Art exhibitions I visited in 2016 include:

Barbican: Strange and Familiar (curated by Martin Parr)
Barbican (Curve): Bedwyr Williams: The Gulch
Read more... )

It was lunchtime and I wandered in the humidity and ended up at a gallery, where I stared at the paintings of islands, chairs and bedrooms. Sludgy sort of urban decay paintings with a lot of paint, thickly swooshed on.

Visiting the London Transport Museum was included in the price of entry to Aldwych, so on Sunday 9th December, I climbed aboard old vehicles, read about the design of the roundel, and admired old posters. A few more photos on Flickr: London Transport Museum set, such as "Live in Kent and be content" and "Vaseline - Everybody's Friend".

The Friday after that, I visited the Tate Britain and wandered between words in the Ian Hamilton Finlay exhibition.
Fairytales illustrated with words, lovely intricate creations cut from books. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The Princess and the Pea. Rapunzel. Entire scenes, castles and princesses and such delicate trees, all made from words.

Today I saw Stories from the Enchanted Forest by Su Blackwell at the Long and Ryle Gallery.


Sep. 6th, 2012 08:11 pm
In August, I participated in [ profile] naarmamo (national art making month) and attempted to make one piece of art every day for a month.

I created: sun prints, clay models, collages, creatures in jars, paintings, drawings, a bare paint drawing, photos, manga, snowflakes, origami, a sculpture, and some other things.

Sometimes things worked and sometimes they didn't, but it was good to be creating something (almost) every day.

Dead Drops

Aug. 15th, 2012 10:01 pm
Dead dropDead Drop

Yesterday, I went to Kingston-upon-Thames and found some dead drops, created by digital art students as part of the un/orthodoxii exhibition. The Dead Drops website says "Un-cloud your files in cement! 'Dead Drops’ is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space."

I found the locations of four dead drops altogether - one had been stolen, one had become loose and I couldn't connect to it, but I did manage to connect to two with a laptop and they worked fine. This didn't seem too bad, considering the USB sticks had probably been there for about 2 months. I was able to look at art created by the students, as well as add my own files onto the USB stick connected to the wall.

I was surprised the USB sticks did not have more files on them that random people had added. I imagined it would become like an old BBS with a collection of random files to download, with text files about how to get high on nutmeg, purity tests, sections from the Anarchist Cookbook, the FAQ, odd porn, or more up to date, random photos taken with a phone, strange music, weird videos, and so on, but that wasn't the case. Perhaps I will try other dead drops, not just ones in Kingston-upon-Thames, and see what is on them, and if I'm still disappointed, I can always create my own and fill it up with what I want to see there.
Chewing Gum Art
I first visited Trinity Buoy Wharf a few years ago, but went back on Saturday to see an exhibition of Ben Wilson's Chewing Gum art. I first became aware of Ben Wilson's art after spotting some colourful patterns on pavements in Archway.

From East India station, a trail led to Trinity Buoy Wharf. I spotted some of his impressive art on pavements on the way there, and then at Trinity Buoy Wharf itself, inside one of the buildings was a wall full of photos of more of Ben Wilson's work, and a helpful guide with a magnifying glass showed me where the art was located around Trinity Buoy Wharf. Some of the chewing gum art was very new and shiny, but all was colourful, surprisingly detailed, and finding each felt like finding treasure. I want to find more of them.

While at Trinity Buoy Wharf, I went up the lighthouse again and listened again to Longplayer (has been playing for more than 12 years so far and is going to be playing for 1000 years in total), and was delighted to find that the hut with the words "The Faraday Effect" was open this time, and inside it was a desk and various Michael Faraday related objects. A tiny museum. I also was impressed by the strange sculptures that were next to the river and while looking at them, you couldn't help but notice the Millennium Dome in the distance. It's still there. Across the river you could also see a cluster of skyscrapers in one direction, and the Quantum Cloud in another.

Fatboy's Diner was open (it wasn't last time I was here), so inside I went and ate fried breath and cherry pie.

After that, I headed to central London and looked for the wall patched up with Lego, but disappointingly no Lego was to be seen. Maybe I'll need to patch it myself.

That night, I watched Back to the Future and ate chestnut bean jelly (which I had purchased earlier in the Japan Centre), while the snow fell outside.

