Saturday, May 19, 2018

Tragedy, The Divine and The Ecstasy

Come on in 

Friday was a busy day for me as well as a meeting at The Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising (to find about volunteering there) I made a quick visit to The National Gallery and a slightly longer one to Tate Modern.

The good news is the the museum is able to use some help and I'll undergo induction fairly soon, also as it's quite a small museum the work looks varied and thankfully not too much bureaucracy.

The sad news is that it's situated not too far from the tragedy of Grenfell Tower and I saw the building when I was there.

[Odd the way the Engineering expert's view was put out for 'consultation'  almost immediately by the new Minister for Housing James Brokenshire.]

The shrouded tower 

A heart shaped logo

So onto the National Gallery where the Tourists and street performers were much in evidence ..

I was much taken by the work of Francesco del Cossa (1435 -1477) a painting of the much travelled  Saint Vincent Ferrer  a Spanish Dominican preacher.

Outside The National Gallery
St Vincent Ferrer 

After this I saw Debbie at Tate Modern so we could look at The Seagram Murals that were the subject of Red (which we saw the previous week).

and one of Rothko's Seagram Murals

Rothko Play -Red 

On returning to St Paul's Underground station it was good to see Ben Wilson working his Chewing Gum art (again) - this time in fine weather  and a new twist on the 'live' statues - this guy caught mid dash..

A Summery Ben Wilson 
A dashing Man Statue

More of my Photo's here

Friday, May 18, 2018

City Lit Village Walk in Bermondsey/London Bridge area

Guy was a Philanthropist 
Back into more or less the centre of London for this weeks' walk which kicked off at London Bridge

I didn't find this walk had quite such a strong narrative as the previous ones - but I did learn that if we plan to meet at one of two WH Smiths I' ll pick the wrong one!

First stop were the various buildings of Guy's Hospital - we learned that the person the hospital was named (Thomas Guy) for made his money from the so called South Sea Bubble and had money for philanthropy

Another nearby  example of Philanthropy is from the Guinness family who provided housing for the less well off  in the form of the Guinness Trust Buildings .

(Oddly considering where their fortune was made they were quite strict about drinking.)

More welcoming than some
Much of the area was historically used for production of leather goods and the associated finishing - the London Leather Hide and Wool Exchange.

Traders and crafts-people 

RW Autos- You can see the Horse connection

A horse still adorns

Watching the graves

The area also has buildings that are associated with times passed - like the RW Autos garage which was formerly  used as stables .

it was all too easy to overlook a wall disguised to look more interesting here's part of the 'Trompe-l'œil' - (see the cat?)

Not really a window

Another industry for the areas was grave robbing and we saw a building (now of course a coffee shop) that had had the specific purpose of stopping bodies being purloined for 'research' it is appropriately enough called the Watch House .

A popular business for a while

Nearby the grave yard seemed to be devoid of bodies being unearthed!

White Space/White Cube

A bit further on and we visited The White Cube (where I saw Gilbert and George's work a few months back) -on show currently is work from Beatriz Milhazes and the main thing is Rio Azul Tapestry.

The current White Cube gallery was previously the distribution centre for The Radio Times and is part of the revolution in Art 'spaces' - it feels like a calm oasis in many ways.

All about the Hipsters

The area is certainly well Hipster friendly - coffee shops with bearded men of a certain age are all over the place.

A sign that 'Dotmaster' has been around
And there's a variety of art from Dotmaster (Rude Kids) stencilled graffiti to community projects like the (slightly ironically titled) The Shared- created by locals with  the help of Austin Amery.

Zandra's Place

And it was unveiled by Zandra Rhodes who was a guiding light behind the nearby Fashion Museum and also has a workshop and an apartment.

Not the Shard but 'the Shared' 

Arthur's Mission A ragged School - , And in a way back to where we started 
We finished at an example of Ragged School, another example of what the 'working classes' used to help them become better  educated

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

What you wish for (and more)

Come to Ealing Park Tavern -2nd June

Odd that I sometimes think back to when I did sewing (?) at Lawford Mead Junior School (Chelmsford)  with Miss Wiffen.

One of the things I used to (jokingly) talk about was a life of untold riches and the chance to indulge as I wished - in the meantime I was required to sew(?)

I suppose they were near perfect days - and the way that this is felt now to me is that little went wrong (in fact I had some illness, broke some bones and even spent some time in hospital) - but perhaps it's about problems being the province my parents were there to take care of?

There's a saying -' be careful what you wish for' - well there's also a condition which I I think is called the Eden Complex/Condition (I seem to recall Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics)  talking about it) - and we (in the developed world of the 21st Century)  are (in general) lucky people in so many ways - but we don't sometimes realise it.

As has been said  - I want to achieve immortality by not dying -Well so far so good and I'm (sometimes) content - even being listed as an 'Artist' as seen in the picture above seems like a good thing, sure things can irritate and annoy but let's keep it in proportion.

And Windows 10 updates

I've currently got a cracking Broadband service (up to about 75 Mbit/s ) Windows 10 (recent update 1) seemed to stop the Wifi working and knocked me down to about 6 Mbit/s, then along came Windows 10 and a further update and the wifi connection is working again.

All this nonsense (fairly inconsequential) reminds me of Windows installs from 20 years or so ago where a series of floppies were used and often needed to be undertaken repeatedly - now I've got a PC that can provide breathtaking video and understand (some) of what I say.


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Rothko and Red

A 'Rothko- esque' image on the programme 
Well had the pleasure of  a belated 'treat' yesterday when my Brother took us to see 'Red' a rather deep 'two handed' fictional work  about the Art of Mark Rothko in particular his works commissioned  for the The Four Season's restaurant in The Seagram building.

There were several things impressive about the production, one of them was the staging but beyond that was the hard work by the Actors who were very much present for the complete non-interrupted 90 minutes (in fact  Alfred Molina was on stage nearly 10 minutes before the scheduled start).

As well as a drama it was a useful piece describing the place for Abstract Expressionism and 'Color Field' work in the development of 20th century western art.

Rothko first came to my notice via the excellent 20th Century Art introductory course from Nick Pearson held at OPEN Ealing a few years back.

Certainly Rothko's work developed and there is (it is more apparent to me now) a connection with Turner but he was labelled as 'angry'  - as well as Rothko I'm keen to find out more about  Jackson Pollock  (aka Jack the Dripper) one of Rothko's contemporaries who's style of  creation of his work  I fear gets more coverage  than the product.

[It feels now surprising to me that I didn't reference the play in my own year of red].

The play was not condescending nor did it talk down to its audience - I'm going to go back to Tate Modern to look more closely at The Seagram Rothkos very soon.

Amongst those entering the foyer with us was the BBC newscaster and journalist Clive Myrie -funnily enough also going to the play - we saw Mark Austin (then an ITN Journalist who is now with Sky News) when we saw the the Blue Man Group a few years back - who next?

Might be worth moving closer.

The Real Greek

Ahead of the play we had a very nice Greek(-ish)  meal at nearby (St Martin's Lane) The Real Greek, to me a cross between  a traditional Greek Restaurant and a Tapas eatery - with an added  fusion twist - many thanks Lee.