Barga & Beyond

Fosso

I’d read of a huge tree, a monumental cedar of Lebanon, that grows just outside the walls of the town of Barga in northern Italy. It was born in 1814 and transplanted here in 1836 where it became adopted as a symbol of Giovine Italia (Young Italy) and Italian unification. Read more

Frames of reference

In Venice

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Palazzo Dona

In Venice I revisit views that I have drawn or painted before and feel more free to take liberties with, like Palazzo Dona in Campo S. Maria Formosa or the big palaces across from San Vio near Accademia. But there is nothing quite like a first ‘go’ at a newly discovered subject – last summer it was a view across the Grand Canal from Calle Giustinian, discovered near a sumptuous Sean Scully exhibition, and the little Oratorio in Campo Sant Angelo which I must have by-passed countless times but which I suddenly saw in a new light as I made my hot way home for lunch.

What a seductress – La Serenissima – I just can’t stay away! Read more

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A January Garden

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Frost laden spiderwebs

I think this is a Tomorrow’s World April Fool’s hoax and they’re made out of string… Read more

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Performing Sculpture

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This was another camera-shy exhibition. We had to switch off our cameras at the entrance, even though it was full of exhibitionist ‘performing sculptures’, all of them posing and pouting and teasing. Mostly they’re mobiles though none of them moved, their motion implied through poise and balance. Yet despite these contradictions, it’s a fantastic show, elegant and vibrant and fun. Read more

Frames of reference

Lapis

Lapis: James Whitney (1966)

One of James Whitney’s several cinematic masterworks, Lapis develops a series of impossibly dense mandala patterns in increasing intensity, set to a Ravi Shankar track. Whitney spent several years developing the imagery for the film, using his brother John’s homemade and hand-me-down motion control camera rig to realize it. Although James never aligned his creative interests with contemporary psychedelia, his work nevertheless sought to create an audio-visual catalyst for a deep and spiritual contemplation that was not too far removed.Mark Toscano

I’ve carried the memory of this short film for years. Now, having just found it again, it’s still pretty impressive but not quite so overwhelming as the first time. I was an 18 year old art student watching it on a big screen in a small lecture theatre, with the volume turned up and completely immersed in its kaleidoscopic intensity, I’d never seen anything like it before. The film was made six years earlier, and what I love most about it now is its handmade lo-fi pre-digital dedicated devotion to beauty.

Frames of reference

The World Of Charles And Ray Eames

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We finally got to see the wonderful Charles & Ray Eames exhibition at the Barbican, but there were No Photography signs everywhere, which was a shame because it’s all so photogenic. It can’t be that it’s protected by copyright because there are lots of images on the internet. I guess the reasoning must be that if you can’t go home with a few souvenir photos then you’re more likely to buy the catalogue. Read more

Frames of reference

La Pedrera

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This photo appeared recently on Twitter and it took me straight back to our visit there last year. It was a reminder to rediscover a few of our photos of this extraordinary building. La Pedrera (the Quarry) is the popular name of Casa Milà, commissioned by the Milà family and created by Antoni Gaudí, it now stands as the most beautiful building on Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona. Read more

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Journey From Granada To The Costa De La Luz

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In early December I got the opportunity to travel across Andalucia from my home on the Costa Tropical near Granada to Bolonia, on the Costa de la Luz. Read more

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Rowley Gallery Pots

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Usually I write a monthly blog post on my garden, but it’s been very quiet this last month (apart from Medge the Hedge wandering in to my next door neighbour’s garage and getting stuck in a wellington boot – rescue ensued). Therefore, I will forgo my gardening notes this time and write not of plant pots – but of paint pots. Read more

Frames of reference

For Paul Bley

Pipe + burgundy turtleneck + incongruous woodland backdrop
+ mindblowing blues deconstruction = peak Paul Bley.

I found this video thanks to Twitter and I had to share it here. RIP Paul Bley.

Frames of reference