Today’s post is about a walk that I went on in November last year with Ted my (step)daughter’s dog. My wife and I mind Ted during the day when Dawn is working. I take Ted with me each of those days for a short walk of 30 – 45 minutes so we can both stretch our legs. Today’s Featured Photo and the one above are to introduce him to you. He is a four year old Japanese Spitz – some kind of relation to the Pomeranian family and much smaller than the otherwise similar Samoyeds and Akitas.
When we do this particular walk, we begin by walking through the local playing fields, seen above. The first photo in this post sees Ted looking across to the trees shown ahead in the second photo. He is deciding whether there are any squirrels in the trees to chase – even though he must know that he doesn’t stand a chance of catching one.
He’s decided that there’s nothing to interest him in the trees so we continue along the path to the playing field’s exit on the far side. It’s not long after sunrise as you can see by the length of our shadows.
We’re now in the Country Park and Ted is waiting for me to tell him which of the two paths ahead to follow today. Our destination in this Country Park is a large statue known as The Dream which I’ll tell you more about later in this post.
Once we’ve rounded the bend shown in the previous photo, we start to ascend a small hillock that was formed from coal pit waste left by the former Sutton Manor Colliery when it closed some years ago. The country park constructed from it is one of four or five in the town, and forms part of the Mersey Forest.
Off to the right in the image above as we near the top of the brow, on the far side of the M62 motorway, are the soon-to-be-demolished cooling towers of the former Fidlers Ferry power station in Widnes, a neighbouring town.
We’re almost there now. The Dream is off to the left, opposite the handily positioned picnic bench.
And here we are. Ted has gone ahead because he knows where we’re headed – the statue and then the (not pictured) path home that lies beyond it. So, what is Dream all about?
In 2008, St Helens entered a bid to Channel Four’s Big Art Project. Local residents including former mineworkers, played a large part in the submission, consultation and commissioning. Of all the nationwide bids, four were chosen and the St Helens’ bid was one of them.
The outcome was the unveiling of Dream, a 20 metres high (66 feet) sculpture made of concrete and white Spanish dolomite marble. It was designed by world-renowned and award-winning artist, Jaume Plensa and was constructed on the old Sutton Manor Colliery site which had been landscaped for the purpose.
The sculpture represents the head of a young girl whose dreaming eyes are closed. The white finish should be understood to contrast with the black coal that still lies beneath. The contours of her face seem to change according to weather and light conditions.
What about tomorrow? Well, I thought that you may like to accompany Ted and me along another walk in a local country park. I hope to see you then.
Our featured image today is a different sort of face, but very white like that of Dream – Ted’s face – in a shot that I took last January of him in the snow.
EXIF data were: I used my Pentax KP 24 MP cropped sensor camera with a Pentax 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. The shutter speed was 1/640 seconds @ f/4.5 and 60 mm. The ISO was 800.