Ya Bnayya

This is another contribution from Jonny Hannah, Syrian farmer and wedding singer Omar Souleyman. Thanks Jonny – I got this song from a lockdown film (one of the many); Le monde est a toi (The world is yours), a fantastic French hapless gangster comedy. It was a good time to expand my music tastes, so here goes with a thumping bit of Moroccan techno (sorry, that’s an awful description). Don’t know what he’s saying, but it’s just the ticket…

Frames of reference

Rowley’s Record Bar

For our first window of 2021 we’ve a bumper box of musical delights from Jonny Hannah, junk shop LPs reconditioned, remixed and repainted, and there’s a Spotify playlist too – Rowley’s Record Bar – 21 songs for 2021 to help us all get through another lockdown. And that’s not all, Jonny’s also written us a blogpost. Continue reading “Rowley’s Record Bar”

Frames of reference

A Winter Windowland

It’s like a compilation album with hits from all your favourite artists. They just take a bit of finding. And whilst you’re looking you might discover something new, something previously overlooked. You might even need to come inside and look around. But quick, it’s getting late. Continue reading “A Winter Windowland”

Frames of reference

For Kai

photo: Alastair Grant

Kai arrived at The Rowley Gallery over 30 years ago, I can’t be sure of the exact date, but her name back then was Kathy. And to all who knew her in pre-Rowley days she always remained Kathy. But there was already another Cathy at The Rowley Gallery so she abbreviated her name to Ka. That was her Chinese name. But pronounced Kai, so that was how she spelt it thereafter. To avoid confusion. Continue reading “For Kai”

Frames of reference

Curious Customs

Look what I found down at the Post Office. It seems like Jonny Hannah got a call from the Royal Mail. I bought the full set of eight stamps in their delightfully designed presentation pack. The lady behind the counter must have taken me for a philatelist, and gave me a calendar of Special Stamps for 2019. She piqued my curiosity by saying the next stamps to be issued will be on Forests. Continue reading “Curious Customs”

Frames of reference

Fast Cars & Ukuleles

A is for Apple. B is for Bike. C is for Cat. All three of these are in my new ABC book, ‘Fast Cars & Ukuleles’, but not where you’d expect them. The apple is under F. For the bike, look at V. And the cat is on an endpaper. I’ve always loved alphabet books. Continue reading “Fast Cars & Ukuleles”

Frames of reference

In The Bleak Midwinter


A bright window packed with small beauties for these dark days, a fast-moving festive feast for the eyes. As works sell they will be replaced by more in an ongoing ever-changing pageant of delights.  Continue reading “In The Bleak Midwinter”

Frames of reference

The Craft Beer Dictionary

This spectacular new book just arrived on my desk, courtesy of Octopus Books. It’s a delightfully illustrated guide to the world of craft beer by Richard Croasdale, with help from two of our favourite artists. Jonathan Christie was the creative director and Jonny Hannah was the illustrator. It’s an A-Z with a J for Jonathan & Jonny. Here’s a peek inside to whet your appetite. Cheers! Continue reading “The Craft Beer Dictionary”

Frames of reference

Cakes & Ale Press

I went down to visit Jonny Hannah recently at the Cakes & Ale Press, a deceptively humble garden shed strategically located at the heart of Darktown, its inspirational source leaking pervasively up through the floorboards and onto the drawing board. Sited with the aid of dowsing-rods, it serves to trap the hidden force within. The door opened with a howl and I rushed in, cameras blazing. Continue reading “Cakes & Ale Press”

Frames of reference