Photos on Flickr: Trinity Buoy Wharf and Chewing Gum.
I closed the wooden box and it was just after that I heard a tapping noise. Tap tap tap. I opened it again but all that was inside were wires, so again I closed it. Tap tap tap, coming from inside the wooden box.

Some of the exhibits in the Good Wood/Wood Works: Contemporary Wooden Art & Craft exhibition at the Riverside Gallery in Richmond, that I saw last Tuesday, I just wanted to stroke as they looked so smooth and patterns sometimes looked so geometric.

I wanted to take up marquetry then too after seeing the work from the Harrow Marquetry Group.

I wondered how difficult it was to sew wood, after seeing patterns sewn into wood, such as colourful houses.

There were paintings of trees and photographs too, and pictures made from found wood, arranged, and misericords.
After reading about it in [ profile] the_alchemist's LJ, I started doing [ profile] naarmamo on 1st August. (NaArMaMo is National Art Making Month, where you attempt to make one piece of art a day.) Mostly I have been drawing Manga faces and making collages, but I have also sculpted clay, done some painting, and even did a bit of knitting. Any suggestions for what might be fun to make are welcome. I may post pictures or at least give a more detailed description of what I've made later.

I received my London Open House Weekend booklet. After failing to get the tickets I wanted during the pre-book frenzy, I ended up with tickets to the Balfron Tower (after [ profile] modulatorium's suggestion) and to 2 Amyand Cottages. Where is everyone else going? Any suggestions of what I should see this year? I'm looking forward to 17th/18th September!
Garden Chair
"You've entered the room. It looks empty. It looks silent. There is vinyl text on the wall.
Someone in their early twenties hands you this pamphlet and a pair of ghetto-style headphones attached to a small electronic device."

That was part of the text written on the pamphlet I was handed at the Translated By exhibition at The Architectural Association School of Architecture.

I sat on a grey exercise ball, staring at a black image, listening to an excerpt of Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. It was about the Street.

After that, I sat on an old garden chair (see picture), amongst some tin cans and a block of wood, looking at a picture of what looked like the end of the world, while I listened to an excerpt from Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland.

My mum and I sat in office chairs and looked at a map on the wall, while we listened to an excerpt from Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem, about Brooklyn.

We listened to other words also, but those are the ones I noted.

After leaving the gallery, we ate at Planet Organic, and then headed to the river, where we jumped aboard a boat that took us to the London Eye, and the big wheel towered over us, and then the boat turned around and took us to the west, and we left the boat at Canary Wharf.

The London Ice Sculpting Festival was happening and although we did not get to carve polar bears from ice, as all the sessions were booked up, we did see lions, people, London buildings, and other things carved from ice, already starting to melt.
Another NaNoWriMo meet, another piece of street furniture trying to seduce me.

This time it was a bus stop. "Would you like me to seduce you?" the bus-stop said.

I wandered through Headington Hill Park after that and there was a cute little mouse scurrying by my feet. It stopped and stared at me and I at it, but it looked as if it had been injured. I hope I did not scare it.

I saw art yesterday as well. Random bits of rubbish with German writing on. There were steps to climb, and then a gallery attendant who told you off when you got to the top.

I was given some NaNoWriMo stickers. One with an octopus with a pencil, disappearing behind the waves. The other had a monkey swinging from a tree. No magical pen of wonder this year though.

Word count: 12824
Friday night involved a failed attempt at the creation of Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles.

I sipped a gingerbread soya latte at the station and jumped on a train to visit Bath and Marios. It was Saturday.

I visited the Library of unwritten books, but preferred the unwritten books in Portsmouth I saw and wrote about on August 15th 2004. I wonder if they are all still unwritten, or if some have now been written. Apparently the idea was taken from Richard Brautigan's The Abortion.

Marios gave me a book: The Kicking King in Letterland. I vaguely remember Letterland from my childhood, or something similar anyway. People shaped like letters.

I saw the Fifth Horseman, half horse, half man, with dolls' legs forming a mohican and toy cars forming a spine, and mobile phones and hamburgers and other bits of junk on the horseman's body, like the horseman had arisen from everything that was being destroyed in the apocalypse. It was at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath, and created by Deborah van der Beek, in an exhibition called Out of old Mythologies.

