Thursday, 29 May 2008

Chelsea Flower Show

I played At being the Sartorialist for the day, I loved it, you would have seen a LOT more if my bloody battery had not run out. You have to admit this is one great dressed crowd, so many favourites to choose from. The weather was perfect and I was starting to really get into the whole bag/jacket thing as well as the skirt/shoe thing. Roll on next year.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Chelsea Flower Show (horizontals)

I loved the ginkyness of this garden.

A Scottish crofters garden, absolutely beautiful. I got one of my best photos from this one which I will post later.

Best in show, it was very good but not my favourite.

Last year I got a photo of some 'Daisy' chairs, this year the same designer had created these parasols and went a bit OTT with them but fun nevertheless.

For me this was best in show, absolutely beautiful from every view point, I took some wonderful photos of the reeds disappearing into the black void of water and the mural was fabulous too.

More from the Trailfinders Garden.

The most beautiful small garden complete with a small wave lapping on the shore line the sound was heavenly as were the accessories.

This planting is now synonymous with Chelsea, silver and purple with just a dash of acid is a beautiful combination.
I did not have as long to take photographs this year, but enjoyed what I saw. The weather was glorious, a perfect day. I will add more photos tomorrow. I ended up doing a Sartorialist and because it was so packed no one took any notice of me, I have made sure to chop off or conceal peoples faces. More later as I am editing.
Mother is not going blind, she has a lot of burst blood vessels in her eye which will need dispersing with 3 injections into the eye ball....yuk! Old age is a bitch, she retires in 2 months having soldiered on to get a small pension, what I find particularly sobering is that at her age her mother only had one year left to live. I new she had died young, but hell I'm only 20 years away myself and feel like a teenager. Hopefully mother will live a long and fruitful retirement, I shall have to keep her busy.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

An unexpected break

I received a mauling from the A'Level moderators on Friday, I then got a train to Victoria met mother and forgot about everything a the Chelsea Flower Show. The Botanist was a wonder space with great food and chaotic service, forgiven because it has only been open a couple of weeks. I have 200 photographs to edit, not just flowers either, however I am in Oxford being royally entertained by mother, I was to return to London today but she has an appointment with the eye specialist to find out whether she is really going blind or...
Blindness will not sit easily on my mothers shoulders, she is a very visual woman so`fingers crossed. Back online Thursday.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Lori Nix

Wonderful etheral images. Her whole website is great and worth a look.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Tim Walker

Wonderful props. This giant glove was part of the exhibition and beautifully made.

Beautiful photographs.

Wonderful sketchbooks

Brilliantly curated many of his props are so photogenic you can see why his photographs are so beautiful

His version

A wonderful exhibition, I love it when you can take photographs.

His work is an inspiration. After 2 days of marking misery, this was visual candy to cheer me up. Seeing this exhibition, which mixes his props and sketch books and photographs, I am going to rewrite the year 12 course (again) This time NO bloody photo shop, it is the bane of my life, they butcher every idea and then look surprised when I criticise.

The best photographs are the ones that are considered and thought about, not thrown together. So with a heavy heart I have drawn a line under the failure of this years students to pass. I will move on, knowing it can only get better.

Bizarrely, My other year groups have all done exceptionally well, so maybe its not just me.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Ghost Bikes

photo from here
"When we make ghost bikes, we tap into the hurt of the world. Each person is part of the soul of their city. These stories can make headlines one day and are forgotten the next - we try to make the city remember. We choose to honour that stranger we know could just as easily be our friend, our sister, our own self. That choice makes us whole."
From an article by Geoff Dyer and more details from Ghost Bikes

I used to ride around a lot on my bike before the children were born, I am not sure I could any more so much more traffic, buses and lorries are the worst. Even as a child I would roam the country lanes of my village and of the local estate Bramham Park I did get quite wistful when LLG described riding her bicycle through the streets of New York but now Emin has had his pinched it will not happen for some time. I think the ghost bikes are a wonderful way to remember loved ones killed by thoughtless drivers and if it makes people slow down and check their mirrors and their speed all to the good.

