Sunday, December 26, 2010

South Bank, the London Eye and Big Ben

The South Bank and London Eye have been lit up with lights and a traditional market for the festive season. I was walking round before Christmas enjoying the festive atmosphere of the market. Walking along the river front towards the London Eye the Houses of Parliament were lit up and reflections glowing in the river Thames.

It seemed a popular spot for people taking photos of each other with Big Ben in the background. I was impressed by peoples moving out of each others way to allow the tourist shot. I took some of my own when a break appeared in the clouds to let some of the moon's light filter through.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Seasonal Photos around London

I've been taking photos of the Christmas lights and decorations, ice rinks, markets and shop fronts on my visits around town.

I always feel a bit excited when the streets are lit up, what ever the occasion. I didn't manage any fireworks this year so the Christmas lights are making up for that. Bit disappointed with the lights at Covent Garden this year, though the kissing tree is a bit of a novelty.

The Market on the Southbank is bigger this year and the Chocolate Festival was on when I went and seeming very popular.

One of the stalls had some amazing chocolate objects including shoes,gloves, Reindeer heads and potted flowers.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Yangtze The Long River Nadav Kander at Flowers

By chance picking up my photographs from Print Space in Kingsland road ( who are worth looking at if you need photographic printing, link here. )

I spotted this exhibition in Flowers Gallery which is just a few door up.

Really evocative photographs by Nadav Kander of views along the Yangtze river in China. Almost painful some of them, the contrast between the rapid industrialization and the remnants of more traditional ways of life. The sheer scale of some of the bridges and industrial areas is incredible and here Nadav Kander shows that human activity stills carries on alongside such places, washing hanging on makeshift lines, and swimmers amongst the pollution.

Definitely worth going to see. Flowers website here more about Nadav Kander here

Lord Mayor;s Show and David Hockney in Paris

I was off taking photos of the Lord Mayor's Show on Saturday, continuing with my documenting of the traditions in London. I hadn't been to the show before (quite often because the weather was bad and/or it's the season for colds and virus.)

I was surprised to find that it was such an old tradition, apparently it was the 795th show, which is quite incredible and there was at least one man dressed as a Knight representing the Knights of the Knightengild who were given land for loyalty to King Edgar in the 10th century. They protected London training in East Spitalfield. Knightengild is now the ward of Portsoken link to the history here

I was also surprised to see how many modern Livery Companies were part of the parade. I hadn't quite realised that modern businesses would like the idea of being part of a pageant, but I suppose tradition is a powerful thing.

I enjoyed being around before the start of the procession and at the end as people returned to the Cheapside area. The Lord Mayor's gold coach is amazing, it was a bit difficult to get a good photo as it came past though.

Spotted a news item about a new David Hockney Exhibition in Paris. Called Fresh Flowers it is Hockney using new mobile phone technology to make drawings and send them through to the gallery. I have always loved Hockney's response to new technology how he has embraced it and really enjoyed finding new ways to express himself.
Link to the gallery here

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Autumn Patchwork New work at the Hornbeam

I've put up a collection of photographs in the Hornbeam environmental centre and cafe, they are part of my Four Seasons theme where I hope to follow the Autumn season with the other 3 later as they happen in nature.
The first part is called Autumn patchwork and is a collection of 8 photographs, punched with eyelets and tied together with raffia. These include the brilliant red of Acer leaves and gold of Lime trees, pumpkins, apples and toadstools.

The second part is a series of 5 photographs celebrating customs around autumn and include the conker championship on Hampstead Heath and the October Plenty Festival. I had these photographs printed by Print Space in Kingsland road on Kodak Metallic paper and really love the results. They have gone upstairs in the Hornbeam in their chill out room. Hornbeam's website opening hours etc. here

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Hermetickal Exhibition Katherine Tulloh

I spotted an exhibition in Art Licks list Their link here if you want to hear about art openings in London.

The exhibition was Hermetickals by Katherine Tulloh her website here. and was in Transition Gallery gallery website here.
It was Katherine's interest in Swedenborg, his alchemical work and his dream diaries that drew me to her work.. On display a series of vibrant watercolours, which included, moons and suns, figures, symbolic animals and forms and the body. A large drawing in red of the human capillary system was drawn on the walls and was included in a number of the paintings.

