Friday, 31 October 2008

A very expensive way to get your butt kicked

Trust me if you had seen her opponent you would have looked this scared too.
Petrol £30
lunch £25
Entry fee £20
To sit and watch £10
Time it took to loose 3 mins....

Happy Halloween

Thursday, 23 October 2008

The view from yesterday

Annie Leibovitz, on at The National Portrait Gallery

The exhibition was packed with people, I was amazed at how busy it was. I have to say in my opinion that when she is good she is very good, mostly when a celebrity is involved. Which, lets face it, with the locations and props she uses, it would be hard not to take a good picture.
The larger Vanity Fair images were interspersed with her personal photographs which were very nicely printed in B&W on a much smaller more intimate scale, I sense that the subject matter was again more interesting than the actual photos themselves. Evidence of her mediocrity was via the enormous landscapes that she took for Vogue Traveller , they had little sense of light or composition just grainy blurred shots taken in haste from a helicopter. I came away feeling ever so slightly fleeced in the nicest possible way. The exhibition felt very lacklustre.

I have recreated the wall of magazine covers from the Galerie Maeght web site
This exhibition on the other hand was a bold brash wake up call.
Miró, Calder, Giacometti, Braque: Aimé Maeght and His Artists is on at the Royal Academy

The Royal Academy presents an exhibition demonstrating the achievement of the famous Galerie Maeght. Founded by Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, the gallery opened in Paris in 1945 and was to become one of the most influential and creative galleries of the twentieth century. The artists it showed expressed a bold new spirit in art which exploded in France after the dark years of the war. read more here

Bold indeed, It was one of those exhibitions you wanted to move in with, framed magazine covers, wonderful sculptures and prints, and best of all, those fantastic Alexander Calder mobiles. A small but brilliantly curated and displayed exhibition.

Fate or Coincidence, that was a topic we had to debate regularly when discussing the work of Thomas Hardy. here is an example, I featured the work of Dryden Goodwin when I saw it at the Frieze Art fair, on my way back to the station I popped into the soon to close Photographers Gallery and what were they showing? yep you guessed it Dryden Goodwin, A much wider selection including some exquisite drawings and some very large Black and White images, I had thought the lines were calligraphy but they are not, on closer inspection more random than that all be it in a controlled way.
He says here
Featuring people travelling through the public spaces of London’s West End, Goodwin’s portraits catch strangers engrossed in private moments of quiet reflection. Physically intervening with the image through animation and drawing, the artist disrupts the stalled nature of the photograph, which he describes as a way of ‘thinking into the photograph’.

He also has a drawing in the National Portrait gallery! you see fate or coincidence?

Finally, I did go and try on the Vans that I saw, but they just looked hideous on, they are very plain which just draws attention to my Munro of an instep, on the plus side they were comfortable, but sometimes I need a little more in the way of a look.
Whilst walking up towards The Royal Academy I was drawn towards the Royal Opera Arcade. I have lived in London over 25 years and some how this arcade has never really drawn me in. The other arcades just off Piccadilly always look so lovely with their Regency bow windows and rather over the top merchandise, but this one always looks slightly down at heel.
It is as authentic as the rest, and houses an eclectic mix of galleries and jewellers as well as a printers plus an amazing shoe shop called Authors. I could have bought half the stock, fantastic boots, as well as a liberal sprinkling of amazing designer pieces, including my favourite pumps by Ash which at £119 a pop was beyond my budget.
The ones I bought are called PF Flyers, in black leather. I could have kissed her when she found my size, it is one thing to see a shoe you like, quite another for your size to be in stock. They are beyond bliss, and they will prevent me wearing out too soon the other rarities I have acquired last year.
Just before you think I am the luckiest girl on the planet I was brought down to earth with a bump not only in Banana Republic but Cos, via, you guessed it, a bloody grey cardie. It was lovely, just like an old school cardie.I thought it would be short enough to wear with skirts which it was not, but worse, when I got it home I realised it had mock pale grey elbow patches!! Beyond gruesome, even though I can't see them I know they are there It will be going back.

Renaissance Faces

Ritratto di Agatha van Schoonhoven by Jan van Scorel
Jan van Scorel's portrait of Agatha van Schoonhoven, whose pose prefigures that of Vermeer's The Girl With a Pearl Earring by 150 years. As a cleric Van Scorel could not marry her, but they were lifelong lovers and she bore him six children

Van Eyck's self-portrait
A really wonderful exhibition Renaissance Faces is on at the national Gallery it is stunning to look at and interesting as well, as the first image suggests. There was another beautiful painting of a 16 year old girl painted by Holbein to show Henry VIII what his future bride No 4 looked like. She was 16 and already a widow! Luckily for her, although he loved her face he did not get around to marrying her, finding temptation closer to home. One wonders what history would have been like if she had become his bride, and what a lucky escape she in fact had.

