Mexican Miracle Paintings

Today I passed by the Wellcome Collection on Euston Road in London and noticed a banner advertising Mexican Miracle Paintings, an exhibition that opened in October 2011. I don’t know why I’d not seen it before. I pass by here frequently. It looks like a great exhibition. Read more

Frames of reference

Golden Spider Silk

I woke last Friday morning to the gentle sounds of James Naughtie and Evan Davis and the amazing story of a cape of golden cloth woven from the silk of over a million spiders. Like something worthy of Jason and the Argonauts. The silk was harvested from female Golden Orb Spiders by 80 people over seven years in the highlands of Madagascar. The cape, together with a four metre long scarf, is being exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum. You can see more pictures and listen again to the story here on the Today programme website. Read more

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Metropolis II

This is a beautifully made short film about a kinetic sculpture by Chris Burden that took four years to build. It was filmed in his studio prior to being installed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where it opened last Saturday. It’s a wonderfully choreographed vision of modern city travel. Read more

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Brangwyn’s Frieze

This is The Rowley Gallery in 1933. Business must have been good. It had expanded from a single shop at 140 to double the size at 140-142 Church Street, and the facade had been rebuilt featuring a carved frieze by Frank Brangwyn depicting life size sawyers, painters and carpenters. Read more

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The Weight

Backstage at the Civic Opera House, Chicago. Wilco, Nick Lowe and Mavis Staples rehearse a classic song by The Band in this inspired dressing room performance. It first appeared on Wilco’s website on 6th January. It is so full of love and good humour, it’s too good to miss. I want to give Mavis a hug!

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2012

A belated and animated happy new year from Mary Kuper. See more here.

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Postcard From Southwold

We framed this drawing of Southwold two years ago. It was made by Ron Fuller and came from the Secret exhibition at the Royal College of Art in 2009. We were recently asked to frame four more from the exhibition in 2011 and so this framed postcard came back to us as a sample to copy. I was a little reluctant to give it back! It is such an evocative drawing and condenses many of Southwold’s most memorable landmarks into one composite image. Read more

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Pencil Drawing

During the last year I began a series of pencil drawings. Inspired by a recently re-read wonderful essay by Patrick Heron on Constable drawings, I thought that on recent trips to Weymouth and the Isle of Wight I would leave behind my bag of colours, rollers, sponges, etc. and get back to the basic pencil. Read more

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Pina

Over Christmas I finally got to see Wim Wenders’ film Pina, a tribute to Pina Bausch and her Tanztheater Wuppertal. I saw them on stage in 1982 at Sadlers Wells, but never again until this wonderful movie. It had felt then that she brought the gravitas of Tarkovsky to dance, though from the evidence of this film she did lighten up a little in the intervening 30 years. I wish I had seen more of her. Read more

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Pictures & Books

One of the books to arrive in our house this Christmas was Allegra McEvedy’s Bought, Borrowed & Stolen, stories of her travels told through the food she has eaten, the knives she has bought and the recipes she has borrowed or stolen. It’s her follow-up to Leon which has become a household favourite because of its punchy, full-flavoured recipes for “food that tastes good and does you good”. And both books also look good. They are rich and visually exciting, and the art director for each of them was Jonathan Christie who, when he is not designing books, also makes beautiful pictures. See more here.

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