Thursday, August 17, 2017

Back at Soane's

A great Museum
In a way of late I've come to realise that Sir John Soane does not, perhaps get the acknowledgement for his part in the creation of modern London that he deserves.

Earlier this week I paid (another) return visit to the central London home of the Sir John Soane Museum.

I also now realise that The Mason's Hall (quite close to what is now the Museum)  was designed by Soane and that The Bank of England wasn't - although various additions to it were.

Each time I visit the Museum I get some more information, either about Sir John, his career or his times.  Learning about the achievements he made is  as a result of information form the guides  who are on the whole pretty good.
The Dulwich Gallery - another of Sir John's projects

I wonder though if Soane was such a difficult father as the guy showing us Hogarth's A Rake's Progress said - he was obviously loyal to his late wife (and their dog) but I question  the perspective that Soane's wife bought the series of paintings is used as a slightly lazy shorthand to describe the dynamic between John Soane and his son or sons.
Masonic Hall by Sir John

If he was difficult it was perhaps as a result of how he felt his own rise was by hard work (he was son of a relatively humbler builder).

 George his younger son did have troubles but they were not too similar to Tom Rakewell -and his other son John (here's a picture of the two boys) predeceased him.

Pitzhanger Manor from a couple of years back - currently under refurbishment 

Soane was the man who designed the Dulwich Gallery and who had his family country home in Ealing (Pitzhanger Manor).

Another nice thing about the Museum is how they feature some modern works too - presently that's work by Marc Quinn - and is called 'Drawn from Life'

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

More Cultural Outings - Photographers' Gallery

A good place for Photographers to meet
It's sometime since I've visited The Photographers' Gallery (just of Oxford Street in the hear of London's West End), as a new exhibition is now on and as both John and I enjoy photography  it seemed a very good place to meet  ahead of a walk down to John Soane's House (near Holborn).

 The Photographers' Gallery is spread over quite a few floors (four plus basement) and the current works to be seen are dominated by  work of Gregory Crewdson 'Cathedral of the Pines' - both John and I were new to his 'oeuvre' so found it all rather intriguing.

What Crewdson (A former Punk rock group member who is now a Professor at Yale) does is work of a 'film-ic' nature - with dark images (in terms of the character of the subjects) looking to be connected serious events - the work is seen to connect to diverse influences including the artist Edward Hopper and Film director Alfred Hitchcock.

Also on show was an 'interactive' area  where visitors are invited to consider food photography -nice idea but  I'm not sure how well it works - it's an area of photography that is significant but the elements to use suggested the Japanese restaurants that use 3D plastic models.

It's a real challenge 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Giacometti, Energy and Private Data

Figures that are very much his trademark 
For me Alberto Giacometti is one of those names that's familiar but I don't immediately know why, actually I should say I didn't - yesterday we went to Tate Modern to see why the name rings a bell.

In fact although the name is one of those incredibly Italian names - the artist (for that's what he was) hails from Switzerland  - born around the turn of the century he was a painter, designer but is now chiefly now celebrated as a sculptor -as the exhibition shows.

His father too was an artist so perhaps not that surprising that as the eldest son he should follow in his father's footsteps.

Sadly his life was not a long one - he died at the age of 66 from Bronchitis  probably not helped by being a fairly heavy smoker.

It was also rather nice to run into a couple of BEAT artists also visiting the exhibition - Nigel (a man who revels in Collage) and Elizabeth (work influenced by nature)  were as I have found previously a pleasure to meet and briefly chat with.

The cafés and bathrooms are good at Tate Modern
Westminster fun fair - with EU in background?


I see that the blessed Theresa is said to be planning a Mea Culpa moment this years Tory conference - apart from the fact that sorry is a bit late coming - why is it that the action she proposed taking to hold down domestic energy prices has been abandoned?

A limit to energy profiteering seems to be something that most of the MPs of the major parties could unite behind and would help those 'Just Abouts'  (JAMs) she spoke about once upon a time.


New laws on Data Protection

Oh yes another thing that puzzles me is where this sudden interest that the Tory/DUP Government has in our rights around Personal Data?

Odd that the EU is having much the same laws drafted - doesn't it make you realise that in the real world the EU will still dictate our laws but now as outsiders - I suspect the same reasoning behind abandonment of internal combustion engine- why don't we recognise that the EU is the only game in town for us and Brexit  (despite the mantra) doesn't mean sweet FA?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Big file

Well this in a way is the end of my Camera Fund theme (but also in another way the beginning) - I got the new G7 Mark II yesterday and am staggered by it - but initially also slightly disappointed (as we can be with 'material' things) - was it about 'saving up' and that was the key  thing?
As pictured by the G15

I now see it does an amazing job and am looking forward to giving it some real tests (perhaps get a phone that will work with it too).

And here's a picture from it
Birthday Hamper (file size 7.5MB)