Friday, March 24, 2017

Brick walls (83)

You know sometimes you're hitting a brick wall - well sometimes the  thing to do is see what others do - and a great place to do this can be the TV or Youtube.
Sometimes feels like we've hit a brick wall 

And on that subject a really nice BBC TV programme (What do Artists do all Day?) about Glaswegian photographer Dougie Wallace (you can see it here if you've access to BBC iPlayer).

Now £107 10p

[He's like Martin Parr's naughty younger brother].


Wigmore Street another W1 location

And a commercial property using  Glass again

Thursday, March 23, 2017

East Meets West at RA exhibitions (82)

You say you want a Revolution

One of the fortunate by-products of my volunteering is that I'm able to get entry to some rather fantastic exhibitions and Museums.

I've not been to the RA (The Royal Academy) before but chance to see two sides of difficult challenges (East Versus West) felt like a real opportunity.

Started off with Revolution (It's in the air as recent V&A and the current Design Museum exhibition suggests).

The West takes on the East

Not at all sure that the layout and curation of the Russian  Art is wholly successful and as we know the way it all goes perhaps a video of 'Political' prisoners who were (generally) executed could be considered a little heavy handed.

 Noticed that BBC Newsnight's Steven Smith was looking  around the   'Revolution' exhibition - which I felt in places was a  bit depressing  to see.
Really nice pictures

In fact a reminder of how it all began to go wrong even before Lenin's death  and then with Stalin as boss those in the countryside and Artists began to suffer.

Having said that it was a revelation to find new artists and  some good stuff  from Kadinsky and Chagall for example and there were some film clips from influential pioneers like  an excerpt from Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera .

Great to see pictures by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin with his quirky use of colour - a favourite being the  Petrograd Madonna (1920) and thought the Girl in Football Shirt (1932) by Alexander Samokhvalov looked almost contemporary.

America after the Fall

This was a more manageable sized  and optimistic group of works.

Greatly  enjoyed seeing the Edward Hoppers  (Gas and New York Movie) and  Grant Woods' curious American Gothic (as I've been reminded of before) though in the America- After The Fall exhibition.

Very clear that the USA at this time was looking to Europe for inspiration with examples of surrealism and an early (non splattered) Pollock.


£105 90

Still Doors from the West End..

Well it was new once

Another posh looking door

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Count Arthur at Richmond Theatre (81)

Count Arthur Strong as seen in Hull Open

On Sunday we had an outing to Richmond Theatre to see the legendary (in his own mind anyway) -Count Arthur Strong.

It was a reminder of our visit to Hull but also to when we saw him before as a solo performer, nearly four years ago (and he doesn't look any older).

To be honest I preferred the earlier show (but then it's likely to be that it's either better or worse) - the supporting characters didn't add and the activity around the curtain being stuck/not rising  felt a little bit of a cliché - and went on too long.

Highlights were though Arthur singing 'Lovely Day' and some of his dance moves - generally audience were appreciative and it was a nice way to spend a Sunday evening. (Here's a clip of Arthur).

That classic Frank Martcham  theatre design as seen in Richmond.

£104 55


Wimpole on high

Another moneyed door

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

At London's Courtauld Gallery (80)

I like the story around this picture by Richard Long 
Very appreciative of how well served we London residents are in terms of leisure and cultural activity opportunities - yesterday after seeing some friends who will show in BEAT 2017 (Ealing's Art Fair mentioned yesterday) I went and had some time at the Courtauld Gallery - pat of Somerset House.

There are some marvellous works on show, a lot of Seurat's paintings and The Bar at The Folies Bergere  by Edouard Manet  always calls attention  but what was a bit of a surprise was Richard Long's influential and relatively modern   A Line Made by Walking (1967)

So many galleries are incredibly crowded and taking time to enjoy savour and the experience is not always easy but The Courtauld on a wet Monday (when you can get reduced entrance too) worked really well.

So much in Somerset House
A tasteful and cultured  venue 


£103 34

Around the world Harley Street has a reputation for high class Doctors - some of the doors reinforce this too.

Famed  for its medical professionals 

Impressive - As it should be

Monday, March 20, 2017

Ealing arts - BEAT 2017 get your applications in ..(79)

Tim Layden talks to visitors  

Last year had a genuinely lovely experience as part of the first Ealing Art Trail - got to spend time in a nice venue with Tim Layden, Gordon Cookson and (the near legendary) John Kaye  -at the Orchard Café in West Eaing (Thanks Mandie).

