On a blustery day in February, I drove to the hamlet of Haddenham, about 40 minutes' drive north of Cambridge, on the way to Ely. Blown about by breezes and sunshine, I made my way to the Haddenham Galleries and Craft Centre.
A cow greeted me with baleful (and possibly mascara'ed) eyes.
A metal bird stood stern.
Metal flowers against a hard blue sky.
Nearby, an artist's studio invites us to linger.
I wandered down into the sun-drenched Sculpture Garden.
Mother and child under tree. With moss on top. A slightly 1950s aesthetic.
A boat turned into a flower bed. With a Toraja stele in the background.
Geometry. Abstraction preceded figurative art. That was Wilhelm Worringer's argument, back in 1907. It was immensely popular among Expressionist and abstract painters of the early decades of the last century. Abstraction = spiritual. Figuration = confidence in the material world.
Some Indonesian gamelan gongs, suspended between spindly birch trunks.
Squinting into the winter sun. Stained glass embedded in rock.
InsideI was surprised by what I found inside. Room after room of treasures from across the seas, many from Indonesia. Masks, wayang kulit shadow puppets, stone Buddhas, clay Buddhas, bronze Buddha heads, little glass octagonal boxes, bead-encrusted containers, buckets, miniature gamelan instruments, wind chimes, large polished metal bowls, paper lanterns...
...beaten metal tea pots, small wooden chests, ornamental knives, phials, vials, woven rugs...
...trinkets, bits'n'bobs, bric-à-brac, gewgaws, knick-knacks, baubles, glittery elephants, spangly bangles, painted wooden ear rings...
... and also some paintings. And some ceramics.
All for sale.
And, of course, what no gallery should be without:
A little café!
On the way home: wintry fens.
Visit the Haddenham Galleries website.
Have you been to Haddenham? Or another off-the-beaten-track little gallery in your own neck of the world's woods?
Tell me in comments!