Sunday, 28 October 2012


I am posting after ages of keeping quiet. This is just to publicise an exhibition of art by members of a group called STRAY that I show with.We are at ARTCELL, a gallery space at the Cancer Research Centre of Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge UK . Opening  on November 24th 6 - 8 pm .
These are the paintings I am showing.  They are titled 'Swimmer' 1, 2 ,3, 4,

Thursday, 15 January 2009

As a postcript to the last post I need to report that we received an invitation from The Arnolfini gallery in Bristol to the private view of an exhibition related to the Fluxus instructions we had followed by going to Paris, given in what we know realise was an artist's book' Meeting 13. Fluxus was or is a group associated with Yoko Ono and George Macunius. Some of our photos of the paris event were shown and the instruction for the evening was to make a Tequila Slammer which was enjoyed by all. Quite fun and made up for the anti-climax of Paris. 

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Jonathan Monk and Eiffel Tower October 13th-

Last Monday we went to the Eiffel Tower at midday. Nothing special about that except that this appointment had been on our calendar for over two years.We happened to see some envelopes in the bookshop at Tate Modern some time in 2006. The envelope (which was £1 by the way)  said "Jonathan Monk" and inside were the words  "13 octobre 2008  Tour Eiffel  Midi" .We assumed it was a conceptual artist with quite a good idea.We have all made promises like that at some time and forgotten about them and it would be good to see who bothered to turn up and why.It appealed to our imagination.
So on Monday we two were there Jonathan.
Just before midday a few people holding envelopes spotted each other and we made a group which was probably about forty people.We waited for you to appear, perhaps with some bottles of champagne for our efforts or some clever happening to reward our patience. A couple of people who knew you, we assume, as they had a larger poster,appeared .That was just as well as they were able to explain to the police why we were not organising an attack on the Tour Eiffel.Eventually I think we were just marked down as weirdos with nothing better to do than wait for someone who had not turned up having paid £1 and waited, in one person's case 10 years!  It seems the envelopes have been around in galleries in Europe all that time. 
So what did we do? Take photos obviously, in groups and from odd angles. Someone recorded some video and a book was passed round for email addresses.We assume that you were watching somewhere and intend to do something with whatever you recorded since you are supposed to be an artist. If you were there you will know all this of course and most people who turned up seemed to take this non-event with good humour.I feel though that some people had invested more than others ; we were combining the visit with seeing friends, like others we spoke to, but what about the French woman who must have faithfully transferred this date to her new calendar for ten years.If nothing else she would feel foolish and in some way used.
I see no humour in this outcome even though most people might have laughed and shrugged their shoulders. But it went beyond 'playful' ; it felt as though we were being  treated as lab rats to see what we would do and no artist should be allowed to indulge their ego like that. Maybe it was meant to be a sort of waiting for Godot situation and it could be intellectualised in many ways but I think you owe us Jonathan - even if it is only our money back. 

PS. Perhaps the trouble is you went to Leicester Polytechnic Art School -  like we did  a long time ago. Is the picture above of you, I got it off a website?    

Monday, 28 July 2008

Just celebrating(? )having been married for 50 years. No bed of roses is one way of putting it but there have been good moments and  it was a sunny day in Brighton with loads of people who are related in various ways turning up so it was all jolly ,or mostly anyway and we got a good group photo of everyone standing on the grass in front of the Pavillion in the bit you are not meant to walk on.
It only seems like last year that my parents had their Golden wedding and I remember how depressing it was as an occasion so I hope ours was not like that, at least nobody made speeches about undying love which was just as well.  .We are having a friends' party soon now that the family thing is done and it will probably be just the usual sort of orgy that we seventy -year olds get up to when the kids are not around.Kids being in their thirties and forties of course and not realising how age creeps up behind you and suddenly your're sixty or worse. I should be being more upbeat and saying that getting old is great, except that for a lot of people it isn't.We are really lucky and are able to patch up the bits that go wrong/fall out/seize up/drop off  so far. I reckon on having another 20 years - saying that probably will tempt fate into sending something nasty next week -and I forget my age most of the time except when I see this oldish lady in the mirror.Notice 'oldish' I think of mid-eighties as old and it's no good trying to fool anyone you are not old then ,or so  I imagine. Great to prove it wrong though. 

Saturday, 7 July 2007

granny's grumble

Just been to Croatia - Hvar island -and it was amazing. We stayed in Hvar town. All the local people were nice and seemed actually pleased that we were there which probably means that the worst of Britain has not yet been there yet.We took a Time Out guide book that managed to mention that Blanch house hotel of Brighton will open there in 2008 but had nothing on Trogir which is a Unesco heritage town just outside Split obviously well known for its stunning architecture by the rest of Europe.Nothing against Blanch house which is a nice place but it is not even open yet.If you need a guide book ,buy one written by someone who knows something about stuff other than cool clubs and hotels.
We went to Trogir on the way home. The hotel rules included 'do not break up furniture' or 'make very loud noise at night' so I suppose a stag night or two have been there.
The portal of the cathedral is by a C13 sculptor that I had not heard of before called Radovan. We get Italian Renaissance thrown at us all the time in this country but there are people like Radovan out there who are equally amazing .It all goes to show either how ignorant I am or how ethnocentric our approach to art is in this country .
I always come home feeling how filthy this place is ( I include our house in this ), how do they manage in Hvar with no litter bins but no litter? No fast food maybe but mainly there isn't the slob culture of dropping rubbish.Probably the bin men come more than once a fortnight too.

Thursday, 7 June 2007


Private view. An exhibition of prints in a South London print gallery.We spent two days getting the stuff there and putting it up and it looks OK. There are so many images around to put on the wall now so why should anyone choose one of these? I will put one in my blog anyway.

Went to the private view of the Jerwood jewelery prize .Someone had made a necklace of thistledown and another from the outer edges of the 'silver pennies' of honesty seedpods with the seeds suspended amonst them . Amazing that people are sitting in little rooms making stuff like this and writing poems and stories still .It should hopeful but I am feeling a bit end of the worldish today so its not.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Oh to be in England

Back from teaching art course.Idyllic country house setting :bluebells, blossom ,birdsong ,walled garden with rows of seedlings and grass greener than green in the spring sunshine .It was the definitive England in Spring.Really over the top this year, in an alarming way ,if it was not so enjoyable.
The place is described as being a venue for multi-faith retreats and there were slight signs of religion like very rough towels and punctuality for meals requested but nothing too much.You would not go for the night life as News at Ten is as good as it gets . The writing group was bigger than the art .Maybe more people want to try writing than making art and it was advertised mainly in literary magazines.Most people were not in anyway beginners and were a bright ,interesting group . The standard was high.
K ,who went to carry my stuff really,actually enjoyed it and organised one of the evening sessions where we combined writers and artists .They met in a converted dovecote and he made some paper doves to fit in the blocked up holes in the wall.Each dove had a different translation of a Rilke poem from Sonnets of Orpheus which mentions 'doves falling down' written inside . One was in the original German. People chose them and read them aloud.This little mini installation sparked off a good discussion on the impossibilities of translation.
Really strange how once you become aware of something it pops up everywhere.One of the writers was South African and knew William Kentridge's work well. She said that the national museums there can't afford to buy his work anymore , which is ironic as the subject of his work could be said to be the new South Africa. Global capitalism swallowing all in its path.