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Scillonian Etymology

The broadly accepted history of these islands is reflected in the supposed origins of the archipelago's name. The etymology of Scilly, pronounced to non-islanders' eternal delight 'silly', is a potential conundrum. Several solutions present themselves, of which the following seem possible. - Scilly could come from Sulis (Roman Sun God) - Scilly could be derived from sillina a Roman word meaning 'place-of' or 'island-of'. Roman Scilly appears to have been a pilgrimage centre, dominated by a marine goddess. - On old maps the islands were called Sorlingus, this could be a corruption of salt ling (fish). The islands are Les Sorlingues in French, Las Sorlingas in Spanish. Prescilla - Spanish or rather Galician monks of the Prescillian order.

Silumnus, Silimnus, Silura , Sillinas, Syllorga, Silli, Islettes of Scylley, Silley or Sulley: history provides a wealth of variations on this theme! The adjective Scillonian (the 'c' is silent) is of much more recent ancestry. Until the 18th century the residents of the Isles of Scilly were called 'islanders' or 'people of the islands'. The author of the first accepted or archived book about Scilly, a self appointed expert: Army officer, Robert Heath, wrote the following lines in a poem in 1750:

"O blest SCILLONIANS! Favourites of Heav'n! To whom so cruel a Governor is given.'

Around the outer rim of the islands there are many place names of Celtic derivation, although the Cornish language is all over the landscape in one form or another, but within the sheltered, residential areas English place-names have been introduced.

Scillonian Archaeology

Archaeological evidence suggests human presence in these islands for at least the past three thousand years. The early landscape of Scilly would have looked rather different to that of today. The archipelago in circa 3000BC comprised three landmasses: the first and largest of which would have been densely wooded, covering the area we know as St Mary's, St Martin's, Tresco and Bryher; the second area in size covered Agnes and Gugh; and the third area approximated to the Western Rocks. Nomadic Mesolithic hunter-gatherers eked out a rigorous existence using rough flint tools, some of which can still be found on the beaches and in the fields of Scilly.

Gradually, the Neolithic and Bronze Age islanders cleared the land and settled in the islands, forming a well-populated, self-sufficient community.

The 'entrance graves' or 'chambered cairns' around the islands bear witness to this period of Scillonian prehistory, including ritual monuments, burial places and small settlements of circular stone houses like those on Nornour. The Isles of Scilly Museum on St Mary's has pottery and other artefacts found at some of these sites, notably the urns from the Knackyboy chambered cairn, some of which contained cremated bones. Similar pots, broken in domestic use, come from middens (rubbish tips) at Halangy Porth and Nornour (see En Nour as the name of the former single land mass) . Other early monuments, which probably had a religious aspect, are the standing stones such as the Long Rock and the Old Man of Gugh, and the smaller 'statue menhir' from Chapel Down, St Martin's.

In the later first millennium BC more signs of the outside world appear: styles of pottery familiar from the mainland such as the jars with curvilinear decoration and bowls of finer ware from Nornour. The first signs of conflict also belong to this period: the defended 'cliff castles' of Shipman Head and Giant's Castle, and the sword and shield in the Bryher burial.

The Bryher cist, dating from about 200 BC, also contained a decorated bronze mirror - one of the oldest mirrors in Britain - and other metal objects and evidently belonged to an important personage, in contrast to the peasant communities seen in the other known sites. This is the richest grave deposit known, but burial in cists was traditional in Scilly and continued into the misleadingly titled Roman period.

During the first to fourth centuries AD people continued to live in prehistoric-style huts such as those on Halangy Down, where the excavation finds show little Roman influence beyond a few imported pots and brooches from other provinces. But the altar of classical type, now in Tresco Abbey Garden, was made of local granite. The Museum has a superb collection from excavations on Nornour, today one of the Eastern Islands. Excavations there have uncovered stone huts originating in the Bronze Age and showing domestic use over a long period. But amongst the soil and rubble there were numerous finds, including nearly a hundred coins of emperors from Vespasian (AD 69-79) to Gratian (AD 367-83) and a large number of brooches of many different types, most dating from circa AD 70-200. There are also fragments of several clay figurines, well-known standard products of factories in central Gaul in the second century AD. These portray two types of deity: the 'Pseudo-Venus' and the Dea Nutrix, which are versions of classical concepts adapted to the religious beliefs of the north-western Roman provinces. These objects were probably offerings at a shrine: figurines, brooches and coins have been found in votive deposits at Roman temples in Britain, France and Germany. Scilly would have been a port of call for ships going between western Britain and ports of the Channel and Atlantic coasts of Gaul.

