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Delftware tile - The Holt Owl

Delftware tile - The Holt Owl

 

One of the many new 'Delft' tiles I am creating for my Umbra Sumus (We Are But Shadows) solo show at the end of this month (April 27 - 29 inclusive) in Spitalfields.

 

This one shows the Holt Owl. Holt is a beautiful market town in Norfolk and home of the amazing British workwear emporium that is Old Town.

 

My partner Nick and I have modelled for Old Town on two occassions now - their 'Piccadilly Pleasures' (where we lent and loafed in a glorious mirror'd Victorian shabeen) and their 'Small Trades' (where we dressed as piano removal men. Coo-ee, Mister shifter!). Check their website to see for yourself - old-town.co.uk/

 

The owl is Holt's emblem because of an ancient legend. Apparently, the townsfolk were tormented by a particularly noisesome example of the species, so went to great lengths to catch it, whereupon they stuffed it up the church drain-pipe hoping to drown the poor creature. But the bird was too darn clever for them (not hard it seems thinking about it), and flew out the top. Whether he continued to torment the town afterwards or not, or hot-winged it to somewhere more remote and less-troublesome is unknown to us. The town took the nocturnal hooter as their badge, as a reminder not to be so bleeding daft!

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Taken on April 10, 2012