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Visited the Hokusai exhibition at the British Museum.  As per usual they let too many people in at once and so it is a very slow shuffle and difficult to get near to the paintings.  Not really my cup of tea.  The famous painting is small but lovely and there are some great paintings of Mt Fuji.  But not keen on flowers and birds so it was a relief to get to some unexpected ghosts.  But if you like Japanese painting you will love it.

It is not often that strangers start talking to you in a gallery and pointing out some wording on a pot that they think you’ve missed.  Nor commenting on how they think Grayson’s humour doesn’t come across as well on TV as it does in his art.  The show certainly has people smiling as they read the detail on the pots and are faced with pink bicycles.  There are serious themes with Trump, May and Brexit but they are still fun.  Most popular ever – maybe not but pretty good even so.

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Around 30 years living in London and I’ve never visited the free Sir John Soames Museum – and I used to work around the corner and could have visiteIMG_2361d in a lunch hour.  But now I’ve discovered that Fields Bar and Kitchen (Benugo) in Lincoln’s Inn is a great place to go for lunch/coffee at the weekend as it has lots of outdoor seating as well as a pizza oven.  So this weekend we finally visited, pulled in the the Marc Quinn exhibition, Drawn from Life.  He has 12 sculptures scattered around, casts of himself and partner in a series of embraces.  They fit in well with the vast array of classical objects and antiquities collected by Soames, including a sarcophagus.  It is a lovely museum – just keep your arms by your sides and no sudden moves as there is always something ready to be knocked off the wall!  And an added bonus, Fields Bar and Kitchen donate a % of every purchase to the Museum so you can feel righteous whilst eating pizza.  This Saturday we also had the added entertainment factor of the World Naked Bike Ride Day riding around the perimeter of Lincoln’s Inn – yes it does exist and yes it looked painful but fun.

Look forward to this every year, attending the Friends Weekend and wandering around with a glass of gin in hand.  Eileen Cooper, one of my favourite artists, was the chief curator for the show this year.  And as usual lots of colourful and interesting works on the walls.  My favourite – number 910 Watching by Wendy Freestone – it is one of the photos, bit too pricey for me at £4,950!  However, I did come away having put a deposit down on a Cathy Pilkington print after a couple of years saying I would (not in the photos).  This felt like the year.

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Quick trip to Liverpool

IMG_1207We visited both the Walker Gallery and Bluecoats in Liverpool the other weekend on a trip home.  Very long time since I had been either.  Room 11, British art 1880-1950, was very interesting with Jacob Epstein, Paul Nash, LS Lowry and Lucian Freud alongside the Merseyside artists Albert Richards and George Jardine.  The Walker is near St John’s Square where there is a moving memorial to Hillsborough, unveiled in 2013.  Across the square is a small, but again moving monument to “Those injured or killed, Lives unfulfilled.. the reality of car crashes.”  It is bronze sculpture with scattered toys and the contents of a woman’s handbag.   Onto the Bluecoat Gallery – I remember a beautiful old-fashioned building way back when but wasn’t expecting the modern extension built onto it as a contemporary gallery.  Wonderful shop attached.  Great history chart covering its 300 year history.  Reminded me to go to Slavery Museum next time.

Larry Bell’s show, Smoke on the Bottom, is on until 18th June at the White Cube.  Interesting glass wall sculptures.  There are “vapour drawings” using aluminium and quartz vaporised on the surface of the painting.  These are beautiful creations, semi reflective shapes which seem to float on the wall.  Worth a visit

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Cracking play.  Great sets, great actors, soundtrack imageworked and a great dancing scene.  It seems very contemporary despite being written in 1993:

New York. A film studio.  A young woman has an urgent story to tell.  But here, people are products, movies are money and sex sells. And the rights to your life can be a dangerous commodity to exploit. Everyone has a story, but who owns it? What happens when a young woman sells her story to a film production company, only to see it falsified? (Almeida)

There is dancing, creepy moments, sudden violence, odd relationships and a blind taxi driver.  The last scene left me feeling oddly uplifted for all the strangeness that had preceded it.