Saturday, April 30, 2016

(Yet) Another 'Picture of the week' and Red 185

As always so very gratifying to see my photo' published in the local paper - this time it's to publicise a local Pop-Up shop at 16 Bond Street, Ealing  as a taster for September's full blown BEAT Open Studio event across the borough.

I'm looking forward to my own personal involvement and working with others.

Here's the press item and the picture submitted (which is pretty much a picture of my picture BFF).
As it appeared.

A taste of what's available from BEAT participants 

So far the people I've met connected with Arts in Ealing have been really great so I think the whole community will warm to what's going on with the BEAT project- I gather that Thursday's preview at the gallery Pop-up was fun too.

Red 185

Potentially inviting for a meal?

A local Red restaurant (with a Polish menu).

Friday, April 29, 2016

Tate Britian takes on (some) Conceptual Art Red 186

A demanding exhibition
I think in hindsight that for some  exhibition visitors the idea of spending time at a viewing of 25 years of  British Conceptual Art might be an ask to far (a perhaps useful link) - but I really enjoyed my visit, sure there's something bordering on pretension there (and even in using the terms) still a cliché that fits is  'Fortune favours the Brave' - and the exhibition was a continuation of the education I'm seeking in how we can  answer What is  Art?

This visit was really enhanced by having another person to bounce off and make sure I was not just coasting but engaging and trying to consider the themes.

John (for it was he) was pleased by works that raised a smile for me some of the items on show were familiar  (Like godfather of YBAs  Ian Craig Martin's Oak Tree) but set against the point of no photography (why?) I was encouraged that we could take part of the show with us   (Roelof Louw's seminal work, Pyramid of Oranges.)
Should I put in on Ebay?

What I get often from such well curated shows is names and ideas to find out more on - here it was often about how philosophy and art became intertwined but also for the end of the period (late 70's) how art re-engaged and addressed some political and sociological issues.

One of many things I didn't know was how important Ealing was in this particular genre of art at this particular time- (and Coventry too).

Names that I brought out  to consider include: Stephen Willats  influential and productive at an early age (Ex - Ealing College).

Working in Photography - The late Keith Arnatt
Victor Bugin - who re-appropriated much from advertising.

I think my favourite work was that of Braco Dimitrijevic who made an ironic (as far as I'm concerned) piece called 'The Casual Passer-By I Met at ...'

I was also pleased to see many of the Richard Long works that were being shown.
 (about the landscape and walking).

As a footnote items that addressed how people lived which were on show have perhaps a connection with this year's Turner prize winner-Assemble.

If you've got a companion who'll indulge you do go along to work out what this and conceptual art is  about  (and then let me know).

{The Shepherd's pie was nice too}

Red 186

And also at Tate Britain some dancing (with a red touch)

perhaps not strictly..

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Technology and Red 187

Well sad to report I've not got anywhere with fixing my Canon Pixma printer and have ended up buying a new one the more photographically inclined and well reviewed Pixma ip8750.

At the PC world outlet slightly staggered to see a washing machine you can start from your mobile phone - it does feel (to me), sometimes like I'm living in the future.
Living in the future.

I guess the business model is a bit like men's razors where it's about selling the refills/blades rather than the printer/holder.

The deal was with all the discounts and cashbacks about £150 which for a printer that was launched at around £359 pretty amazing - like razors the striking feature is that as an analog of the blades thing it now has seven ink cartridges (these are of course the pricey bit).

[Why not try these people for your ink I am going to ?]

Out with the old
And in with the new

If there's someone in London who'd like some spares (and inks) for the Canon iX6550 do get in touch.

Red 187

Like a stick of rock or an early Maypole it's the red that stands out

Red, White and Yellow  like a piece of candy

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

More at The Guildhall Art Gallery and Red 188

I was much taken with Brian Eno's theory that what makes major figures memorable (like a 'Picasso' or a 'Warhol') is complex and there are often figures of similar talent working in the same oeuvre who become mere footnotes as the history of the various movements are written.
Clytemnestra by John Collier

At The Guildhall Arts Gallery I saw a number of works on show some by  artists I was familiar with like Peter Blake and Canaletto but also Waggoner's  The Great  Fire of London and The Thames by Moonlight with Southwark bridge (1884) by the artist John Atkinson Grimshaw - his career included work as a railway clerk).

Having looked at the picture it was Whistler who sprang to mind and I was interested to read that for a time Grimshaw worked in a studio near Whistler in Chelsea and that the two had met .

Many of the works (or the artists) on display have links with the City of London but the work certainly that I think was my favourite on show is Clytemnestra by John Collier and the links here are tangential.

