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

Lepidopterae

We’ve got a windowful of butterflies to cut out and keep, captivating moments gilded and framed, an April shower of lepidoptera, caught in a dream of waking and sleeping and waking again.

I dreamed I was a butterfly, but then I awoke. Now I do not know whether I was a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am a butterfly dreaming I am a man – Chuang-tzu. Continue reading “Lepidopterae”

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

Josef Frank @ FTM

The Fashion & Textile Museum in Bermondsey was founded in 2003 by Zandra Rhodes, in a converted warehouse redesigned by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta, a disciple of Luis Barragán. Their current exhibition is Josef Frank: Patterns-Furniture-Painting. Continue reading “Josef Frank @ FTM”

Frames of reference

A Living Advent Calendar – Peace To The World

A new initiative was started in the borough of Kensington this year by The Rev’d Stephen Fielding of St Mary Abbots church, to engage with the various businesses of the borough. The idea was to create a Living Advent Calendar, where each day, participating businesses in a different location would unveil a window display to create an advent calendar across the parish. Each business would ask an artist to create an artwork for their window which would illustrate the Christmas theme of Peace To The World, and each day at the unveiling of the window, a small celebration would be held to unite businesses, locals and visitors to the area to add to the sense of community. Continue reading “A Living Advent Calendar – Peace To The World”

Frames of reference

Life Begins At 40

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I recently accepted a commission via a client of The Rowley Gallery who had seen my work there. It was to celebrate the landmark 40th birthday of her husband. The commissioned piece was to be one of my Butterfly Balls composed of 40 butterflies created from a black and white map of the area of London where they lived (Shepherd’s Bush). Continue reading “Life Begins At 40”

Frames of reference

Citius, Altius, Fortius

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Joseph Silcott has used a map of the Olympic Park, published by Ordnance Survey and the Institution of Civil Engineers, to create this piece entitled Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger). He has released a flock of butterflies from it to signify the arrival of the world’s athletes to this previously overlooked part of London. You can read Joseph’s account of making it here and you can see the finished artwork at The Rowley Gallery.

Frames of reference

Metamorphosis

One day a man from over the hills came into the shop to buy a greetings card. He was a graceless man of few words though he did say the card was for his sick mother, but the words seemed to stumble over his tongue as he spoke. He was a large, lumbering, oaf of a man yet he was very quick to choose a card, and he paid for it with a crisp, new £50 note. Continue reading “Metamorphosis”

Frames of reference

The Scream

I ventured up to Sotheby’s, New Bond Street, to see a version of The Scream by Edvard Munch (1863-1944). The version consigned to the saleroom and auction next month in New York is a pastel drawing by the artist. The image of The Scream is reckoned to be only second to that of the Mona Lisa in terms of art awareness in the general public conscience, and is regarded as the archetypal image of angst and anxiety of modern man. Continue reading “The Scream”

Frames of reference