Saturday, November 08, 2014

Sid James Comedy Icon and More on the North Korean embassy (art)

Sid James was a fine comedy character actor, I don't think he was a comedian but I beleive he could have, if he'd lived longer moved into more dramatic roles.
A comedian's plaque

Sid was actually a South African who'd started off as a hairdresser and as one of Tony Hancock's regulars and a stalwart of the 'Carry ons' (British films loaded with 'double entendres')  his inimitable laugh was known across the land.

As you can tell I'm a fan - I even have a picture of him (a limited edition print by Chris Oxenbury entitled  Yak, Yak Yak) so as I passed Sid's former home in Gunnersbury lane it was with reverence.

Sid's former home in West London.

Well you might be wondering why and when I passed the house, well having found out that the sometimes mysterious folks of North Korea (Ealing Branch) were holding an Art exhibition of work by their own Native artists that was to end on the 7th November I decided to hot foot it down there.

I was not alone and it was a somewhat varied crowd in attendance, art lovers and nosey neighbours included but the Korean folk at the embassy were surprisingly friendly, welcoming and 'normal'
Have your picture taken with irony

No restriction on photography and the embassy looked like what it was a large-ish suburban house - held in a 1970's time capsule.

Pictures of the last two  leaders of Korea on the wall but not the present one and bookcases full of sombrely bound books.

The work on display was (to me) more about craft and technique than breaking new ground but it rose above the workmanlike and there were pictures by some of the artists of their UK visit.

The overall effect of the show was to certainly take away some of the distrust at a local level - how to do this internationally is more of a challenge
A view of a modern North Korea
London inspires a North Korean Artist

Inscrutable outside the embassy
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