In mainstream Western philosophy, traces of the idea that came to be called the tabula rasa appear as early as the writings of Aristotle. Aristotle writes of the unscribed tablet in what is probably the first textbook of psychology in the Western canon, his treatise "Περί Ψυχῆς" (De Anima or On the Soul, Book III, chapter 4). However, besides some arguments by the Stoics and Peripatetics, the notion of the mind as a blank slate went largely unnoticed for more than 1,000 years, although in Celtic society contradictory signs are evident. In Celtic society "citizens"or tribesmen of clan were introduced to life and the world via a set of instinctive receptacles partly formed by the natural influences found or claimed to be of the parental landscape. The geneses of the environment construed through societal lore. These attributes are both metaphoric and generic in their use as belief systems rather than a detailed matrix contemporaneously categorized as persona or ego. The juvenile mind made sense of the world with a pre ordained, or partially formed "slate", in fact the notion of blankness is not acceptable to Celtic lore, each and every thing exudes its own influential expression, through visual aesthetic, smell, taste, sensory absorbtion, the seasons and the landscape and the time of day simply didn't allow any concept of zero or blankness to occur in the world. The closest to a Celtic Tabula Rasa could be the Cornish: Dascafos Nowedhyans*

In the 11th century, the theory of tabula rasa was developed more clearly by the Islamic philosopher, Ibn Sina (known as "Avicenna" in the Western world). He argued that the "human intellect at birth is rather like a tabula rasa, a pure potentiality that is actualized through education and comes to know" and that knowledge is attained through "empirical familiarity with objects in this world from which one abstracts universal concepts" which is developed through a "syllogistic method of reasoning; observations lead to prepositional statements, which when compounded lead to further abstract concepts." He further argued that the intellect itself "possesses levels of development from the material intellect (al-‘aql al-hayulani), that potentiality can acquire knowledge to the active intellect (al-‘aql al-fa‘il), the state of the human intellect at conjunction with the perfect source of knowledge."

In the 12th century, the Andalusian-Islamic philosopher and novelist Ibn Tufail (known as "Abubacer" or "Ebn Tophail" in the West) demonstrated the theory of tabula rasa as a thought experiment through his Arabic philosophical novel, Hayy ibn Yaqzan, in which he depicted the development of the mind of a feral child "from a tabula rasa to that of an adult, in complete isolation from society" on a desert island, through experience alone. The Latin translation of his philosophical novel, entitled Philosophus Autodidactus, published by Edward Pococke the Younger in 1671, had an influence on John Locke's formulation of tabula rasa in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.

In the 13th century, St. Thomas Aquinas brought the Aristotelian and Avicennian notions to the forefront of Christian thought. These notions sharply contrasted with the previously held Platonic notions of the human mind as an entity that preexisted somewhere in the heavens, before being sent down to join a body here on Earth (see Plato's Phaedo and Apology, as well as others). St. Bonaventure (also 13th century) was one of Aquinas' fiercest intellectual opponents, offering some of the strongest arguments towards the Platonic idea of the mind. Female Figure (Sibyl with Tabula Rasa), by Diego Velázquez, ca. 1648

The writings of Avicenna, Ibn Tufail and Aquinas on the tabula rasa theory stood unprogressed for several centuries. In fact, our modern idea of the theory is mostly attributed to John Locke's expression of the idea in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding in the 17th century. In Locke's philosophy, tabula rasa was the theory that the (human) mind is at birth a "blank slate" without rules for processing data, and that data is added and rules for processing are formed solely by one's sensory experiences. The notion is central to Lockean empiricism. As understood by Locke, tabula rasa meant that the mind of the individual was born "blank", and it also emphasized the individual's freedom to author his or her own soul. Each individual was free to define the content of his or her character - but his or her basic identity as a member of the human species cannot be so altered. It is from this presumption of a free, self-authored mind combined with an immutable human nature that the Lockean doctrine of "natural" rights derives. Locke's idea of tabula rasa is frequently compared with Thomas Hobbes's viewpoint of human nature, in which humans are endowed with inherent mental content – particular with selfishness.

Tabula Rasa is also featured in Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis. Freud depicted personality traits as being formed by family dynamics (see Oedipus complex, etc.). Freud's theories imply that humans lack free will, but also that genetic influences on human personality are minimal. In psychoanalysis, one is largely determined by one's upbringing.

The tabula rasa concept became popular in social sciences in the 20th century. Eugenics (mainstream in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) came to be seen not as a sound policy but as a crime. The idea that genes (or simply "blood") determined character took on racist overtones. By the 1970s, some scientists had come to see gender identity as socially constructed rather than rooted in genetics (see John Money), a concept still current (see Anne Fausto-Sterling), although strongly contested. This swing of the pendulum accompanied suspicion of innate differences in general (see racism) and a propensity to "manage" society, where the real power must be if people are born blank.

FAX is an evolving exhibition that is reconfigured each time it is presented, with every exhibiting venue inviting artists to add to the original selection by curator João Ribas, which consists of faxes by 100 artists, architects, designers, scientists and filmmakers.

Project 35 brings together videos selected by 35 international curators who have each chosen one work by an artist that they think is important for audiences around the world to experience today.

The South London Fine Art Gallery opened on 4 May 1891 and was founded as a 'gallery for the people of south London open to the public free, and on Sundays'. It showed a changing programme of fine and applied arts exhibitions and began to collect works of art including many relating to the local area.

