About Me

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Bad News

The news has been bad: ninety-odd people killed by a right wing lunatic in Norway and the death of Amy Winehouse. My friend Pat also died this week. She had decided to stop the treatment and passed away at 3.00pm on Monday. It's left me a bit blank. Grasp your life and live it to the full, people say when their friends die; today could be your last. But I don't feel like that. I want to wrap my self in a light protective blanket and think. Not sure about what, just wherever the train of thoughts and emotions takes me. But I have stuff to do. I have to call in work and fill in a form, buy a birthday card and a find a card for Pat's family. Hopefully not a standard commercial sympathy card with 'Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time' and a watercolour image of light shining through an open window. I'll look for a blank one with an image Pat might have liked. Then take some shopping round to my mum's house.

Ordinary things.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Spoonfuls of Art and History

I once heard, or more probably read, a metaphor that described life as being measured out in teaspoons. Perhaps a person's life that can be measured so is to be pitied. Even so, my own life sometimes seems as though it's being measured out or at least divided into chunks. Chunks made up of terms and holidays. The summer break being a time to relax, unwind, play a bit.

So far, I have been to London with a good friend, who sweetened my tea with spoonfuls of art and creative thinking. First off, we went to see an open studio exhibition of abstract work on hand made paper in the home of Irma Irsara in Finsbury Park. It was wonderful to see work so full of rich vibrant colour.Irma doesn't just work in this medium but also creates in other mediums, such as stained glass installations. There was something very beautiful and joyful about Irma's work, that I haven't seen much of for a while. Edgy art is fine but sometimes it's great to be engulfed in something more life affirming. My friend, a creative embroiderer, who also makes hand made paper, was in her seventh heaven and has hopefully made a significant creative contact.

We also visited Dennis Severs' House in Spitalfields. Dennis created an amazing impression of the C18th and C19th in the house where he lived. He died far too young at 51 but his historical recreation (or should that be installation?) was taken over by the Spitalfields' trust. It is open to the public at rather odd times: Mondays after the first and third Sundays of the month and occasional Fridays, which seemed in keeping with the slightly eccentric feel of the place. Fortunately, we were in London at the right time to visit and were welcomed in by a rather imperious, dark haired gentleman with a 'Shush!' - one must not speak or it may ruin the experience - and took a tour through time. It was, as the Georgians might have said, 'A most excellent experience.'

Irma Irsara

Dennis Severs House

There's a You Tube link to a BBC 4 documentary at:

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Never Let me Go

Earlier this week, I cried, if not buckets, than enough to fill half a tea cup watching the film adaptation of Kazuo Isiguro's 'Never Let me Go'. A unique vision of dystopia in which resignation takes on a heroic status in a universe where love cannot conquer the inevitable but makes what ever kind of life there is to live endurable. It also spoke, indirectly but powerfully, of the malevolent tendency of the privileged to exploit those they believe to be somehow less than themselves. It wasn't as good as the book and missed out one small but important segment but it was an excellent adaptation all the same.