Sunday 3 November 2019

Blenheim Palace re-visited

The Blenheim Palace grounds are huge, and this little train services part of the grounds. We had a specific walk in mind last time we visited, so the train served us well, taking us from the car park

to the palace.

On the ground of the main courtyard Maurizio Cattelan's  massive cross-shaped Union Jack was what we walked on. The installation is called Victory is not an Option - a reminder of Britain's history of colonialism and political conflict.

At the end of one of the arms of the Union Jack cross Cattelan's Replica of the Sistine Chapel is to be found.

Cattelan has copied and shrunk Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, questioning the value we attach to the original. Can the act of copying be in fact an act of creation, making something new of something that already exists? Sherrie Levine certainly thought so.

It was a bright, sunny day so we were very keen to start our walk, even though we were intending to go into the palace later to look at the rest of Cattelan's work.

Our walk started with the water terraces, but there we spotted another of Cattelan's installations

Daddy, Daddy, 2008, Pinocchio who appears to have met an untimely demise in the palace fountain. The sculpture references the episode in which Pinocchio rescues both his father and Jiminy Cricket from a whale, but tragically drowns in the process.

Past the great lawn

we took the path that leads to the cascades.

The great lake on our right

A little later, we walked past the rose garden

Autumn colours - it's a great time of year

We could hear the water rushing down the cascades long before we caught a glimpse of them

Lots of pheasants around - we saw notices for the hunt. When is this barbaric ritual going to be banned and stopped?

The bridge

and the cascades in their full glory

the view from the other side of the bridge

we took the path that leads to the great lake

a good view of the cascades from here

the path on the side of the great lake that runs like a river

lots of trees here

the path is quite shady as a result

lots of mushrooms on the slope on our right

and beautiful views of the water

we have this routine where Ken walks on the wisteria path while I continue on the main path - don't ask me why, it's something that has just evolved

past the boat house

eventually we reached the palace having come full circle

It was time for some lunch and like a lot of people we decided to sit outside by the water terraces even though it was quite cold, but the sun helped. If you look closely enough at the photograph you will see all the people sitting outside having a meal or a drink.

A good view of where we sat in this photograph taken from one of the palace windows.

This was our view.

On the way to the palace, to see the rest of the Cattelan exhibition we came across this fire eater - lots of people watching

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