The Giants of the Peaks
Get Creative Day, Derbyshire
2nd April 2016
Chesterfield and Bolsover libraries
|elk antler adjustments|
|giants and creatures started as card sculpture|
“Are all the giants dead” starts the poem in Mary Norton’s book of the same name. Well, the answer we can reliably inform everyone is, “No!”. Today we met…
Inkersoll who has slept for a thousand years, breathing only once every year. She has lain there across the hills so long and so deeply asleep that she has grown a skin of grass and hair of twig. An outcrop of rock has become her forehead and her lip has become a grassy bank, sprinkled with flowers.
Inkersoll sleeps there, just outside Chesterfield, forgotten by everyone. There are no stories about her. No histories, no hysterical references in the ancient Chronicles of the Brigantes. But this spring, just last weekend, on that one and only sunny day of the holiday weekend, some children went out for a picnic.
They scrambled up the hill behind the houses, through the trees, splashing in puddles, climbing until they came out on a beautiful sunny bank where they settled down beside a craggy, pointed nose of a rock. When she heard an odd grating sound, one of the girls turned round and said, “O, look! There’s a cave! I didn’t notice that before.” Investigating, she felt a breeze blowing past her and into the cave. She stepped into the darkness but stumbled and fell forward into the darkness. Tickled up her nose, for the first time in a thousand year, Inkersoll sneezed. And woke up.
We also met the last of the tigers of Stony Middleton and sabre tooth cats from the Hindlow Bonepits. This was a day for giants and creatures, drawing inspiration from the landscape of the Peaks: rabbits and foxes, wolves, dogs and horses, a leopard, a magnificent elk, a scuttle of spiders on fingers, a couple of finger-mice and a landscape full of life unfolded itself….and you never know what you're going to find in the backstreets of Derbyshire.
"With blood-red teeth
And blood-red claws,
There's a tiger
There's a tiger
In the old shed
At the bottom of the garden..."
Gnarly as an old tree,
The green of the grass.
The brightness of moss,
The purple of heather,
And violets in the spring,
A nose running red in summer,
Dripping icicles in winter,
The ripple of water,
Over skin slippery as stone in a stream,
The glitter of crystal in a dark cave.
“Are all the giants dead,
Are all the witches fled,
Am I quite safe in bed?
Giants and witches all are fled,
My child, thou art quite safe in bed."*
|the story of Pink Rabbit has yet to be told|
With many thanks to all our mask-makers and giant-shapers
and the staff of Chesterfield and Bolsover Libraries
“Are all the giants dead?” by Mary Norton, JM Dent and Sons, 1975