Clytemnestra was a figure in Ancient Greece and her image and story are often recounted. In the painting  the signs of a bloody murder are strong - reading about Collier he seems somewhat underrated - I like too what I read of his own personal philosophy.

Of the more modern works I was much taken with Broadgate Reflections by Brendan Neiland., Neiland is somewhat unusual in his use of Spray gun to achieve the brushless results.

Red 188

Probably my most favourite 13A UK plug of all time (it's red)

Plug in and power on

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Art's around us, 16 Bond Street and Red 189

A detail of Ben Wilson's work
Bubble gum used to be a derisory term for the very accessible pop music of the 60's and 70's so I suppose if there was a term for the art work of Ben Wilson (on the Millennium Bridge) it could well be chewing gum art.

[It's very accessible and certainly popular with me.]

Having met the man and found out a little of this labour of love I can't avoid checking it out when I'm in the area of Tate Modern (example adjacent).

[It's a bit of a joy].

BEAT pop up

2 in the BEAT 'pop up'

I've got a good feeling about the BEAT art project that culminates in an Open Studio type situation across the borough (Ealing that is)  for two September weekends (those of 9-11 and  16-18).

The people organising it are really together and have even got a pop up shop going (Open daily until 11th May 1;00 - 5:00 pm daily).

It's located at 16 Bond Street, W5 and there are postcards for sale as well as free sweets for the kids - it's worth a visit.

[Oh yes there's one of my photo's there too.]

Red 189

And the winner is a roll of red tape (that we all want to cut through)..

Across the barrier or at the end of the race

Monday, April 25, 2016

Hunter Davies and Memory along with Red 190


I don't always listen to Midweek (with Libby Purves) on Radio 4 but did catch some of the programme  last week and was drawn in by what Hunter Davies (plugging his new book The Co-Op's got bananas) said about his own memory.

Poor memory can seem a problem (if not a curse) for many - the moment in the exam hall where it all fades or seeing someone whose name eludes us but Hunter made what I thought an interesting point about how he 'chooses' (and recognises, too some extent  in himself this characteristic/trait) and it has served him well.

 Davies lost his wife of 55 years (the writer Margaret Forster)  earlier this year and seems stoic about this but what it was that got me thinking about memory in this context was the way he spoke of his own removal (at some level)  from his memory of her double mastectomy around forty years previous to her death - he said this was an example of his  'ability' to 'forget' and led him to a happy life - and perhaps this flexibility is something those of us who are relatively content share with Hunter.

Local environment change

Talking of memory I'm (almost) endlessly fascinated by the way we absorb change in our  lived environment - whether it's restaurants changing their names  or buildings that shoot up (almost overnight) I suppose even in earlier times man was surrounded by change - the seasons, trees blowing down  and so on.
Behind Coral's there used to be a massive cinema when I first moved to the area.

Social Change

Perhaps the way we survive and prosper after serious disasters (man made and 'natural') is again selective memory - how would Germany have moved on without distancing itself from the WWII atrocities.

Hand holders in public
How can society change it's colours in the way we've treated  various minorities without choosing to forget the poor behaviour and hypocrisy we're all guilty of? (remember/ or look-up  the campaigning of Simon Hughes against Peter Tatchell in Bermondsey for example ).

I was on the tube the other day and saw two women kissing (and in amore than friendly way) - this was just fine with me and other travellers but years ago would have caused massive tut-tutting.

The changes around more tolerant attitudes towards  race and sexuality seem a long distance to travel in a single lifetime but for many they came too late.

Red 190

Tulips in the garden, Tulips in the park
but the two lips I like best are two lips in the dark

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Kingston for shops and Red 191

Outside Bentall's centre
We're far from incessant shoppers for household goods and bits to put around the house but obviously every now and then things break down or need replacing.
Another guy on the fiddle

 Now if all things were equal we'd buy stuff on our doorstep - avoiding travelling and car parking charges but sadly Ealing no longer has departmental sores  or even a good selection of specialist shops (unless you want a cup of coffee).

As a result of these factors  we went yesterday to what is (for me) an acceptable shopping trip to Kingston a few miles away, spending around £400 which could have gone into businesses in our own locality.

One of those ubiquitous street statues - actually a good sign in some ways

Seems a shame and it's not just the shops that are better there - the place has an ambiance partly as a result of the geographical layout but also as a result of the general ambiance which most weekends includes a variety of street performers (and there are far fewer £1 shops, charity shops and empty units than in many areas of London).

Red 191

I've said it before and I'll probably say it again 'tools that are red can be easier to find' here's a household stapler (but outside the household).

To find it when needed is a bonus

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Martin Parr at London Guildhall and Red 192

Martin Parr - A  great eye
Just last week I went around a Martin Parr curated exhibition at The Barbican, for just £1.00 more when buying the ticket I was  given an extra ticket for his own exhibition at The Guildhall Art Gallery and what a treat that was.