Interestingly the paintings were displayed as torn out sketchbook pages and unframed. There was also a film with layers of paintings and a soundtrack that included excepts from Swedenborg's writings, which was quite hypnotic in parts and worked well with the dream like imagery.

Transition Gallery also produced a small book of Katherine's work and had other artists books for sale. It was good to find another small gallery in the east end.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October Plenty Harvest Festival,The Lions Part

I went to see the October Plenty Festival at the weekend. The Lions Part a group of performers were running this Harvest Festival event an Bankside, Shakespeare's Globe and Borough Market.

There was a great Berry or Green Man, Corne Queene and other costumed performers including a Hobby Horse and a wagon of harvest plenty.In the Globe they put on a play, The Tempests Masque which was good fun and then there was a procession which I followed to Borough Market.

The market were celebrating Apple Day and it was interesting to see all the stalls, the Lions Part also performed another play and lead games and activities.Good to see some traditions being kept alive in London.

I was taking photographs for my exhibition on traditions and seasons, which will be up in the Hornbeam in a few weeks time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Frieze Art Fair.

I finally got to Frieze this year. I had been meaning to go for some years and hadn't managed it. Frieze seems to get a lot of hype and I suppose is the main International contemporary art fair here in London.

Perhaps because I had expectations of it, I was a bit disappointed in the actual show. There were some good international galleries showing work that I found a bit different, but lots of work seemed pretty average really.I did like the commissioned project for charity collecting boxes though and the Berlin gallery folk inspired art work. The beautiful paintings with wax surfaces, deer, leaves and gold by Nana Funo caught my imagination and Ricardo Roggan's photographs of pine trees and wooded landscapes.

David Shrigley's cartoon style work had a whole space and he was on the stand doing hand drawn tattoos for visitors when I was there.

British Customs on Hampstead Heath

In my quest to find remaining British traditions I have been out about when the weather was fine and one trip was out to Hampstead Heath for the Conker championships, welly wanging and morris dancing.

The morris dancers were from Cecil Sharpe House, somewhere I still need to visit, and they had traditional costume including the hankies. Interestingly I did hear a few comments from people about how ridiculous they were. One Mom telling her children that in very negative way. What is it about the Morris that brings up such ridicule? is it just the hankies? Have we lost some of the actual power and real meaning of the dances? It will be interesting to find out more.

The conker championship had a lot of contestants, and it was one of the morris dancers who was last years champion and also won this year.

The welly wanging competition also saw some serious competition, actually it was all good fun there with stalls and info about the heath and other places nearby.

I took photos, noticing the long shadows as we're moving into that low Autumn sun now. The trees are only just getting their Autumn colours though. It will be good to get to the parks when they are really colourful.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Street Photography project

I have joined in with a new Street Photography project is a collaboration by The Photographers Gallery and Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren who have written the recent Street Photography now book.

The project started on Oct 1st and instructions are posted online each week by leading photographers to inspire participants in their image of the week. Any one can join in at any time and 1 photo can be uploaded to their Flickr group.Flickr group here
My 2 responses to the 2 weeks instructions, " If you can smell the street by looking at the photo, then it's a street photo" Bruce Gilden, and "Turn your attention to the four legged population" Ying Tang.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Flux in Space exhibition.

I entered a quirky exhibition a little while ago called Flux in Space, link to exhibition page here

I liked the idea that the exhibition would be part of the space mission." 127 artists from 26 nations created an original postcard sized work of art in various media interpreting the themes of Space Exploration & the Arts, the Shuttle Program, Outer Space, Rockets, Astronauts, Astronomy, etc. In addition, they submited a portrait photograph of the artist with their artwork - which had bee n uploaded by the artists to NASA and then transferred to the Space Shuttles

."My work was about myself and my sisters watching the moon landing mission on our old black and white TV, with words associated with space.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Prince Charles" Garden Party to Make a Difference"

I had seen the event at Clarence House advertised for a few days before deciding to go on a day when there was to be an ethical fashion show at St James Palace (on the same site).

