August 2012

  / August 20, 2012

I’m cringing with embarrassment at some of the aesthetics of the London Olympics, especially the messy logo and the horrible one-eyed cuddly creatures. [Yes I know I’m not exactly their Target audience].

However gold medals go to Danny Boyle for his opening ceremony, which managed to tell the quirky and complex story of Great Britain, and to Thomas Heatherwick, whose fantastic design for the cauldron was such a show-stopper. Go and see more of his brilliant and distinctive work at the V and A, Heatherwick studio, Designing the Extraordinary on till 30th September.



I am sorry to hear that HRH Prince Philip is unwell again. He is an extremely witty and charming man, we met him during a reception for the British Heart Foundation, of which he is chief patron.



Colin and I had a contemporary art boost this week where we visited the shows of two older artists both of whom made enormous impacts on current artists’ ideas. The first is Yoko Ono at the Serpentine Gallery. Having lived in Japan really helped us to understand some of the ideas in Ono’s work. Her minimalistic and deceptively simple concepts are clearly rooted in Zen Buddhist teachings. For example her all white chess set, which completely removes the adversarial context of two warring sides. Her anti-war piece of 3 identical piles of earth, labeled country A, country B and country C, resemble the conical piles of sand we saw at Kamigamo shrine in Kyoto. We also posed for her #smilesfilm project where she wants to photograph everyone in the world, smiling.



The second artist is Bruce Lacey at the Camden Arts Centre. Lacey is an influential performance artist and makes fantastical Dada-ist sculptures from found objects. He has never played the gallery game and continues to be on the fringes of the art establishment, but his influence can be seen in the work of more market-savvy artists, especially Damien Hirst. Co-incidentally, we were also photographed here for a little film by artist Simon Raven, of people going “SSHHHH……..”



After all that art we needed some good food so we took ourselves off for lunch at the River café, where Japanese food ideas are echoed in the philosophy that freshness and seasonality provide the key.