A sea of flags at Guildhall Square

Not just a great exhibition of photographs by Martin but some marvelous paintings and a viewing of what was once a Roman .

Here are just some of the pictures Martin has in display as part of  'Unseen City' (some of my favourites)

Household Cavalry Boots (2014)

This one really reminds me of the Manet painting on show at The Courtauld gallery A Bar at the Folies-Bergère
Preparations for The Lord Mayor's Banquet (2013) 

Our head of state.

Here are a couple of the paintings - some great artists represented including Canaletto - this is Collage type thing by Sir Peter Blake .

A work very much in Peter Blake's style commemorates 800 years of the Lord Mayor's show.

Big and bold

It's a smashing and under visited facility in the very heart of Town.

The archaeological remains of the amphitheatre are shown sympathetically and evoke the arena that once was.

[and this exhibition is Free]
The excavations revealed Roman Splendour

Tiered seating  gave views of the action

Red 192

Another logo

A company name that became a name for the vacuum cleaner

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fleet Street, Prince and Red 193

For me taking my camera with me has become a habit and it helps me keep my eyes open -always looking for a picture.

It's some time since I've been in Fleet Street and having been to a Photographic exhibition (more about this and the venue it was at soon) - I noticed (why not before) the great Art Deco architecture of the Former Telegraph and Express buildings.

You can see the 'radical' style of the two Mercuries  apparently by Alfred Oakley below on Peterborough Court (which was home to the Daily Telegraph) and it's got a lovely clock too.

A detail in Peterborough Court
A smashing clock too

Former Express HQ - Still looks modern

Probably the jewel in Fleet Street's crown is though the former Express building something of a modernist masterpiece designed in 1932 by Ellis and Clark but still looking back up to date today.


Alongside my Records and CDs by the Beatles during and after their 'Beatle Years' on artist takes up a lot of shelf space.

I think the first Prince track I heard was on The US chart show that Paul Gambaccini  used to do on Radio 1 and I'd say it would have been in the 1980's and I think the track would have been Little Red Corvette (1983) .
It was a Sign O' The Times

The other thing about Prince is his legendary work as a live artist  -famed for doing Gigs in giant venues and following up (on the same night) with intimate prolonged Jam sessions in clubs.

We only saw the Purple One' once during his 'residency' at London's O2 but he played a blinder and was joined on stage by Sir Elton John for a cover of the Long and Winding road.

I have been trying to decide which was my favourite track or even album and it's is a difficult task but best track for me  is probably Sign O' the Times and album Around the world in a day (oh yes Thieves in the Temple's great too), then there's his work with others like the super single by  Sheila E' - Belle of St Mark.

The number of people we're losing in 2016 feels hard to comprehend (see Radio 4's analysis on Tim Harford's show here ) - I'm not sure who'll look after Prince's estate but the good news (if there's any) is from what we already know there's a vault full of stuff to release.

Reds 193

it's not all about printed signs here's another naturally occurring Red on the allotment

Another Red that could be defined as a pinky one

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Auras at 191 Uxbridge Road and Red 194

A picture's worth a 1,000 words
Saw this sign at a shop located at 191 Uxbridge Road (Mind, Body & Spirit) . West Ealing and my immediate reaction was Nonsense  (or as Prince  might say B**cks) -

Now having had a bit more  of a look it seems that there is some 'Scientific' basis for the idea of an Aura image  named after the man who pioneered it Kirlian Photography  (or this if you're more sceptical)- what good it actually does is perhaps more questionable - let me know if you've investigated or benefited.

Heathrow airport and Financial Services for London

And does the finance sector need a haircut too?
As the Zac versus Sadiq battle hots up - it's becoming clearer that London will be the area worst hit economically by 'Brexit' in this context I'm severely confused by the Goldsmith stance, Zac  backs UK leaving the EU.

If Goldsmith wants to do the best for Londoners suggest he goes and has a serious think about what Brexit will mean for the Financial Services Industry (and Tourism for that matter)  the big earners for the London economy as a whole would do better for being in the EU - I suppose the plus for his particular passion is that extra airport capacity would probably not be needed.

I fear that like Boris Zac is not concerned with working through the consequences of his knee jerk  instincts and does not have the courage to admit he got it wrong.

Red 194

A Red 'Logo' on Glass at the HQ in London

You don't have to be in the army to fight in the war

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Work on London Grill (Northfields) continues and Red 195

Yesterday evening walking past the site I snapped the picture below.