Photos from here and a review here

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

The view from here.

I watched this at the weekend. What a lovely film, I have had a run of good luck lately with films. I have a very limited choice from my local library, so I get to see very random films that I would not normally choose. The location for this film was beautiful, and it was beautifully filmed as well.
Check out the trailer here

Yes, I got another one, It was a bargain at £32, especially since a similar Jigsaw one went for over £60, which is not much less than it would have cost new. So it seems that the more obscure brands are cheaper but far better in terms of quality and style. I did see a couple of Mulberry scotch grain bags go for £60 but as this is my mothers bag of choice I do not want to go down that road yet!

This bag is actually much lighter than the red one and easier to use, so this one will now become my 'school bag' The red bag is so beautiful I may just frame it instead. Daisy has her eye on it too as she loves it's retro look.

I am feeling quietly smug that I have found rich seam to mine, I am watching a couple of smaller ones I can use for the very occasional evening I go out.

The Saturday supplements were full of Sonia Rykiel knit wear. I had not really looked at her shows before but I realised that the knitwear was really luscious, It could almost make me want to knit! I said almost...

Finally This too had slipped past me unnoticed, but what beautiful fabrics from Christain Lacroix

I am timetable lite this week as my year 11 students are out on work experience, so I am going to try and tick some of those 'must see' exhibition boxes.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Erwin Olaf

Photos from here
If you love Madmen you will love this photographers work. he builds the sets in his studio, which can take up to three of four days using period furniture and props. He has an exhibition opening this week at the Hamiltons Gallery featuring his series called grief, which you can also view here at the Hasted Hunt Gallery

Monday, 20 October 2008

Freize Art fair

Mother and I
The following photos were taken by me, many are fragments of larger pieces of work, they are my own viewpoint.

Simon Evans
I love the London Underground map and this was a very beautiful collaged piece.

Richard Prince
You will see a reoccurring theme, I love text and I seem to have enjoyed the lack of colour in many of the exhibits.

Udomsak Krisanamis

Melik Ohanian

Liz Craft

Jim Lambie

Jim Hodges
This very much reminds me of my garden at the moment, we have lots of very thickly spun webs with very butch spiders sitting in the middle of them.

Herbert Hinteregger

Giuseppe Penone

Gabi Trinkaus

Dryden Goodwin
fantastic photographs, the red ink is text.

Dave Muller
If I could have bought one thing, this would have been it. My favourite piece.

Cildo Meireles

Christina Iglesias

Saturday I went for the dress and jacket combination, it was perfect if a little warm.
I had arranged to meet mother at 11ish to have a coffee before going in. At 10.15 the phone rings.
Mum "where are you?"
Me "waiting for a train"
Mum "oh great, well I am already here now, the bus just whizzed in, how long will you be?"
Me "I said I would be there for 11ish and that is when I will get there, go and have a coffee"
Mum "how am I supposed to know there is no traffic? I suppose I will just have to wait, I bet you are late and my phone is on low battery..."
Me "I will be as quick as I can"
I get there just after 11 I queue up for a coffee.
Mum "you will have to get a coffee from somewhere else I need the toilet and theirs is out of order"
I am now very irritated, I am left with crap Costa or shitty Starbucks but I do as she wants, I get one to go (it is shit) and start walking.
Mum "why are we walking in the shade? look it's sunny over the there"
Me "it is also packed with very lost tourists trying to work out which queue to join for madam Taussauds, we can cross over in a mo'"
Mum "well I have sat and read my bloody diary from cover to cover, next time phone me when you leave and I will leave then, I am so tired of getting here early and always having to wait"
Me "fine"

When we get there the place is much much bigger than I had anticipated and would you believe it, you can take photos, so I now have a very irritable mother waiting for me to write notes and take photos talking ten to the dozen and guess what? my bloody camera battery was flat. My cup runeth over with joy.
Memo to self; next year go on your own and charge the battery.

P.S I should point out that my mother has always been pathologically early and it has been a constant source of misery that neither I or my father and one of my sisters, is or ever will be early or on time. For me time is fluid and if I find my self waiting, I will sit and read. I never leave the house without music or a book, if I do I will go and buy a paper then bin it if necessary. What I find so irritating about my mother is she will always project her irritation on to you and make out that because she has waited you must have arrived late!

To know her is to love her.