I hadn't been there before and didn't know that Clarence House, Marlborough House, Lancaster House and St James's palace were all on the same site, just across from Buckingham Palace. Actually I have never been to the openings of Buckingham Palace and only went to look at the Palace on a trip when I was about 12 years old.

It was the ecological theme that drew me to "The Garden Party to Make a Difference." Though I was curious when I went there to see Prince Charles vegetable patch and gardens. Actually there were some inventive containers for the fruit and veg.

There were marquees and displays set up across the gardens and all along various walkways and quite a few people looking around. I don't know if it will make a difference, but maybe it will to a few people.

The fashion show had a celebrity front row, not that I am good at spotting celebrities either!
But I did recognise Boris Johnson.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Higate Village and David Hollington

I picked up my photograph from Lauderdale House and found a really great exhibition of work there by David Hollington. His site here. I was intrigued by the mixture of Hindu and Christian/British symbolism and landscape and drawn to the delightful energy and expressions of the animals and birds in the painting.

It's always great to find another artist tackling the subjects of spirituality, myth and symbolism and combining traditions or cultures. I wanted to find out who he was and what had lead to these paintings. On David's site there is a good description of how his passion for Indian and Hindu art, culture and religion developed and I thought the quality he mentioned of devotion, is something that is conveyed in the work

While I was there I walked up into Highgate village and took some photographs. The only problem being the constant traffic, I could see how lovely a place it must have been without all the cars and vans constantly driving through.

There was an artist working in bright colours with his easel set up on the pavement, outside a traditional tea room. Only one or two people spared a glance his way. Maybe he was a common sight there.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

E17 Art Trail, Art Grows On Trees.

I managed to have a look at a few more exhibitions last week, as part of the Art trail as well as putting up some more free art for Art Grows on Trees.

Dean had made some more of his great apples and bananas for the trees, and Alban had brought more of his fridge magnets for the trees and around the Trail.

Dean had some more of his work at the Vestry House Museum, Sculptures and drawings including a great piece Bogstack Blocks. Dean's site here

Alban was also showing Magnetic Walthamstow, featuring some of his drawings of Walthamstow, on fridge magnets.Alban's site hereAlso at Vestry House were New paintings by Andrea Humphries, bright still life paintings, and Scenes from The High Street:E17 by Joan Gibbins. I liked her screen prints of the fruit boxes from the market.

Raewyn Harrison was showing some of her architectural ceramics, themes included the Victoria and Albert Museum. With the peeling textured glazes and printed images the pieces were both mysterious and quirky. Reawyn's site here

Deloitte Ignite at the Royal Opera House.

I'm just catching up with some of the photographs I've been taking over the last couple of weeks, there seems to have been a lot on this time of year, including the Deloitte Ignite festival at the Royal Opera House. I was drawn to Ignite by the Forest theme, curated by Joanna macGregor and Marina Warner's introductions to a number of short films.
I did find the Opera House, which I hadn't been to before, a bit of a nightmare to navigate, a bit like a smaller version of the Barbican. I did enjoy the amazing costumes on display in the Faded Forest by Richard Williams, David Collis and Janey Gardiner. They used discarded opera costumes, animals, mannequins and a sound track from the Amazonian forest , in the Crush Bar.

Downstairs in the Pit Kathy Hinde had created an installation of One Thousand Birds, origami birds and projections, which was part of a misty forest of tree trunks.

Mark Simmonds had created Fall Forest, which included an installation of colourful balls, that adults and children alike were playing with.

The Floating Forest in the Paul Hamlyn Hall was a series of suspended tree trunks that seemed a little sad to me. On the stage I was lucky enough to watch a couple of performances by Royal Ballet dancers. It was great to be right by the side of the stage, somewhere you'd normally not be in regular performances.

I got to watch Joan Ashworth's How Mermaids Breed, which was funny and engaging, and The Mushroom Thief, which told of the move from childhood to adulthood. It was good to hear about the films from Joan Ashworth herself, interviewed by Marina Warner, and Marina Warner's own response to the films. Joan's site here