Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??

snape maltings Sarah Lucas public art Perceval bronze horse 2006

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Stunning shire horse sculpture in the Suffolk countryside

I recently visited a sculpture that I’ve never see before. That’s not to say that I’ve never been to the location before – I have been to Snape Maltings many times (only last month : see my blog post on the Henry Moore sculpture here) – and that’s not to say that it’s a new addition to their art collection. This public artwork has been standing in position for years and it’s not as if it’s easy to miss: Perceval is a life-sized bronze sculpture of a Shire horse pulling a cart carrying two giant concrete marrows (which looked like massive peanuts to me before I found out what they were). The piece is almost to the scale of a real Shire horse at 2.3 metres tall by 4 metres long including the cart. So how did I miss it before?

snape maltings Sarah Lucas public art Perceval bronze horse 2006

I guess I’ve just never walked that way around the reed beds before. I must have always stopped short of going into that field. Maybe the grass or reeds had grown so high that they had masked the sculpture in the past? Whatever it was, it meant that I was experiencing this artwork for the first time and I loved it. At first I couldn’t believe what I was looking at across the field -  a full-size version of the classic ornament that I’d seen on many mantelpieces over the years – and I sped up as I approached it. I literally skipped towards this massive monument. And that’s because I actually owned one of these china ornaments as a horse-crazy youngster. Quite an unusual choice for a 10 year-old’s bedroom I know but I was SO into horses that I loved it just as much as all the My Little Ponies on my shelves and my Horse Sense magazine collection. Back then I never could have imagined that I would one day stand beside a full-size version!

Perceval scupture by Sarah Lucas

The sculpture is by British artist Sarah Lucas, now a Suffolk local living in Aldeburgh. The piece I visited is one of 5 massive versions of the china horse made in 2006, which reflects Lucas’s fondness for British culture. Lucas regularly examines everyday objects in her artwork and I found this particular sculpture both amusing and heart-warming. Perceval is the artist’s first and only piece of public art and she claims that the idea came about when Damien Hirst saw the small version of the knick-knack at Lucas’s home and said, “You really ought to make that big”.

sarah lucas british artist sculpture 2006 perceval at snape maltings suffolk


It was quite surreal walking around the scaled-up ornament. Had I shrunk..? Or had my childhood china horse really grown?! I even patted the horse as if it was real – that’s how lifelike the size of it is. I thought I’d got away with doing this in secret but it turned out that hubby had captured the moment on camera.

sarah lucas perceval scupture

Perceval has been received with great affection and it’s nice to see a familiar item in a suitably rural landscape. If you get a chance to have a look at this sculpture, please do – it’s behind Snape Maltings Concert Hall in Suffolk. The concert hall itself is a fab venue to experience orchestral music (I’ve even seen comedian Tim Minchin perform there during the proms – read my review here) and The Pearl Fishers ENO production by the English National Opera is another performance not to be missed!

Another second Perceval owned by Damien Hirst was displayed near the southeast entrance to Central Park in New York and another is installed in Aspire Park, Doha, Qatar. There are 2 more Percevals out there, but I’ve not been able track them down – and now I know just how lucky I am to have seen this rare piece of art, and I can’t believe it was at a place that I’ve visited often before!

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The Never Ending Mural project in Ipswich

Over last weekend I went to the celebration event for the The Never Ending Mural project in Ipswich. This was a community-led project inspired by the Ipswich Art School Fundraising Appeal and brought to life by artist and curator John D Edwards (pictured below). The project began on Ipswich Waterfront in June 2011 with the help of more than 50 project volunteers, who have already spruced up the previously run-down docks area, which looked fantastic during this year’s Maritime Festival.

The exhibition that I attended this weekend featured the continuation of the Never Ending Mural onto the walls of the Ipswich Art School Gallery, as well as a wooden tree sculpture and gallery rooms of artwork from the contributing mural volunteers. Ipswich Art School continues to host weekly workshops every Wednesday 10:00 – 16:30 until 21st October, to offer further opportunities for artists & communities to participate in the ongoing creation of the Mural as it spreads across streets of Ipswich.

One of the pieces in the exhibition that I particularly enjoyed was by Fabiana Di Mascio. The artwork consisted of newspaper rolled into spirals and arranged on the canvas and is pictured below. I would love to buy one of Fabiana’s pieces and will be back to view the exhibition again while it continues to run at Ipswich Art School Gallery.

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Why can’t I be a pin-up girl when I’m cooking?

Check out this cute apron that I recently spotted in the gift shop on Southwold pier. It’s a sexy, hour-glass shaped ladies apron, and it’s pretty much the sort of dress I’d love to buy – in fact, if I had two of them I think I’d wear it as a dress!

It’d be great to wear when I’m doing my baking – no longer will I look frumpy, but much more like the sultry domestic goddess I am on the inside ;). As you know, I’m pretty thrifty and am already hatching a plan to create my own sexy apron! In fact, I have some particularly nice cotton fabric that I haven’t found a use for yet, so maybe I’ll have a go at adding some buttons and beads to customise my own apron!

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Vintage funfair & big boats at the Ipswich Maritime Festival

This weekend I went to the Ipswich Maritime festival and spent a scorchingly hot day wandering around the docks doing a spot of shopping, eating lovely treats and enjoying fantastic entertainment. There were morris dancers, soul singers and sea-faring fiddlers, alongside characters in traditional Victorian dress: a little like ghosts wandering through the crowds, slightly scary but very impressive costumes and I was especially impressed that some were in full military regalia on such a hot day!

I enjoyed the vintage fun fair and took a good number of photos of the wooden helter-skelter and the beautifully painted carousel.


And I even climbed onboard a few boats and loved this traditional Thames Sailing Barge – it was huge inside and I would quite comfortably live on-board!


All in all it was a good day out and the weather was amazing! I’ll definitely being going again next year, and if you can get to Ipswich next August, I’d recommend it for a fun and free family day out :)