Friday, 17 October 2008

The view from here

The bag arrived, J'adore. I did panic as the strap was very short, however in the description it mentioned a hidden extension, which was cunningly hidden in a zipped pocket. It is now at full stretch and perfect. Slightly more worn than I expected, but lighter, so all my stuff is in and I am good to go. I am going for a brown one this weekend, fingers crossed.
Freize Art Fair tomorrow, I am torn between 3 sharp looks;
1. Black merino wool wrap dress with ankle boots
2. Black straight satin trousers cropped at the ankle, long tunic and ballet flats
3. BIG flared black skirt and my other flat shoes
All worn with a leather biker style jacket and BIG jewellery.
I shall try them on tonight.
The girls all wore their pink glad rags today, the latest craze was to wear underwear as outer wear!!!! Not a look I will try tomorrow I promise.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Think Pink!

Tomorrow is Pink Day, which means 800 lovely girls get to dress up head to toe in the colour pink. Roughly translated, that means they will all turn up in their pyjamas tucked into bad repoduction Uggs sucking a dummy. Nope I do not know why either. Over in Emo corner you will get head to toe black with a pink hair slide, not worn with irony.
I will wear pink lipstick, and I give to you the wonderful Kay Thompson, who was the best thing in this, my favourite film.
Think Pink from Funny face.

The ghost of the red bag

I have a very vivid memory of as a young child wandering around Harrods with my parents. I remember I had a red bag and a pair of black and white checked mittens. Inside the bag was half a tube of smarties. I remember that I felt quietly smug that I had not eaten the whole tube, like I would normally, but saved some for later. As we left Harrods my mother noticed the bag was missing along with the gloves. She was as usual livid, I was always loosing things (still do) My mother was always of the opinion that I did it on purpose, that my sole aim in life was to deliberately irritate her. My reward was a full set of perfect crescent shaped indentations down my arm. (from her freshly filed nails) It was more subtle than a smacked bottom but just as lethal. My mothers wrath could be measured by the depth of these marks, when she was really angry she could draw blood at which point my eyes would smart and the day would be ruined. I remember thinking that had I deliberately set out to loose this bag I would never ever have left half a tube of smarties in it, this cut very little ice with my mother.
I guess the memory has subliminally stopped my desire for a red bag, because I have never owned one since. However if reading the blogs of others has taught me one thing it is to break the mould and think out of the box. So after a number of abortive attempts to purchase that rarest of beasts an over the shoulder bag, I have finally purchased the one above.
How I finally hit the success button was not without a little pain. On Friday after traipsing yet again around TKMaxx in the vain hope of finding my Holy Grail I resigned myself to having to start my search afresh, but this time in the men's department. The problem with this strategy is that unlike my early twenties when I could bounce around in my boyfriend jeans, shirts, waistcoats even my fathers coats and jumpers, with the nonchalance only someone young can. now wearing men's clothes makes me look just that, a man.
So pondering my next move, I remembered that many years ago In the early days of my relationship with Daisy and Kitty's father he had bought me the most beautiful Mulberry scotch grain satchel. It had followed a purse which he bought to cheer me up after my one had been stolen. I loved the satchel I have always liked Mulberry and especially their scotch grain stuff. Where is this satchel now? God knows, I cannot remember, it was knackered, but far worse sell on eBay for far too much money.
Inspired I logged on to eBay. My search was rewarded by a beautiful mulberry bag, (nearly all older mulberry bags seem to have these long straps) I set a mental limit of £100 which was a lot less than it was worth, but I do not have much money left this month. With 4 hours to go it was already £94 so I walked away. But guess what? it sold for only £107, I was gutted, I should have not given up. Luckily for me the demand for Mandarina Duck is not so hot, it is a minor label over here, far more popular in Brussels and Paris where you can choose from a much wider range. I bagged this one for £50, smiles all round, and I have finally laid to rest the ghost of the red bag.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

My Blueberry Nights

Can you see what I mean? The colours are gorgeous.

I really liked how many of the shots were seen through glass, working that whole text and image thing I love.
Photos from here and here


I have been experimenting. I have always liked to take photographs on the move, this time I have moved the camera, at this time of year it can work really well with the colours of Autumn.
Talking of colours, I watched My Blueberry Nights last weekend, what a stunningly shot film that is. Really lovely to look at and despite a rather wooden Norah Jones the film was very enjoyable. I could listen to Jude Law read the telephone directory.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Richard White

Richard White

My work falls into two series, seascapes and foliage. Light, colour and timelessness relates to them both. Through the structure of the entirely different subjects the paintings feel and look very different but are united in their observation and replication of the above natural elements.
Blurring the boundaries between art and photography, I love the feel of these paintings.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Paper Dresses

Susan Stockwell

Lynn Dennison

I love getting the girls at school to work with paper, and these are two brilliant exponents of using paper creatively.