Wednesday, 20 March 2013

tables turned here

In 1759 Edward Willes visited Lord Kenmare’s hermitage on Innisfallen, a small island in Lough Leane, Killarney. Much might be said about the poverty of the monks who founded a monastery there, where over time the great work Annals of Innisfallen was written. After nearly 1000 years there, the monks were dispossessed by Elizabeth 1st of England.
Edward Willes wrote: “The hermitage did not admit room for more than one servant to wait inside so the side board was out of Doers and the wine served to us through the windows . . . My Lord proposes building a room or two in the old Abbey style to retire to and spend a day when he pleases”.

axioms (propositions assumed without proof for the sake of studying the consequences that follow from them)
not: sentences (varying periods of time spent in prison)

on huts (though not directly the unfinished hut at Carbeth)

The history of hutting is predicated on two factors: simplicity and poverty.

Poverty, not of imagination, but of financial resources.
Poverty, not of resourcefulness, but of access to land.

Simplicity of necessity but not of design.
Simplicity of aesthetics; of thrift and scale.


Huts have always been the poor person’s necessity: a need for shelter.
Huts have always been the rich person’s play house: a need for simplicity absent in the lives of those who have inherited or acquired wealth.


Huts are a source of tension between the poor (who need them) and the rich (who covet them).


The history of hutting is littered with aristocrats playing peasant, with artists playing both.


A hut is neither a retreat nor an attack (both militaristic terms) but symbiotic and organic.