The oddly neglected premises have been such a  mystery over the years my emotions were mixed on the soon to be  rehabilitation of the old Grill Bar on Ealing's Northfield Avenue

  So the work on the former London Grill is now in full swing

DCMS reappears once again as The Ministry of Fun

I suppose it might seem a touch 'old fashioned'  but when we look at our leaders, in the various ways their lives impinge on us, we do have as a sort of reflex action a desire to measure them on how they live up to their own stated aims.

While the recent revelations around the church leader Justin Welby have done him credit those around the current Culture Secretary of the UK government  John Whittingdale  have done him little but harm, fair to say that his private life is his private life but it appears there are questions about his judgement and the way he has conducted his professional life as an MP.

The primary concern for me is the level of honesty and competence he is showing in his role in reviewing the BBC, I would say it's fair that he's brought with him to his job quite a bit of baggage and this is perhaps colouring his analysis and leadership of this department - worse than his shenanigans is the misleading on the BBC review as reported by the Radio Times (not generally an overly political organ).

I'm not clear if the Prime-minister's complete backing is the usual reflex action but in light of the tensions between Pro EU (like the PM) and anti- EU (like John Whittingdale MP - who has some support from his constituents) I wonder if there's a thinly suppressed delight in his discomfiture.

Musing on this I suppose Whittingdale does not have too much to live up to in Cabinet, a PM who employs Andy Coulson and avoids disclosure of his financial position until the press pressure becomes overwhelming is only one example of the crowd he's sadly got himself associated with.

Red 195

Looking like a message from outer space what better wavelength for the aliens?

A sign from another planet

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Planting potatoes by the score and Red 196

Part of the score.
Earlier on this week I was listening to Roxy Music's first and eponymously titled  LP my goodness it's great and I think would have sounded far out in 1972.

Wellone of the songs has lyrics that say 'planting potatoes by the score'  and that's what I was dong yesterday - Maris Pipers to be precise - not the most usual pop lyric is it?

{here's the song - live version}

Rhubarb to be picked soon?

Very pleasing to see the rhubarb doing so well to reminding me of the old joke - conversation between two country folk -
one remarks Rhubarb looks good
The grower replies:

I put  Horse manure on it.
The first person again:

I prefer custard with mine 
(boom boom)

Red 196

Red as a danger sign? I don't mean to worry you but that  £5.00 one might not be that great ..

It's a financial term too

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hampshire and Red 197

Don't get out of London all that much but trips to other UK towns reminds you that life is quite different away from major cities.
Woodfire  former garage  has an eclectic menu

We went to see Nick (my brother) in Andover and had a nice lunch out in nearby historic  Stockbridge - a smallish place that has so many places to eat, it was a big reminder of how much choice we enjoy these days.

Equally it did feel as though many of the people were of a senior variety and not the wealth generators those leading the country talk about.

A non injunction photo of a non celebrity three

Even out in the countryside these days we are able to lead quite a cosmopolitan life.

I don't know how the economy of the towns and cities around London (60 miles or so) keeps afloat but there does seem to be quite a bit of money in circulation and in many ways those out there are able to have a better quality of life - having said that the people who live out there as opposed to folks in the big cities do need a car to be able to participate in what's on offer out there.

A cracking DVD

We watched the Vivian Mayer documentary (finding Vivian ..) at the weekend, it perhaps unsurprisingly was incredibly sad but also a great mystery film and a chance to see glimpses of an America that's long gone.

Red 197

A former café in Ealing that was big on red

Maggie's - It went the way of red but is no more

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Photo's at the Barbican and Red 198

Last week at the Martin Parr curated photographic exhibition 'Strange and Familiar' - he's a big figure in taking pictures and his selection of Photo's of the UK by 'foreigners' is stimulating and wide ranging...

A smashing venue
2 for 1 (almost)

I don't often go to the Barbican but it's a smashing location - felt slightly decadent and privileged to spend time there.

The exhibition was across two floors and there were a lot of pictures which justified the cost (£12 or £13 if you take the option of a ticket to see Parr's own exhibition at London's Guildhall).

I looked at the pictures with a companion which perhaps makes the experience more worthwhile in that there's an ongoing discussion - also surprised (perhaps shouldn't be) to see someone from The Design Museum also visiting.
A nice Barbican café too

Too many notable photographers with  so many interpretations of the UK from these non-native photographers to mention them all - but here's a couple of pointers -  - Hans Eijkelboom  who took a series of pictures in Birmingham's Bullring springs to mind , also very good were some extreme  close-ups by the US picture taker Bruce Gilden

Of course it was possible to make reference to Henri Cartier-Bresson, a key figure in photography  who as a non UK picture grabber was also included as one of the photographers selected by Parr.

Red 198

And talking of photographs ..

A pair -discarded