May 29, 2008
Nocton Village Trail Ass.
Wow. Fantastic. Amazing. Incredible. How do you say gobsmackingly good without repeating the same words over and over on every line that you write.
Well, a party of fourteen of us had an adventure in Barcelona between 6th-9th May which could only be expressed by using words like unbelievable, outstanding and unique. And, I am afraid my vocabulary isn't big enough to describe our visit to the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Placa de la Boqueira, la Pedrera and Casa Batllo and so on.
The whole visit was awesome. But before begin to explain the unique details of Gaudi's architecture I need to tell you who went on this unforgettable trip and why. In this way you will hopefully see where Nocton Village Trail Association fits into it.
Let's begin by saying over the past 7 years 24 per cent of our village have participated in 25 different projects. We have done field-walking; picking up Roman pottery and coins; made Tiffany glass lanterns, pin-hole cameras, carved a seat, made trail markers for the Village Trail, done pebble mosaics and a lot of other creative activities, and in so doing, hopefully, helped people to enjoy themselves and experience our local heritage.
Most of these projects have been supported by Nick Jones and 'artsNK'. We have also had some funding from various agencies and organisation and great support from NKDC and our local PC.
Our Art/Heritage Trail was formally opened by the local MP, Douglas Hogg, on 28th May 2007 and the Trail Literature can be collected from the local Post Office in Nocton.
We are currently in the process of finishing one large mosaic project which has taken us 18 months so far. But, we have been given some money to re-furbish the front of our Village Hall. So far we have had two design days with Richard Betts and his team (who designed the bridges in Ruskington) and a theme seems to be emerging which has an 'organic' naturalistic flavour. As part of this design process, an idea was born and a proposal made for us to make a visit to Barcelona to see how Gaudi had created his buildings.
Because 'artsNK' supported the proposal, Washingborough and Branston were also invited to send representatives on the trip. Each of the three villages has been very active with creative works over the past few years and it was felt that this visit would help to focus Nocton's plans and help energise future creative projects in all the villages where 'artsNK' are involved.
I said at the start of this piece of prose that I would begin to explain the unique qualities of Gaudi's architecture. But, alas, the variety of materials used and design features resulting from his studies of bones, plants, trees and fossils beggar description. What was amazing to me was how the unfinished Sagrada Familia was "imagined" into existence. In the marvellous museum underneath the Cathedral there is a model created out of thousands of tiny bags of sand hanging down at different heights.
When the model is seen in reverse the shape of the whole Cathedral building emerges and the vast pillars and shape of the nave, chancel, aisles and various other utilitarian places of spiritual significance can be easil identified. It's a 3D sketch that sets the creative marker for all the other processes he uses in this and his other buildings.
The materials he uses, the patterns, the shapes, curves, straight lines and marvelous natural volumes show how nature can be re-created to make something unique and original. Every building he created can only be a Gaudi, but each is unique, like nothing else ever made.
Our problem in Nocton is to take something of the concept and try, in our small way, to make something that, hopefully, will have the right "wow" when our creation is made and unveiled.