Marios bought a kite, but I bought Groucho Marx spectacles, having concluded that perhaps I needed them for work. An episode of Eerie, Indiana involved an eye nurse who would brainwash people, so they became like zombies. The only cure seemed to be invoking laughter by wearing the Groucho Marx spectacles. My co-workers do not show any signs of becoming zombies, but I keep them at hand, just in case.

We watched Last Night, which I have seen a few times before, but always enjoy. The world is ending and it's the last night, and the film shows how various characters spend their last night on Earth.

The sun had already set and there were only a few pink smudges left in the sky, but the rain had stopped, so it seemed like it was time for a walk. An abandoned rusty box with a plug attached to it, lying on the ground, near to a river, caught my eye, but I couldn't work out what it was for. We walked upwards, through the mud, past dogs pawing at my skirt, and stopped and looked out over the lights of Bath. Tiny white moths appeared in the darkness, fluttering as we walked.

The sun shone on Sunday, so it was time for the beach. We arrived in Weston-super-Mare to find the sea was far out, too far to walk to through the mud, but there was a sea-filled pool to paddle in. From the beach side of the pool, it looked as if people were walking on the water. I ate a coconut ice-cream, blew pirate bubbles, and photographed the pier, which has been rebuilt after a fire, but has yet to re-open. Marios battled with flying ants and escaped, ice-cream intact. Photos on Flickr: Weston-super-Mare.

Back on the train, looking out the window at the sky, which looked beautiful and pink, and as the train went through Bristol, became full of hot air balloons.


Apr. 25th, 2009 12:11 am
There were butterflies in his shoes, and snakes coming out of his dictionary. There were butterflies on the ruler too. And the chair? A chair for us to live in. And what's that over there? The Unbuilt Return of Interminateopolis, by Peter Madden.
The Gertrude Contemporary Art Space has another excellent exhibition on - My Own Private Idealogue, with work by Joanna Langford, Peter Madden and Rohan Wealleans. Peter Madden's work was particularly strange and dreamy - cut-outs of snakes, slithering out of a clamped down dictionary; cut-outs of butterflies lining the inside of a pair of shoes; collages with weird things happening everywhere; intricate sculptures with more cut-outs of butterflies, birds and words, and eyeballs and mushrooms, and records, axes, and skeletons, and oh, so many more wonderful images.

I also visited the Lamington Drive Gallery and saw the Desiring Machines exhibition, which had pictures of cars, lawnmowers, etc, with crazy extra engines/mechanical parts, drifting out of them, almost like smoke.
The third gallery I went to was the Dianne Tanzer Gallery, which currently has two exhibitions on. aether by Roh Singh, contained exhibits such as little bubbles that created the image of a 3D jellyfish. Fear of Loathing by Ian Mowbray, was the other exhibition and consisted of snow globes that contained things such as a recently dug grave, and a toilet with a gun next to it.


Apr. 20th, 2009 11:41 pm
A Yeni Vatan Turkish newspaper sat opposite me on the tram and I flicked through it, briefly.

Memories fade so quickly sometimes, I am surprised.

"According to traditional custom, Aboriginal people are abandoned if they cannot travel," the description of a painting told me, at The Shared Sky exhibition at the NGV.

I looked at star trails and photos of space, that did not look real.

I watched the reflections of people in the window of the tourist information centre at Fed Square, while I waited for someone who was asleep, and perhaps dreaming, at that point.

I saw Tim Minchin perform that night, as part of the comedy festival, and one story he told was of having dinner with a girl named Storm: "Isn’t this enough? Just this world? Just this beautiful, complex wonderfully unfathomable world? How does it so fail to hold our attention that we have to diminish it with the invention of cheap, man-made myths and monsters?" Full beat poem on YouTube: Storm.

A band played loudly in ACDC Lane, as we walked past.

A black-haired girl on the tram, sounding sad and angry, spoke to someone unknown on the phone, "I was jumping around, screaming," she said. As I listened to more and more of the conversation, it sounded as if she had been rejected from a band, and I felt sad.

