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The new Mosaic

We have a new Mosaic, created by Michelle Greenwood Brown

The old one was getting a bit weather worn and pieces were becoming loose. It showed a compass in the centre with fishes and sailing boats around the edge with the inscription " BLESS THE SEA AND ALL THATS IN, BUT BRING ME HOME TO KITH AND KIN"

The whole area of the Lookout Point has now been levelled and cemented over with level access added for the disabled, and new steps at the front. There is a carved seat and the new mosaic is on a theme of the North Star to guide our sailors and fishermen on their journeys.

The new mosaic created by Michelle Greenwood Brown

In the centre is a swallow coming home to welcome spring, surrounded by fishes and waves. Around that we have elements of the park with Ivy and berry laden twigs, and of course the points of the compass to guide us home safely. Around this we have sea themed cartouches with sailing boats, seagulls, dolphins, shells and starfish on the beach. Another has a crab, shell, and anchor. Seperating these we have elements of the park with butterflies, flowers, birds, bees, dragonflies and violets.

The inscription surrounding all of this beautiful detail reads "BRIGHT STAR WOULD I WERE STEDFAST AS THOU ART"

This is the first line of a love sonnet by John Keats.

Before anybody complains about the spelling, it was written circa 1818/1819. The old spelling of 'steadfast' originally was without the 'a' (stedfast). Other old versions are 'stedefast' or 'stedefæst'.

Michelle tells us "The inspiration was the two views from the plinth, looking back into the trees and meadows and looking forward to the sea and beach. The swallow has always been a significant symbol for sailors and a traditional subject for their tattoos. I chose to use the original Keats spelling of steadfast. The mosaic is made using a heritage porcelain tile made for over 200 years by a French company called Winckelmans. It is twice fired and extremely weatherproof and non slip. The same material is often used in the old mosaic shop doorways, a few of which remain in the town."

Bright Star

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—

Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night

And watching, with eternal lids apart,

Like Nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,

The moving waters at their priestlike task

Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,

Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask

Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—

No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,

Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,

To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,

Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,

Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,

And so live ever—or else swoon to death.

Addressed to a star (perhaps Polaris the Pole star, around which the heavens appear to wheel), the sonnet expresses the poet's wish to be as constant as the star while he presses against his sleeping love.

The poem came to be forever associated with his "Bright Star" Fanny Brawne – with whom Keats became infatuated.

Some of you may remember some years ago the lookout had a shed and a shelter on it but a 12 year old vandal decided to set it alight.

A bit about Michell Greenwood Brown

She was born in Teignmouth and has lived here for most of her life. She is a full time professional mosaic artist and a member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen in Bovey Tracey. She also teaches mosaic and will be exhibiting in Devon Open Studios at TAAG gallery in September if people want to come in and chat to her and see some mosaic demos. She has a series of mosaics permanently displayed around the arts quarter area in Teignmouth and is currently working on a big project for Totnes town council.


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