Friday, September 30, 2016

Flow, Zone, Framing and Red 32

Ealing's Neighbours Paper

Sir Philip Green's stepson's company made a quick £3m profit

While I was waiting for my latest Print at the always helpful Pollyprint in Northfield Avenue I had the chance to read the local Neighbours' Paper - staggering (for me) revelations on the £3m profit pocketed by Thackeray Estates a company that has Sir Philip Green's stepson Brett Palos as a director.

Brain Activity

Very interesting to hear on the radio about a Hungarian Psychologist Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi (not the easiest name to remember or spell) - Mihaly is famed for his work looking at 'Flow'  - I think many of us have done things where time has almost stopped -been lost in the Zone.

Mihaly posits that in this happy place the ego and the goal of monetary achievements all but disappear - I would think that brain activity in this state would be fascinating to monitor, one could imagine that all sorts of Dopamine is rattling around.

A process at the end
Here is a link to 10 points that are related to that  Magic Place.

Following my recent BEAT activity and ahead of Bond Street (Ealing) Pop Up Shop session 2 in November I've been printing mounting and framing - not sure I got totally into the Zone but certainly quite enjoyable.

One of the helpers with the hanging side of things is Youtube - great instructional videos on all sorts of topics ..

Red 32

And of course YouTube has a smashing bright Red logo

A bright red logo for the dominant web video provider

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Another lecture at the British Library and Red 33

A real mix amongst those attending the British Library
 As promised yesterday here's some more from the Business and IP lectures held recently at The British Library.

I noted at the Series of lectures promoting entrepreneurial activity at the British Library how many women were present and the  ethnic diversity amongst speakers and audience.

The second lecture I attended was  presented by  Sara Rego from Portugal who was speaking for UK2 about the importance of and  how to leverage a Website.

I learnt more about the plethora of alternative domain names starting from as little as £1.00 per year - these even include .photo but the and .com remain the most popular.

A useful guide
One of the many  very good points Sara made was does a website look like it was designed by a 5 year old? 
The Library sign

She also pointed out 5 Design Issues that should be kept in mind:

1) Bad Navigation
2) Poor Reliability
3) Auto-playing Media
4) Not Optimized for Mobile
5) Disorganized Content

And of course the importance of refreshing the content

Sara mentioned how important to take account of Metrics such as Google Analytics, she also advised that you should:

Checkout  the competition
Start simple
Keep it Fresh 

I noticed again how important Eduardo Paolozzi is to London's public art - here's another of his works near the British Library -Piscator 

Another Eduardo Palozzi sculpture - Piscator by Euston Station is now looking a bit grimy 

Red 33

When talking to people about objects that were red someone did mention a ball - I suppose the classic red ball would be a cricket one but this from the local 'Tiger' store has Pink too

Having a ball?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

British Library Business and IP and Red 34

Told it how it was
Yesterday I went to glean some knowledge of business at what might seem a somewhat odd place for enterprise - The British Library just between Euston and St Pancras stations

The British Library is an institution that surprises it has the great artists work and exhibitions of diverse cultural significance (Punk at the moment).
A  'celebration' of Punk 

I've seen quite a few speakers addressing business audiences but Julie Deane of Cambridge Satchel Company really stood out.

First of all she told her story - and it was a clear one full of practical lessons learnt that would apply to anyone growing a business.

Here's the story many of us might be familiar with from Google's recent campaign

But it also reflected the virtues of keeping to what the speaker felt was 'right' Julie made clear her expectations on fair treatment not special treatment for people involved in small and start up businesses, she was also clear on her own strengths and weaknesses (she doesn't like networkers and is suspicious of experts descending from on high  and overcharging for things like branding.

Julie who started her company with £600 and the goal of sending her two children to a good 'fee-paying' school where they were not subject to bullying has become an object lesson in how to grow a company.

The head of the Cambridge Satchel Company  is now actively promoting small business for the British Library made a strong argument for using the declining asset of Public Libraries throughout the country to act as a credible resource in helping to build the next wave of enterprises.

Eduardo Paolozzi's statue to Newton outside the British Library 

Julie also shared amusing anecdotes like the one about how she'd bigged up her number of employees to 4 when it was in fact a school girl (doing a few after school hours), Julie's Mother and the dog (Robert - security) this was then revealed to her local paper when  they visited for a photo-shoot.

It was clear that Julie was star struck by the recognition that big names brought her like George Michael and the Rolling Stones  but she made even clearer  how touched she was by Sophie Ellis-Bextor's support for the 'brand'.

A great business lesson and more tomorrow from another session I attended.

Red 34

Well here's a Red that references earlier red chairs but is that thing you'd expect a modern business person to build an office on the run - Chair, Laptop and Coffee

Yesterday afternoon at British Library and an example of someone who deserves to succeed  being resourceful 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Time at London's National Galleries Red 35

Gresham -check it out
There are quite a number of free to attend public lectures one can enjoy in London, last week I saw a sign for Gresham College and it has a pretty impressive list of sessions.

