Thursday, 26 September 2013

Amsterdam. Or, My Last European Adventure For A While.

So my last European jaunt c.2008-2013 is officially done. And it was delightful.

Gem and I started talking about a weekend away months ago, when her UK trip was first mooted and credit to us both for actually booking the fucking thing and not just talking about it as something we should totally do.

I’m not sure how we decided upon Amsterdam but I was happy to go, never having been before, and happy to look past the weed and porn clichés in the hope of experiencing something memorable for all the right kinds of reasons.

Friday, 20 September 2013

The problem with Australia

So I went to the press preview for 'Australia' at the Royal Academy on Tuesday. I'm writing a review for Artlink and for a couple of weeks now I've been worried my instincts (that it would be disappointing, conservative, terrible... that my snobbery and cultural bias would cloud my objectivity...) would get in the way of me looking at the show with an open mind.

And so I tried. And failed. Because it really isn't great. Does it warrant the casual racism and vitriol dressed as criticism it's receiving in the British press? Well, no.  But it's not great. It's not even very good. I'm going to need to leave my thoughts to marinate for a while yet in the hope that something by way of coherent argument emerges. Because right now it's just an exasperated mash of frustrations.

I can't believe this is the same institution that hosted the seminal Sensation back in 1997. I mean, where's all that curatorial chutzpah gone?

What a missed opportunity. National Gallery of Australia, I'm blaming you too.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Art, liquor, laughs and boxes of tears.

It's been a big week. Some art. Some liquor. Some laughs. Some boxes. Some tears.

Basically in that order.

On Thursday we organised an art tour for a crowd of 16 to 25 year olds to visit the new Artangel Commission near Goodge St. I have a bit of a professional crush on Artangel and the work they do, which is ostensibly commissioning contemporary artists to make site-specific works in non-traditional art spaces. The Roger Hiorns I dragged Lovely Boy to see a few years ago was one of theirs, as is the tug boat currently parked atop the Royal Festival Hall on Southbank.

Image courtesy: Southbank Centre

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Something to sing about

Oh I’ve had a lovely weekend.

Visits from best friends from home are just the tonic to my life gin. It means to be pajamed until 2.30pm, talking and laughing and drinking tea. It means desperately absorbing the ease and familiarity, wit and delight of a dear friend, like sunshine on an increasingly autumnal day, so enormously grateful in the knowledge that you can live on the other side of the world for five years and still pick up like it was yesterday.

It’s been a lovely, lovely weekend.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

I totes have a problem

I had the chance to go to Margate yesterday. We took a group of young people from work for an away day and so I was pretty happy with myself - killing two birds with one stone - what with a new work opportunity and a trip to Turner Contemporary. Win. Win.

Margate has piqued my curiosity for a while now – it’s Tracey Emin’s hometown and despite recently being named one of the most deprived seaside towns in the UK, is home to a major contemporary arts museum that recently welcomed it’s millionth visitor since opening in 2011. It also has an old town that’s becoming increasingly well known for its vintage and antique furniture shops. You can see the appeal, no?

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Ode to Berlin

So, Berlin.

Berlin was, well, it was wonderful. I love Berlin. I love its history, its architecture, its graffiti doused scrappiness, its people, its wide streets, its bars, its flea markets, its café culture, its energy, its bike friendliness, its green spaces, its ease and in the summer, its beguiling weather. All of it and so much more I just love.

In case you haven’t gleaned, my affair with Berlin is not a recent thing. Really, it goes all the way back to 2006 when it changed my life.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Golden Thistles and golden weekends

The sunset out of Maidenhead. 
So last week was all panic and post-it notes and well, a bout or two of overwrought, overwhelmed tears (one of which may or may not have been at work….) But this weekend just gone has been the loveliest – an abrupt and necessary circuit breaker – and the chance for some perspective on these next seven weeks, which seem to be tripping over themselves in the hurry to be over and done with.