Patience (After Sebald)

This modest, immensely enjoyable documentary is about one of my favourite books, ‘The Rings of Saturn’ by the German poet and critic W G Sebald, who was born in 1944, taught for much of his adult life in this country, mainly at the University of East Anglia, and was killed in a motor accident in 2001. It was first published in German in 1995, translated into English three years later and is an account of a walking tour of Suffolk, the people he meets, the places he visits, and the historical and literary reflections prompted by what he sees and senses, taking his mind around the world. Suffolk becomes a sort of palimpsest for his eloquent, precise, lugubrious, often drily witty meditations about war, death, destruction and decay, about memories and continuities and the feeling that nothing entirely disappears.

Grant Gee’s film should make anyone want to read ‘The Rings of Saturn’ and the rest of Sebald’s relatively small but exquisite oeuvre, some eight or nine books in all.

Philip French

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In Sebald’s Footsteps

I found this thread on Twitter, from Francisco Cantú. I asked to share it here and he said ‘Of course!’

I spent the last 3 days walking 24 miles across East Anglia, following the footsteps of W.G. Sebald in THE RINGS OF SATURN. It was strange, sad, and wonderful, like living inside a dream about your favorite book. For fellow Sebald fans, here’s a thread with some of what I saw.  Continue reading “In Sebald’s Footsteps”

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Francis Davison: Collages

The Redfern Gallery, 20 Cork Street, Mayfair, W1S 3HL is presently a great place to get lost. Until 9th December, it is the venue for a fabulous exhibition of collages by the late Francis Davison, a master of the art of papier collé or torn paper ‘paintings’. This is a rare chance to see such a spectacular display of his work all gathered together in one special place. Continue reading “Francis Davison: Collages”

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Ordnance Survey of Great Britain 1954, Sheet 137 – Lowestoft
(click on the image for a closer look)

A recent trip to Hastings lead to a Sunday morning treasure hunt in Roberts Rummage, a small living room piled high with loosely sorted items and belongings of past lives. My friend Christopher and I spent a couple of hours searching the stacks of china, jars of buttons and drawers of brass wear and the excitement is the unknown item you will stumble across, the joy of cleaning it up and the new life and place it will have in our lives.

I often think of the life items have had and if you could trace them back where they would take you. Amongst the old board games I discovered this map. Having grown up just outside Lowestoft I was thrilled, it felt like a gift to trace back the villages and towns I have known all my life. Continue reading “Lowestoft”

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A Life In Colour

Andrew Walton reminded me of Margaret Mellis when he wrote Schwittering. It prompted me to go looking for more. I found this film about her at Culture Unplugged. I also found a letter she sent me in 1996 (in a junk-mail envelope – she liked to recycle) inviting me to the Bede Gallery in Jarrow for an exhibition of her own constructions and of collages by her late husband, Francis Davison. His work gets a brief mention in the film at 49:25. For another mention please also see Postcard From Southwold. Margaret Mellis died aged 95 in 2009, one year after this film was completed.

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Jonny’s Got A Brand New Bag


After we hung Jonny Hannah‘s exhibition at Kensington Place last week I discovered a box of leftovers containing these wonderful hand painted paper carrier bags, for these popular high street retailers – Ishmael’s Stripey Top Shop, Henry Thomas Tackle & Bait Shop, Ahab’s Fish & Crinkle Cut Chip Shop, The Cullen Skink Fishmongery. We’re just missing The Kensington Plaice. Continue reading “Jonny’s Got A Brand New Bag”

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Messing About On The River (2)

Jazmin Velasco has been celebrating her ideal English summer on the river in Henley, Cambridge and Southwold, dodging the endless rain and doing her best to spread some sunshine with this series of light-hearted engravings. Continue reading “Messing About On The River (2)”

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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. Continue reading “Postcard From Southwold”

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