We're not sure that the same chance will be on offer this year but would encourage people with work to show during the two w/es and to get involved.

Here's all the stuff you'll need..

John adds up his takings

Gordon - There's a season (Turn Turn Turn) 

£102 20


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The West End wander continues

I used to work in this street (at No 48)

A flavour of 'Art Deco'

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Conservatives with Small and Big 'C's (78)

Hold True 

Looking back I now see how I was at one time a fan of a modernising leader of the Tories -problem was that he has proved to be a risk taker (as so many politicians are) and it seems with a cynical (or perhaps non-existent) set of 'true' values.

If there was one it was party over country- I hope Theresa May is able to do more than this and rules for the population at large not just  her own party...

With a small 'c'

I was surprised to hear Jeremy Paxman holding forth on David Cameron's ill judged referendum - he seems genuinely appalled by how the result of his cynical move to hold Cameron's political party  together has paid such dividends.

And with a large 'C'

Also found myself impressed by Lord Heseltine holding firmly to the desire for the UK to remain at the heart of Europe - his analysis of the British Public spending it's reserves to hold the economy together seemed accurate and rather 'doomed'.

Now we here that the SNP are being cynical with a referendum to reflect the nature of Scotland's vote in the recent election or watch a less than convincing David Davis MP responding to Hilary Benn MP and I'd suggest that our PM might have another look at her strategy

As well as the art of the possible 'Politics' should perhaps include something around compromise - when the UK voted for leaving the EU last year  the majority was clear but a large part of the population did not subscribe to the view that we (the UK) should exit Europe -perhaps accommodating them would be a better move than making Iain Duncan Smith quite so happy!

And £101 is the easy way to go


Still Door spotting in the West -end..

A sign on high

Another glass one- this adorned with the number 78

Saturday, March 18, 2017

At the V&A and (77)

Like the Science Museum there's a lot to see at the V&A (also in Kensington) but I'd say it's more of a 'Grown up' place (I guess this is as a result to some extent as their brief and audience) but at present there's not a 'headline exhibition and if you go note that there's some work going on around what was the gift shop 

Now on at V&A

The exhibition I'm looking forward to there is about Pink Floyd (Their Mortal Remains) in May and I reckon it could be an absolute  blast.

While I look forward to the experience - I'm a bit concerned that this is rather a trend where the chance of marketing off the back of it (both in terms of Pink Floyd's catalogue and the museum) - we had a good Revolution there and the Stones show  at Saatchi Gallery - I suppose it's as a result of the population that's now very much got the 'grey' pound while younger people struggle. 

Is this though what we want and expect from our Museums? Easy to digest and not too challenging but more about consumption than a 'stretch'. 
St Paul was a problematic figure (unknown artist)

Raising of Lazarus (Perino)

Eric Gill escaped approbation in his lifetime - Mankind (1927-8)

Did enjoy seeing some of the religious work (Christian and Buddhist)  on show and seeing Eric Gill sculpture made me think about how his behaviour is overlooked (as John Byrne suggests his own grandfather/father can be).

An East Asian Buddha head
And a Golden version
Having beckoned - £100


Another Great

But where's the letterbox?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Samaritans at Science Museum (76)

By all accounts Chad Varah was a character but in his long life he started something that has helped many people through difficult times - Chad (1911 -2007) started the Samaritans a non judgemental listening service for people in distress.

The story is that Chad (a vicar at the time)  was so moved by the death of a young girl who had taken her own life when she started menstruating for the first time.

She took her life tragically through ignorance (due to poor education and bad parenting) the girl was so alarmed and felt she had  done something wrong.

Chad looking a bit like Dick Emery

It seems slightly odd that the place he's remembered along with the service he started  is the Science Museum (London Kensington) - I suppose technology in the form of Telephone is an important part of the Samaritans service.

Samaritans now offer their service through a variety of means including email, SMS and face-to-face.

A service that's become significant 

Memorabilia from the first branch 

As we get £97.40 - £100 beckons


More doors in the West End

There are a few 'Great' streets

And lots of great doors - Those numbers above the door are a 'great' feature too