February 2013

  / March 6, 2013


[Rebirth: Mariko Mori, standing stones]

[Rebirth: Mariko Mori, with curator Kathleen Soriano]

[Rebirth: Mariko Mori, with anciant Japanese vessel and stones]

[Rebirth: Mariko Mori, wall mounted images]

The Artist Mariko Mori had a great show at the Burlington Gardens galleries in the R.A. Her show was entitled ‘Rebirth’ and links ancient standing stones and pre-historic Japanese artifacts with very new technologies following nano particles in space.

The first exhibit in the show lights up according to what information is being received by laboratories in Tokyo.



[Rebirth Talk]

The Contemporary Circle at the R.A. held a salon-style Balcony Supper, to discuss the themes of Rebirth. Curator Kathleen Soriano gave a very interesting talk about the nature of beauty, British museum curator, Nicole Coolidge-Roumaniere, spoke on the ancient ceramics that inspired Mariko Mori while Dr. Rachel Armstrong spoke about science behind the art in the exhibition.

In addition to the lectures many of us brought in pictures, pros or poetry inspired by the exhibition to discuss. It was a very lively evening that really did get us thinking about Rebirth and Beauty.



[The Influence Machine]

[The Influence Machine]

[St Paul’s Cathedral and the London skyline by Night]

This year ArtAngel have donated some important works they’ve commissioned to the Tate. One such work we saw on the Thames embankment outside Tate Modern; the gallery held an evening event comprised of videos by US artist Tony Oursler called ‘The Influence Machine’. In the show disembodied voices floated through the air while images were shown projected onto the architecture and trees. The overall effect was really stunning, but it was so cold that we eventually all had to go and hide inside.



[Paddy as an Angel]

Whilst inside the Tate café my friend Paddy struck an angelic pose under one of the lights, which formed a perfect halo above his head. Very angelic. A few days later, and seemingly in demonic response to the recent appearance of angels, a massive sinkhole opened up in the road outside our house. Due to the rarity of such an event we were stunned, as were the guys who came to fix it, however eventually they managed to find a solution and the hole is now once again filled in.

[The Sinkhole]




The celebrated performance collective Dreamthinkspeak have taken over a wing of Somerset House until the end of March with their show ‘In the Beginning was the End’. As we were requested not to reveal anything about the performance itself I can tell you instead that the event is a peculiar mixture of art instillation and performance and multimedia rivaled only in scale and ambition by the early works of Punchdrunk Theatricals or Secret Cinema. If you enjoy immersive theatre then this is certainly not one to miss as it is highly innovative and well thought through. There are still tickets available for the end of the run if you’re interested.



[Mezcal -Day of the Dead]

Not really – we were actually having our annual Xmas dinner (only 2 months late) with some of the many past employees of English Eccentrics whom we love dearly. The resturant we are eating in is Mezcal in Dalston which is decorated in a bold Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’ style.

[Mezcal Dinner]

[Mezcal Dinner]



[White Shoes]

Meanwhile work continues on our Japan Living Quarters project. These white shoes, donated by generous friends, will eventually form a sculpture about purity – a major topic in this body of work.



[Westdene desk]

[Helen’s Japanese style ink paintings with tutor Takumasa Ono]

I used to eschew all art and craft programs outside the academically recognized ones, till I heard Grayson Perry on the radio saying how he’d learnt his art at art school, but his pottery craft at an adult education place.

As such Colin and I went to Westdene College for a full on Japanese craft weekend with our friends Michelle and David.

The tidy desk is mine! Using only black ink from pine wood soot, which had been glued together into an ink stick, we made a series of paintings following instructions from our Japanese teacher. Next day we wet-mounted them onto card, as the bamboo paper we used is really flimsy. Then we carved sandstone seals to complete the course.

The house where the courses take place was originally owned by the eccentric poet Edward James. Born of an American railroad magnate he was a very wealthy man who, among other artists, financed the early careers of Dali and Magritte. As such he is often the model for many early Dali and Magritte paintings; including Magritte’s well-known ‘Not To Be Reproduced’.