away if you put a few in appropriate locations....they are also good for rhumatism.....stop while your ahead Old Pa!

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    1. Well I didn't know that about chestnuts. Talking of chestnuts, everything (like the harvest) is so early here this year that we've even got a few conkers...

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  3. I love the comparisons C. Excellent work there.

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    1. I thought you'd probably like Malevich, Erik.

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    2. Yes ma'am. I have one hanging on the wall in my room.

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  4. I know Barney Bubbles work well, but the Malevich inspiration is certainly an education. Thanks C.

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    1. Thanks, I hadn't realised it until that recent conversation and then it all made sense. I've read that BB was also inspired by El Lissitzky - a poster of whose I included in the previous post!

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  5. I am not sure what happened on the farms round about this year as the bales are all neatly stacked in the fields but I never heard them harvesting (the farmers, not the spiders). Perhaps I am becoming a sounder sleeper or maybe they did it all during the day for a change. Odd.

    On the subject of chestnuts, I always believed in their spider repelling properties, too, but had a chance to experiment with a particularly big and terrifying specimen last year. It not only scampered over a very well sprayed first line of defence but also contemptuously booted my conker barrier wall out of the way too. I had explained at great length to it previously that it could live quite happily on it's side of said conker wall but it was having non of it -shortly after a lot of screaming a large welly put paid to it's onslaught. A few less eyes and a few more ears would be of help as they just don't seem to listen!

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    1. If only I lived nearer, Yve, I'd have come to the rescue (of you both) with my spider-scoopy. You know how I love our leggy companions!

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  6. Harvest time is one of great potential comforts. Thoughts of all that hard work coming to fruition - makes me think of fresh baked bread. Lovely. Nice Barney Bubbles sleeves and i didn't realise he'd been responsible for 'Oora'. The sleeve of that second Damned album is a classic.

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    1. I agree, SB. An abundant year this one, I believe (but will the price of bread go down?!)
      As I type this, in the early evening light, I can hear the farmer now ploughing up all the stubble. It's tapping into something within me though that signifies the slide out of Summer into Autumn and I'm not quite ready for it!

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