Monday, 19 May 2008

The day I've had

Marking and moderating it is all I do. Non of it good or original. Which interestingly is Daisy's prognosis on Shakespeare. apparently he does not have many original ideas, so my year 12's are in very good company.
Her very important Maths exam cost me £7. £3 for a coffee and hot chocolate whilst we waited for the next train as our usual one was cancelled. £4 for a cab as she was almost vomiting with the fear of being late. Thank you Network Southeast.
I rather stupidly rented the film version of Vanity Fair. It appeared to have a good pedigree, writers actors all looked sound however all were hopelessly miscast not least the character of Becky Sharp. It was an anathema to me how anyone could choose a vapid pramface, (ooh I am so smug, Ive learnt a half way decent English accent) American actor playing one of literature's strongest female characters. I gave up half way. The sets were lovely, but the dialogue turgid.
In solace I turned to a new book, In The dark by Deborah Moggach. I loved Tulip Fever and hoped this would be as good, but I swear this is a Mills and Boon meets Jackie Collins shag fest. Every character bonks his way through the book. No plot just 20 ways to get a shag. I give up, I shall stick to galleries and go and see Tim Walker at the Design Museum instead.
  • Oh, Emin had his bike pinched, unlocked of course, slung outside the front door, a rather cavalier way to spend £270, I could have spent it far more wisely and enjoyed myself.
  • My sisters cat has not returned, there is nothing worse than having no closure.
  • It's bloody freezing again, how can it go from 27 to 7 in a week?
  • Leeds made the play offs, but she can't seem to get tickets.
  • I will be having a large Wisdom tooth extracted at the end of the month,
  • But on Friday afternoon I will be at The Chelsea Flower Show, Yeah, and maybe a bite to eat at ths fabulous sounding place The Botanist Every cloud

Thursday, 15 May 2008

George Plemper

From here

Thamesmead #7 ~1980, originally uploaded by Mak'm.

Wonderful atmospheric photos from the 70s.
The clothes bring back painful memories of the lack of any sartorial style around at that time. Any revival could not possible hope to reflect the lack of choice for young teenagers. It is no wonder we all looked the same, every look lingered for months just like the clothes in the shops, you were lucky to get 4 collections a year.I have memories of Bus Stop and Chelsea Girl but little else.

Compare this to the choice of not only shops but actual clothes my children have and who would ever want to go back? I was luckier than most though, because through natural curiosity and a desire to look different I would trawl the upper levels of the Victorian arcades in Leeds as well as make a bee-line for the iconic Boodle-am and mix with charity shop finds, I may not have looked any better but I felt better.
The photographs were taken where the film Clockwork Orange was set, it was, and to a certain extent still is, a desolate place. The estate floats like a lost spaceship over scrubby wasteland and it is only 30 years later, a whole generation, that the rest of the area has stared to close in. Nasty little cheap Barrett houses that sit low to the ground only serve to highlight the awkwardness of Thamesmead. They have been promising a Thames crossing for years but I suspect they are worried that if they do everyone will leave and never come back.

One final thought.

Can you imagine any teacher, especially male, being allowed to do this kind of photography now? This record of photographs built up over a long period of time is an amazing achievement, and one that would be deemed an act of paedophilia in today's society (you only have to look at the response to Sally Manns work to see the kind of hysteria that bubbles under the surface) It is such a shame, I suspect most historians will have to refer to photographs from Facebook and videos from You Tube to get a flavour of those adolescent years, but they will all lack the cohesiveness and particular eye that someone like Plemper can bring to this subject matter

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

SATC come to London

I can't decide whether to go without reading a word from the critics or scour the reviews, sigh, and wait for the DVD.
You just know it's going to get panned.

Robert Rauschenberg


The US pop art pioneer Robert Rauschenberg has died at the age of 82, his gallery said today.
Rauschenberg - described as a "titan" of American art by the New York Times - died on Tuesday

"I'm curious," he said in 1997, in one of the few interviews he granted in his later years. "It's very rewarding. I'm still discovering things every day."
finish reading

I could post hundreds more images, Rauschenberg was a wonderful, unique artist, versatile and creative. In many way as much of an icon as his work was. He was Art Teacher gold, inspiring many of my students.
More about him here