Ich bin ein Muslimer

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Whenever I read about Barack Obama's pledge to speak in the capital city of a Muslim nation, I always hope to read "Ich bin ein Muslimer". I rather hope he says it, as it's pun-tastic.

Sketching out

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I went to see a student Work-in-Progress show today at the Royal College of Art. I loved it, seeing the many ways the students research and develop their work.

The exhibition featured fashion, textiles, metalwork and photography students. My favourites were:

  • Thomas Adank - whose website I think this is - had bold, pastel colours in simple brown frames. It appears to be a big block of colour, until you go closer and realise the colour you're looking at an expanse of Lenor fabric softener.
  • Melanie Rozencwajg's beautiful images show people in Liverpool Street & Euston stations. She removes the clutter, shops, floors, and everything around to leave just the people in small scale, almost pattern-like.
  • Frederico Camara's research on maps and Brazilian immigration in the UK, though in early stages, seemed interesting.
  • Luke Trybula's textiles were very attractive
  • Keith Barry's textile research was particularly impressive, with intricate pattern and detailing.
Sadly, I can't show any images as photography was prohibited, and I can't find any on the web.

Here are some sketches I did:

Dot sketch

Cross sketch

Colour pattern sketch

2tone pattern sketch

Suburbscapes, Seascapes & Snowscapes

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I recently saw three interesting exhibitions...

David Rayson - The Everyday Fantastic is at the Marlborough Gallery, showing pen & ink drawings of everyday scenes from suburbia. Many of the scenes are domestic and mundane, with few people. The pen styling gives a scratchy, uncertain feeling to some of the images, like what's real isn't quite there, and a sort of hollow, not fully-filled-in-ness.

I liked this image - Christmas Day - mainly for the little birds on the grass, which I presume are robins, and the foreboding sky above, a real disjuncture from picture-postcard images of Christmas.

David Rayson

My favourite, however, was this image of a lamp, called New Years Eve. It made me think of how our homes are largely hollow, and we make them our own with our things, our stuff... this image is brought beyond a simple line drawing with some simple colour. Although, that lamp has seen better days...

David Rayson

Secondly, I saw Garry Fabian Miller's Time Passage at the James Hyman Gallery. Predominantly featuring darkroom-created photography, I liked these seascape and landscape images. I always enjoy seascapes because they're both abstract and specific - they could be anywhere and everywhere but are always somewhere.

Garry Fabian Miller

Garry Fabian Miller

Garry Fabian Miller

Finally, I saw Sara Haq's landscapes at Alexia Goethe Gallery. Sara travelled overland from London to Phuket, and this exhibition showed snowy, desolate landscapes. I prefered the more abstract images such as these two.

Sara Haq

Sara Haq

Upstairs, a small installation showed 100 images from Sara's trip which I thought were more interesting than the largescale photographs - you really felt the excitement and wonder and minutaie of such an interesting journey.

Sara Haq

Rebeca for Eurovision, again

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Eurovision-watching is tough. Nevermind a three-hour contest, in the early months of the year, there are hundreds of songs to listen too.

Sadly, I've not heard many great songs lately. Spain, in particular, has been a mammoth task, with nearly 500 submitted songs.

One such song starts slow, like many of the others, and it's just another ballad amongst many.


Disco beats kick in, and it's Rebeca with her umpteenth attempt at Eurovision, Se Me Olvído. I can just imagine the strutting, heels and hair. Ooh, there's a video - She's flouncing about with some sheets, and romping in a bed with two blokes. (although one of them doesn't seem bother'd).

Actually, I'm not sure this is her Eurovision song... but whatever, it's fabulous.

True or False Tour & London Historic Pubs Crawl

Thursday, January 08, 2009

It was a colleague's birthday yesterday, and we all went on a pub crawl around some of London's historic pubs.

I had been tasked with devising an activity or game to make the night go with a bang. I thought up a True or False quiz, based on an idea by several bees.

Along the route at each pub, we stopped and heard two stories. I enlisted a helper to tell one story, and I told the other. One of us was telling the trute, and the other making it up.

The game was to guess which was which. If answered correctly, you got a prize.

Our route took us from legal Holborn through carvernous bars to religious Blackfriars:

Along the way we heard stories about telescopes, parrots, queens, bishops, mayors, egg-breaking and lots more interesting things. Some true, some false.

Happily, the audience was divided on every occasion as to what was true and what was false, leading to much spirited debate and laughter.

I thoroughly enjoyed devising this and learning more about history and trivia, and happily my colleague did too, sending me this message at the end of the evening: "Thanks so much for being such winning hosts! It was a great evening, beautifully orchestrated."