Early call at National Gallery

The opening church
So yesterday after an early morning start (it opens at 10:00 am!)  with old school friend Kevin Geraghty I went to a talk at London's National Gallery on Churches by Freelance Arts lecturer/guide Dr. Richard Stemp - Richard was a superb speaker and his last book (The Secret Language of Churches) has just gone into Paperback production

I would take issue with the Dr on his opening picture though of nearby St Martin's - I think it is far from a typical church.

After lunch at a nearby 'Spoons' we spent some time in the National Portrait Gallery - in many ways a more human sized gallery still very impressive but with the advantage of a virtual running narrative history based on significant people.

The experience of gallery visiting with a friend, particularly one who knows a fair amount about what's on show is a different one from looking alone or in a group - and very enjoyable too.

Nice too to chat with Kevin about some of the big and small things in life as we approach 60.

Red 35

There was  an amusing story from Jeremy Paxman on the subject of his 'small-talk  with Theresa May on the subject of her  footwear from a few years ago this weekend - so here are some decidedly (and not the first pair of the project) Red shoes.

Not our PM

Monday, September 26, 2016

Local stuff and Red 36

Many of those taking part raise money for good causes
The last year or so has  been a time where I've felt part of a (or several) communities and it was good to see so many people powering around the roads around me as part of the (now) annual Ealing Half Marathon, hopefully the local Open Artists Studios from the preceding two weekends initiative BEAT will become a firm calendar fixture.

The 5th one

And talking of community it's pretty impressive to see how local people are getting behind the campaign to protect our green space/allotment in Northfields   - there's a petition you can sign and hopefully functions where you'll be able to support the continuation of what is London's oldest allotments.

(If you're into the  Tweet use @ SaveNFAllotment )

Who wouldn't want to preserve sheds like these?

A shed that's loaded with character

And a shed that's loaded with grass(non herbal)  on the roof 

Red 36

A fantastic Red Cake from 'The Bakers of Ealing'

A Cake that shouts celebration

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Post BEAT plans and Red 37

So last 2 weekends were for me have been  dominated by BEAT activities and having knocked this on the head (for at least 6 months) I've been re-visiting for a 'Baby- Shower' some of my display which will be a 'private view' for today only.

A re-visit at Orchard Cafe

One of Timothy Layden's sound influenced works 

 As well as the  display at Orchard Café  and planning for another Pop Up event at Ealing's Bond Street.
but I'll be hanging around again in November

It was all wrapped up in August

The venture this time will be myself and talented all-round  Artist  Helen Trevisol-Duff  as well as an artist Helen ran a shop in Northfield Avenue West Ealing (Darch and Duff) for many years. With this expertise  the operation will be a must for those wishing to buy Art in the run up to Christmas - we'll be there from November 7th for 2 weeks (at least).

Red 37

And as we get over close to the end of my one year epic journey into Red more and more I'm referencing those things that have come before.

This restaurant was 'Maggie's' was 'Closed' and now is open again as a Turkish eatery Mikla

A natural restaurant location and a continuing 'red' spot.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Tate Modern's Need for Net Curtains and Red 38

A high price to be overlooked by Tate Modern visitors?
Nice programme on the BBC radio 4 strand  'Reunion'  - all about Tate Modern and the (soon to be) Arts Council 'Head Honcho'  Sir Nicholas Serota , The Tate Modern has been in the headlines as a result of Switch extension the neighbours (who  presumably dug deep in their pockets) are getting mightily miffed by the overlooking visitors.

I've been up there myself and you do get a very good view of what looks like IKEA catalogue living.

The story has of course brought to mind the inherent dichotomy over city living - is it net curtains or open views? - seems this is to be a problem for more and more London residents as we move to increasingly vertical homes - here are a few I've spotted.

A strange sort of  'Conservatory' on local flats

Surely they realise we can see what there 'taste' is?

In some cities such spaces can be elegant extensions to an apartment - in London it's often used more like a shed .

Red 38

Glimpsed this red hairdressing through the door amongst the accoutrements in a Hanwell hairdresser yesterday - there's something about Red & Rich (and hairdressing too )...

And perhaps it registered with me as I had a trim today

Friday, September 23, 2016

Night Market, A Big Smile and Red 39

A challenge for the darker evenings
Well yesterday was the Autumn Equinox and from temperatures of 31c one week ago we're now in the area of cooler evenings.

The idea of a Night Art Market in Ealing was a good one but as the one liner goes it's all about ... Timing and sadly the trading hours are not going to get longer - happy to have been there for the first week and good luck for the remaining season.

Tate Britain and Smile

On Wednesday I spent a few hours at Tate Britain with a friend - it's a different experience when one visits with someone, there's a not not unreasonable expectation of conversation about a range of things which of course includes what you're looking at - and a requirement to take on another's views.

