Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ledbury In Black and White

The town of Ledbury in Herefordshire boasts a fine collection of Tudor-era buildings. Known as "Black and Whites," they are a graphically arresting, ridiculously flamboyant sight. The timbers form stripes, grids and herringbone patterns. Everything is a little wonky, with crooked doors and walls that lean outwards. Choose any small section of a building and you have what looks like an improvisationally pieced quilt. Look at the varying textures of the white sections. Oh, what inspiration! I have always admired Elizabeth Barton’s quilts. Now I understand them a little better, having communed with the Black and Whites. Elizabeth grew up surrounded by the vernacular architecture of England. But her initial inspiration can lead to anything from a recognizable landscape to a complete abstraction. What inspires you and where will it lead you?