Saturday, May 19, 2012

Jersey Airlines

Jersey Airlines hasn't existed since the sixties, but I like that it still has a ghostly presence at Jersey Airport...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Memento mori

'Every artwork that has ever interested me is about death...'

'Because we're dealing with death which is so negative, it has to be totally positive...'

                                    Damien Hirst        

You have to love Tate Modern for exhibiting Damien Hirst's £50 million platinum and diamond skull For the Love of God free to the public, while the rest of his exhibition carries an entry charge.

I'm sorry Damien, but yes it is slightly tacky - the way the lights make it sparkle prismatically like cheap costume jewellery.

But there is something delicate and touching as well about how the stones pick out the shape of  the skull, making you want to touch it.

It is beautiful and macabre.  And the redeeming feature (apart from that laughing grimace) is that it makes you think about the unknown eighteenth century male on whom it is modelled, only whose teeth remain, slightly discoloured but in pretty good condition.  And makes you think about your own mortality....

Perhaps the moral is that, even after death, you never know what might happen to you; fame might still come your way...

Which, I suppose, is also true of David Shrigley's dog exhibit ( recently shown as part of Brain Activity at the Hayward Gallery):

Sunday, May 13, 2012

London - green spaces

A London weekend of cemeteries, parks, outdoor theatre and heathland walks...

Brompton Cemetery
Brompton Cemetery
Brompton Cemetery
Brompton Cemetery
Waterloo Millennium Green
St George's Gardens
Hampstead Heath
Caledonian Park - Babel - angel
Caledonian Park - Babel
Caledonian Park - Babel
Caledonian Park - Babel
Caledonian Park - Babel
Caledonian Park - Babel
Caledonian Park - Babel

London - poets' homes

A Sunday walk to visit some famous homes of the poets.

Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath:

18 Rugby Street

'So there in Number Eighteen Rugby Street's
Victorian torpor and squalor I waited for you.
I think of that house as a stage-set -
Four floors exposed to the auditorium.
On all four floors, in, out, the love struggle
In all its acts and scenes...'

18 Rugby Street, Ted Hughes.

3 Chalcot Square

23 Fitzroy Road

Keats House:

Wentworth Place, Hampstead

Saturday, May 5, 2012

dust to dust

'...every carbon atom in our bodies was created in the core of a star, was ejected as that star died, and drifted around in the interstellar medium before being sucked into our solar system.'

New Scientist, Unseen Universe, Michael Rowan-Robinson

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Our mother

put her dancing shoes into the case
red heels, stubbed out on earth floors
in makeshift ballrooms
skipped and sashayed into a corner.

She laid her blouses into the case
their sequin-shimmied necklines musky
with lipstick and lavender cologne.

She dropped her turquoise swimsuit in the case
wrapped tight around a letter and a photo.

Her wedding flowers floated into the case
on a breath of silk and cigars.

She stuffed her maternity dresses into the case
this frayed pink gingham and darned paisley blue.

White christening shawls, woollen booties, mittens,
bonnets, scarves, jumped higgledy-piggledy into the case.

She folded her jackets, autumn shades
of herringbone and tweed, into the case.

We shut our funeral weeds into the case
lilac petals, these veils

this blackout.

We took her dancing shoes out of the case
and she waltzed into the trees.