Much of the time was spent looking at the Turners - they are a quantity and scope of work which are close to awe inspiring but the artist is not without limits.

A material used for building that can make you smile
A bit about the impressive material and project

Just by Tate Britain, on another UAL (Chelsea) site there's this monster piece of Design - The Smile part of the London Design Festival and again (but in a different way)  awe inspiring.

Red 39

Increasingly I'm finding that the Reds reference (often not deliberately ) other things and episodes - this one definitely

So Here's (another) vision a Red life

I'm not sure if this habitat does it for me 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Christmas in September and Red 40

With the party - it's over
So it's difficult to let go of BEAT - and if this is the case for a humble exhibitor imagine the deal for those on the various committees who've been living and breathing it for the last months.

As a sort of  goodbye their was a get together just near Cleveland Park last night  and what surprised me on the way there was the crew who were filming  (apparently a popular location as the house their fronts onto an attractive church - incidentally now flats).

The crew vans and Snow specialist

A slight sprinkling first

So the surprise was that there was snow - artificial snow but snow all the same - seems it's going to be part of Morrison's festive campaign.

A Fox searches

Oh and a surprise on the way home with Mr Fox.

Red 40

And the Christmas theme continues with a nearby pub's sign-board.

Here's Rudolf's Red Nose,  Christmas songs in the shops soon -

The week after temperatures hit 31C in London

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Black Female Artists and Red 41

The UAL space in Holborn
Near Holborn Station in W1 there are regular exhibitions held by the UAL (University of Arts, London) that showcase the work of students.

Currently on show there are works by (and about) Black Female artists - a field that is under-represented, the exhibition is named Black Blossoms.

The aspects of life of this somewhat sidelined group has been approached in number of   diverse ways via a selection of media.

Many of the pieces on show focus on 'hair' a totemic symbol of blackness for women, hairdressers and hairdressing are often the centre of social occasions, a chance to chat under the auspices of preparation for a party or festival.

The Window Now

The works that stood out for me included items by Habiba  Nabisubi, along with Azzara Amoy and iconic representations of black female role models by Nicole Muskett.

Hair identified by Habiba Nabisubi

A work by Nicole Muskett from her
'Empowering Women series'

Azzara Amoy proclaims - 'Black Mothers are Superheroes'

I also really like the re-imagined photographic sequence created around the life of Silvia Rosi's mother - as well as telling a very real story of migration it imparts humanity and humour to the life.

Red 41

Those Red Chuggers

Well each other anyway

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Calligraphy Taster at CityLit and Red 42

City Lit -so many classes
As  one gets older it becomes more and more obvious that life is finite and the number of interests and opportunities one can pursue is limited.

Practice is needed.

At the start of a 'Taster' in Calligraphy when are course leader polled us to find why we were doing the session  I was aware that this subject  ticked more than one box - I wasn't happy with my writing, I was interested in the history of the subject and I wanted to use the skill professionally.

My Starter Kit

Our Tutor for the session was Michela Antonello  (having looked at her CV I realise how lucky we were to have such a well qualified teacher!)

Michela gave us a good no-nonsense 3 hours on the topic and recommended Calligraphy Made Easy (by Gaynor Goffe) as an introductory text (and had taught her!)    - the whole thing I found rather addictive .

 The downside is that acquiring the skill does take time and patience and of course more tools and books.

Red 42

And tyng together the Red and the Photography -

A photo opportunity in the hot seat

Monday, September 19, 2016

The end of BEAT 2016 Red 43

Sunday saw the last day of the first BEAT and if the stories coming in were to be believed the project was a success   with high numbers of visitors and these visitors signalling appreciation - what was great (for me) was the chance to talk and explain - and listen.

Visitors from many backgrounds 

Having displayed and hosted a 'Pop-up' shop I was able to begin to put into action the messages I'd been getting and as well as wanting to know the stories behind what I was doing the people I encountered  clearly 'voted' for affordable mounted prints  - this means bigger volumes to get the same turnover  but with lower cost of stock  it's not an issue for me.
A starting point for conversation

It'd certainly be a mistake to not make every effort to offer the  visitors a chance to buy in a form  they wish to.

It was pleasing  to find people interested in how I'd used Noah Scalin's 'model' to get myself taking more photo's too and several people took a picture of the book for reference (and a gift idea).

Mandie gets to look at some of the work

Thanks for visitors who stopped and exchanged ideas, for those who left comments and of course those who bought.

We also (collectively, all four of us showing at OPEN Ealing) thank Mandie Wilde  (who has been so busy in Ealing) the driving force behind the Orchard Cafe for her support and patience - my see you in 2017 raised a wry smile.

Red 43

So the most worthwhile visitors (in a way) are children but they're also the most demanding and their expectations are stimulation a little short of over stimulation- one young visitor (with another transport themed Red) brought along a  toy truck.

It had spent quite a bit of time in his mouth