The gallery is constructed of Portland stone and hand-made pressed bricks, much favoured by the Arts and Crafts tradition of the time. The original marquetry floor (not on public display) was designed by Walter Crane and bears the inscription “The source of art is in the life of a people”. Find out more about the gallery's history

In 2010 the gallery opened additional buildings designed by 6a Architects to provide new small-scale galleries, an artists’ flat, a café, gardens, and an education and events studio on the footprint of the original lecture hall. The Matsudaira Wing, Clore Studio and Fox Garden opened to the public on 25 June 2010.

The South London Gallery collection began with the inception of the gallery in 1891. It has grown over the gallery's lifetime and includes works by Modern British artists, a collection of more than 500 20th century prints and contemporary works relating to South London. Although the collection is not on permanent display it is it is a valuable resource for projects with schools allowing pupils hands on experience of contemporary works of art. Find out more about the contemporary collection

Internationally acclaimed Mexican artist, Gabriel Kuri, presents his first solo exhibition in a London public gallery with an entirely new body of work. He has devised an installation in three parts, spanning the SLG’s main space, Clore Studio and interlinking back garden. Primarily the work addresses the nature of sculpture, the formal possibilities it affords and the artist’s ongoing exploration of the relationship between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ materials and resources. The pieces in this show were also born of an exploration of ideas and imagery associated with housing, shelter, aid and economics. Inspired in part by the SLG’s proximity to the housing estate behind it, and the gallery’s links with the residents, the works are underpinned by Kuri’s reflection on the role of speculation in real estate.

In the SLG’s main space, back garden and Clore Studio, a series of ‘hard’ sculptures – large, uniformly painted metal shapes – refer to the language of statistics or graphic representations of data. By presenting these related forms in sequence, each one embodying a slightly different relationship between positive and negative space, placed at different angles or tipped over on one side, Kuri exposes their potential to be perceived as abstract, symbolic and/or utilitarian. The human scale of these pieces, for example, lends them the potential to function as shelters were someone to lie beneath them. Whilst this might not be an immediately obvious reading of these works, in one instance the possibility is made overt through the incorporation of two carefully folded blankets. Laid out like a makeshift bed, the blankets also introduce a play on their use in the transport and installation of sculpture.

The UK National Tidal and Sea Level Facility (NTSLF) maintains a tidal observatory at Newlyn, and the UK Fundamental Benchmark is maintained there. Newlyn was made famous in the 1880s and 1890s for its Newlyn School artists' colony, including the painters Thomas Cooper Gotch, Albert Chevallier Tayler and Henry Scott Tuke. The current largest collection of work by the Newlyn School is held by Penlee House Gallery and Museum in nearby Penzance. Newlyn is the home of Newlyn Art Gallery which houses a collection of modern art.

Between 1970 and 1983, Troika Pottery, an art pottery studio, was based in Newlyn.

The Ripley Art Centre - Jonathan Polkest's VOTIVE DRAWING. In Richard Wagner’s 1849 essay “The Artwork of the Future,” he presents the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk: the complete work of art. I have always loved this idea of being able to create something sensually encompassing, as Wagner attempted with his own work. The decorative arts, referred to in German as Kunsthandwerk, in some sense have always provided the possibility for the total work of art. The decorative arts are the arts of domestic space and they surround us completely: textiles, wall coverings, carpets, furniture, lighting, vessels of all kinds, and every other thing that covers a wall or ceiling or floor or that we use in everyday life. Think of my work as Gesamtkunsthandwerks, which attempt to combine multiple references to traditionally decorative objects or sensually encompassing installations. In the decorative arts of the past, as well as contemporary installations, the viewer often becomes a participant in, and actually enters in to the work of art.

The Gallery space in Bromley reads as a parlor space with its hardwood floors, marble fireplace, and tall windows. It provides a space to explore some of these ideas about the decorative arts, bridging the gap between public exhibition space and domestic space. For my exhibition, I have installed twenty four small drawings, alluding to the history of the space as a parlor and the decorative objects found there, but re-shaping these elements into a contemporary installation that references multiples, materiality, and the votive body."

Dancing did not return to celtic communities until the restoration of Charles II. ‘The Merry Monarch’ helped ensure the support of his subjects with the erection of a massive 40 metre high maypole in London’s Strand. This pole remained standing for almost fifty years.

Maypoles can still be seen on the village greens at Welford-on-Avon and at Dunchurch, Warwickshire, both of which stand all year round. Barwick in Yorkshire, claims the largest maypole in England, standing some 30 meters in height.In the Isles of Scilly maypole dancing survived until very recently.

May Day is still celebrated in many villages with the crowning of the May Queen. The gentlemen of the village may also been found celebrating with Jack-in-the-Green, otherwise found on the signs of pubs across the country called the Green Man.

Agapanthus is the only genus in the subfamily Agapanthoideae of the flowering plant family Amaryllidaceae.The family is in the monocot order Asparagales.

Agapanthus is commonly known as "Lily of the Nile", but it is not a lily and all of the species are native to South Africa from the cape to the Limpopo River.

Species boundaries are not clear in the genus, and in spite of having been intensively studied, the number of species recognized by different authorities varies from 6 to 10. The type species for the genus is Agapanthus africanus.[4] A great many hybrids and cultivars have been produced and they are cultivated throughout warm areas of the world.


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