"We hope you liked our messages", the pavement had written on it.
I'm re-reading Microserfs, to help with a project for Douglas Coupland, and last Thursday, I sat in Starbucks, reading the book, and drinking a tall mocha with soya milk, without whipped cream, to escape the rain outside. I realised I could be anywhere right then.

Yes, the caffeine was infiltrating my mind, but it was more Microserfs that was making me think and made me want to blog more. Oh, it always does.

I am (in this LiveJournal post, at least). If my life was a game of Jeopardy! I still wouldn't know, even now, after all this time (14 or so years since I first read Microserfs) what my seven dream categories would be. I'm not sure what that says about me.

A year or two ago, I was a tester- a bug checker, in the UK, and then I studied usability, interaction design, ergonomics, and now I'm on the opposite side of the world.

From the tram window, I saw a man, laughing, and carrying a small black and white rocking horse.

When I first moved to Melbourne, I used to write down the words I saw on the walls, the pavements, the shops, and the pages of random words and phrases in Microserfs, reminded me of this.

I decided to visit an art gallery: the Rosalie Gascoigne exhibition at the NGV. I looked at doll heads, eyes on garden forks, eyes in shells, art made from roadsigns, bits of found wood (weathered, and it made me think of Dungeness somehow).

And then, I headed to the beach. The sky was grey. It was cold and I wore a long black coat and beret. It could have been Montauk. It could have been England. There were windswept lone trees; waves; sand dancing; a red bridge, but also turquoise jellyfish and windsurfers.
Do you ever have dreams that are kind of magical, but kind of post-apocalyptic? Maybe there are things that look organic somehow, like they're growing in your dreams, but when you examine them closely, yes, there are brightly coloured crystals and tree branches, but somehow trash is mixed up there too, bottles, mobile phones, discarded toys, weird things, everything feels different somehow.

Maybe in your dream you climb up a ladder and sit and watch over this strange world, or sit on a stool and watch it through binoculars. Maybe you get to the world by walking through a silver tunnel, that appears to be made from sticks and silver foil and moves in the breeze.

Perhaps you dream you're lying in bed and there is a rock hanging over you, or there is a weird mobile above your head, turning, or perhaps the bed keeps moving while you lie in it. These things happen.

My dreams are mostly ordinary, but this is my reality, this is real, at Melbourne's Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, at the current exhibition, The Water Hole by Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger.
Tomato Ketchup & Soya Sauce Fight
The sun glared at [ profile] alandriscoll and I, while we had difficulty reading maps of Bristol, as if the roads themselves had melted and were merging with other roads, roundabouts and pavements, in places they hadn't before.

We eventually found the harbourside and the Arnolfini Gallery, currently exhibiting Far West. Fruit made out of paper that other gallery visitors were constructing, was seen on the way in; a room full of paintings all just slightly different, made us wonder if we should be playing spot-the-difference; a calculator, alone in an otherwise empty room, left us puzzled; and the smashed-up crockery glued by visitors to the gallery into new, wonderful and sometimes creepy shapes intrigued us.

Outside the gallery, the tomato ketchup and soya sauce fight began. Tomato ketchup would be squeezed and soya sauce would be sploshed until the two men, Yuan Cai and JJ XI, inside the glass box were saturated in red and brown. As time passed, the smell of ketchup and soya sauce became more intense, the walls of the glass box became splattered, the men eventually stripped off some of their sauce ridden clothes, and let their flesh be dowsed in sauce. Globalisation and marginalisation provided the meaning behind it.

After the fight had ended, we hid from the sun in the darkest pub we could find, craving food smothered in tomato ketchup or soya sauce.
Chewing Gum Art
Chewing Gum Art by Ben Wilson
I stumbled upon a mystic symbol on Archway Road, painted onto a pavement pockmarked with gum. [ profile] ruudboy identified it as a piece of Ben Wilson's chewing gum art. I kept seeing patches of chewing gum that had been painted bright colours all over the pavements around Archway after that, everywhere I looked. Apparently, in 2004, Ben Wilson was intending to paint discarded chewing gum found in Barnet to the West End of London, so there must be a lot of painted gum out there. I'll keep staring at the pavements.

Photos on Flickr: Chewing Gum.
More photos on Flickr, by Rahid: Ben's chewing gum art, and one sculpture.


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