A surprise find on our travels in Virginia, the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton had a wealth of information about early settlement in the USA.
Now you see him…
…Now you don’t 😉
The poster in C’Ville Arts Cooperative Gallery‘s window says (abridged and anglicised slightly):
“Seat of Harmony
Created for C’Ville Arts Artists’ Cooperative by Virginia Gardner December 2007.
The loveseat is sculpted in polystyrene. Sheets of poly were laminated together to form large blocks, which were then sculpted to form a large, comfy sofa. Several layers of fibreglass mesh and concrete were applied, over which the mosaic of mixed materials was applied.
It was designed specifically for this spot outside C’Ville Arts and is not for sale.
Artists from the cooperative contributed small personal objects which were also incorporated into the design, representing the cooperative nature of their organisation. The five elements of Feng Shui (Water, Fire, Earth, Wood and Metal) have been defined symbolically and form the basis of the design. Feng Shui can be described as the natural path with the least resistance. The practice of Feng Shui is about creating harmony within our environment.
The Hole in the centre is provided for drainage. I would appreciate it if you do not place objects in the hole. It’s a pain cleaning it out. Thank you.”
Visitors are encouraged to take photos and send them to the gallery. Sadly the website address given on the sign no longer appears to exist. I’ll be sending this blog post to them by other means 🙂
Apparently the designers – Kate Savill and Tamara Bridge – asked on social media for favourite scents to include in the design.
Some of these are inscribed along the wall behind the bench. They include tree blossom, violets on family walks, tomato plants, and processing sugar beet. Freshly baled haylage came out top!
The signage accompanying this garden says:
“The Garden of Shadows and Repose invites visitors to sit and rest a while on its black hued benches or meditate in the shade of its bamboos- a welcome halfway stop-off on days when a fiery sun is beating down from above. Tree ferns, dense black clusters of perennials and purple New Zealand flax contrast with tender green lawns, drawing visitors into an elsewhere with close ties to the southern hemisphere.”
Garden realised by the teams of Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire.
A guest bench today courtesy of Twitter and Historic England, who posted recently on unusual war memorials.
This particular bench commemorates peace and was donated by the Quakers of Hastings to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.
The feather on the bench represents the white feathers bestowed on the street – usually by women – to men of forces serving age who were not in uniform. It was a way of denouncing and shaming them.
Quakers are advocates of peace and many of them were conscientious objectors during WWI, a group often awarded the white feather. Many Quakers who objected yet did choose to serve in some way drove the front-line ambulances, not a job for the faint-hearted.