Marlene Dumas and the great heist

dumas03dumas01dumas02My friend Millie kindly treated me to tickets to the Marlene Dumas show currently at the Tate Modern and so my thanks to her for a great day. I have to confess I’m new to Marlene Dumas and so although I thought I would like her show based on the prep work I’d done I couldn’t be sure. No need for concern, this is a wonderful show and well worth a visit. Millie pointed out to me at the end of the show that its a bit dour but I’ll be honest and say that I hadn’t noticed that during the show though concede she has a point.

Marlene’s work is, at its best, very, very beautiful. She has a great touch and style and the work oozes quality. There’s a debt to Egon Schiele to be paid and Gerhard Richter and Francis Bacon among others, but she’s found her own voice and it feels as though she’s managed to free herself from the history of art (never easy). She has a nice sense of humour and you will find kooky comedy moments throughout the exhibition. These are exagerated by the very poncy write ups for each painting (curators, less is more people). Almost all aspects of life are encountered from sex to death to current affairs, although strangely I saw no reference to birth but perhaps I missed it. Ah, no, I didn’t miss it, its in the catalogue but sadly missing from the exhibition, not sure why but very unfortunate. This makes the exhibition feel like an unfinished painting in retrospect.

All in all I highly recommend this show, wonderful paintings.

After the show we were forced to conduct a heist on the appalling rail system here in the UK. Forced to book train tickets in advance (a pet hate of mine) we were restricted to only travelling on one specific train home (another pet hate of mine). Theoretically meaning we should sit on a train platform and let perfectly good trains pass by half empty while we waited for ours (a further pet hate of mine). We didn’t, and got away with travelling on the wrong trains to get home a little earlier. Feeling like criminals all the way home despite having paid for our journey.

Marlene Dumas โ€“ Superb
Tate Modern โ€“ Good (would have been better if the show had been curated better)
Privatised railway system – Bollocks
Companion โ€“ Superb (many thanks)

Spy in the camp

Brighton 0 v 1 Brentford

I’m going to get to see a few Brighton games this season and this was the first. Very enjoyable day with beer either side of the game. Brighton had their chances in this game but their attack is pretty toothless and they payed the price for that when Brentford scored on the half hour. An unfortunate sending off in the second half brought Brightons fight back to a grinding halt and effectively ended the game, although Brighton had a great chance to equalise with minutes to go. There’s work to be done for the new manager here and my critique of the side can be seen below if he’s interested.

Thanks to Chris for taking me along, I’m hoping to see better results from Brighton (I’ve lived here for thirty years despite being an Ipswich fan) starting next Saturday ๐Ÿ˜‰


Notes for Ipswich fans: Brentford shaded this game but nothing more. Brightons full backs are their weakness and if Tyrone is playing he should be given permission to attack hard, there’s plenty of joy to be had down that side of the field. The defence as a whole can go all keystone cops every once in a while and thats how the goal came about on this occasion. The midfield seems nervous and tends to compress into the defence too soon and too much when on defence so long shots from our midfield and Murphy will be possible. Rohan Ince in the midfield is the quality in the Brighton side and will take some handling from our midfield. Can’t wait to see Hyam bounce off him ๐Ÿ™‚ Didn’t see much in attack which matches what I saw when we beat them earlier in the season at home. The ground is great and there should be plenty of support on both sides.

Egon Schiele, the embankment and poppies at the Tower of London

2014-11-16 11.45.07Treasure brought back from my day trip to London with Erica and Ric. We went to see the Egon Schiele exhibition currently on at The Courtauld Gallery. For me personally this is a must see exhibition, Schiele is VERY rarely seen in the UK and so I urge you all to visit it while you can. It is a small show so this is also a good opportunity to look at the impressionists found on show in the courtauld’s permanent collection.

We also visited the Tower of London to just catch the poppies in the moat before it disappears for ever. I took a lot of nice photos for you all to see but my camera decided to eat them all and so there’s nothing to see here. Hard to say its moving as its such an enormous tourist attraction but for a brief second I did manage to connect with it and I’m happy with that.

We walked 20,000 steps (and quite a few of those were actually steps!) in the day and I haven’t been able to walk properly for two days now, ouch!

Thanks to Erica and Ric, it was a great day.

69 gays in Brighton

There are only so many questions one person can answer in a day and I went waaaay past what is reasonable today. As soon as I saw beer I managed to stop caring, and the JD blanked my mind snip snap. Highlights were the northerner saying ‘The gay’, wonderfully innocent like in Brighton, and the she who must remain nameless who was disappointed at no bites when she raised the subject of ’69’ (every man at the bar remained silent, afraid of being eaten alive).

Stanley Spencer and Fishbourne Roman Palace

Chichester01Had an excellent day out yesterday ( a rare day off) and visited the superb Stanley Spencer show currently running at Pallant House Gallery Chichester. Followed by a visit to the Roman Palace at Fishbourne.

I strongly urge you to make the time and go to see the Stanley Spencer show. Although not a large show the work is exceptional and this is a unique opportunity to see it outside of its normal residence. Trust me, make the time and go see it. As a bonus there are some Pallant House old favourites also to see including Kitaj, Bacon and Blake and also two little extra exhibitions that are worth a look. All in all excellent value.

I had not visited the Roman Palace at Fishbourne (just never quite got around to it). Its an incredible site to see and must have been an unbelievable discovery to have made for the original finders. Superb mosaic floors showing the power and wealth of the roman army.

In Chichester we also visited the cathedral of course and saw the Graham Sutherland painting and the Marc Chagall window. Lunch/tea was taken at St Martin’s Tea Rooms as recommended by My friend was very happy with it. I couldn’t help thinking the pretty girls waiting on tables with their old fashioned aprons resembled ghosts from the past as their appearance is surely no different to that of one hundred years ago.

To finish we embarked on a dangerous adventure through darkness and countryside to have drinks and food at Anchor Bleu pub on the quay side at Bosham.

Thanks to my friend Millie for this treat, a superb birthday present.

Computing at school

I remember the computer at school (there was only one). It had its own room (it needed one it was so big). I wasn’t allowed in there, only top maths geeks were and I’d dropped out of A’ Level maths. I walked by once and the door was open and I got a peek of what they were doing. Printing pictures made from strings of text (very cool for the time).

I went on to spend my entire life working with and using computers but for that day they were like the sun, something on the horizon that I could see but never touch.

My three earliest memories

I have three memories from when I was really young. Here they are..

The scratch

I remember riding my first bike and as a consequence one of my first failures of judgement. I saw a gap between two parked cars and determined I could get my bike between the two. I was wrong and the handlebars of my bike scratched the side of one of the cars as I forced it through the gap. Still feel guilty about this.

The frogs

I remember collecting frog spawn and my mum saying they would need to stay outside over night. They were placed in a washing up bowl and when I came down the next morning they had all hatched and were jumping about the garden!

The Hill

I remember walking up a hill in the countryside with my mum. We were on the road because there was no pavement.