Monday, 30 September 2013


 Shallidh: the twinkling of an eye #thenewcornpoppy

Big Red, Southern Ocean  #thenewcornpoppy
Light House #thenewcornpoppy

the Cruel Sea #thenewcornpoppy

My darling clementine #thenewcornpoppy

Sunday, 29 September 2013

One problem solved

In 2031 a short melody was discovered
       that solved the problem of music forever. 
Some tried to hold out but 
       eventually everyone was exposed to the tune 
that left the listener thinking 
       "oh, that was what that was all about."

Ashley Tuck, Firegarden

Friday, 27 September 2013

Art is what I do for me, design is what I do for you

Art is what I do for me, Design is what I do for you.  I'm not sure who said it but I think that's a pretty useful statement in seperating art from design.  Works for craft too; maybe stated as Art is what I do for fun, Craft is what I do for money.  

Musician Will Sergeant is trying to raise the money to put out his latest album of electronic music. It isn't going to be a big seller. You could call it a vanity project.  You could say he isn't doing it for the money, he is doing it because he wants too, has a need to, has an uncontrollable urge to do.  here's what he has to say:

Glide is an occasional project of mine I visit when the mood takes me, It is an unashamed self indulgent venture. I see nothing wrong with being self indulgent. In my view all art of any worth is built on self indulgence. From the first stroke of a brush, word of literature, note of an instrument or strike of the chisel against the cold stone or wood. The only person that a true artist should be aiming to please should be himself. If you start worrying about what the people may say about the work it is immediately compromised and is a dead duck. So I walk alone once more through electronic landscape for only one reason: I like it there.

I don't know who this is painting the wolf but part of the process seems to be having your photographer present.  Warhol said something about things not happening if they're not phtotographed.   I wonder if wolfpainter felt that uncontrollable urge to put a wolf on that wall right there, right now or if he was hoping to be "spotted", bought, signed up, possibly in order to design naff knitwear. 
You can't go far without seeing Stik-people, loveable little rogues that they are. There is something about their wise/foolish appearance that is both reassuring and totally unsettling.

Shoreditch is enriched by its street art.  In addition to the guerilla art there is some that is commissioned, some that is tolerated and some that the owners of buildings go to great lengths to eradicate.  There is one form of street art which is more pernicious: corporate street art - better known as advertising hoardings
The tower blocks are the fuel cells of capitalism and we’re putting our mark on them – which is something quite radical whatever school of graffiti you come from. It’s an act of defiance – a mark of your own existence. People get sick of adverts but it’s very hard to challenge multinational companies so street artists and graffiti artists get the rap. Adverts are exactly the same as tagging – except with their own lighting rig. Advertising is corporate graffiti: every day our line of vision is being bought and sold by companies. But street artists like me just go out and take that space – we’re like the pirates of the high seas plundering their trade. And often we do it better.   STIK

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Love locked


The door to my heart locked when you walk out on me
You sealed it with a time lock to be locked eternally
You thought it's locked forever and I could never love anew
But today must be forever cause the light is shining through

And now the time lock has opened up the door to my heart
The seal you thought was so secure has shattered all apart
My heart has struck the lock and kept this hurt lock before you
And now somebody else is broken the time lock falling through

When you sealed the time lock you locked my heart up tight
Inside the heart it's cold and dark without a sparkling light
Another's love was strong enough to break the seal in two
This new love I feel is true and real at last I'm free from you

And now the time lock has opened...
Time Lock, George Jones

None of your time is wasted
None of your fears are wrong
But I gotta lock your heart down
I gotta lock your heart
And I wanna be your lover on the days I'm gonna be a wreck
I gotta lock your heart down, I gotta lock your heart

We've been
Living inside of all of this tension, the way it is
But I need it
And if it ain't human, I don't want to feel it
So bring it back around again and sing

We show up
Getting tired of living just to get torn up, from the way it is
Oh, so let's live it up
Maybe we're not kids but we're not growing up
So bring it back around again and sing

And if I'm honest, I'm not always fine
Cause I don't want to be left out on my own
And I spent all my time drawing battle lines
Cause I don't want to leave well enough alone
I just want to be old enough to know
Lock your heart down, Churchill
Love locks: Close to the entrance of Shoreditch High Street overground station.

sedation of millions in Shoreditch

 More art from Shoreditch. 

it takes the sedation of millions to hold us back, Shepard Fairey, 2012

The breakdancer by Above (above) should be seen at night when, as if by magic, his hand rests on the shadow of a traffic sign.

the Belles of Shoreditch

The wise man often shuns society for fear of being bored
Jean dela Bruyere
Never buy The Sun
Hillsborough J96

The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it
JM Barrie  Peter Pan

Our own special harmony
Minnie Riperton, Stay in love
When will we be rich?
say the Belles of Shoreditch

Looking for the orchids in Shoreditch

Most of the Southbank undercroft graffiti is limited to tags.  There's some great colours, some great shapes, some very imaginative work.  Cast your mind back to Chambers Dictionary's definition of Art: practical skill guided by rules.  The tagging, for all of its randomness and free thinking, still abides to a set of rules.  But street art can be so much more.  A visit to Shoreditch, East London, which is a designated graffiti area, shows how much.
Graffiti Area, Banksy
Banksy is kind of synonymous with UK street art.  For provincial newspapers a Banksy is art, anything else is vandalism. What struck me when wandering round Shoreditch is how dated Banksy's work looks compared with what else is going on. 

 at Village Underground David and Goliath, Martin Ron, 2013

Some of the street art is small scale, some large scale.  Some accessible, some hidden away.  There is a difference in looking at a gardenful of flowers and coming across a single early purple orchid in a woodland.  I'd rather find the orchid.  Until I wrote that I didn't realise that Shoreditch is an anagram of The Orchids.  

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Southbank Village Green #2




Southbank Village Green Preservation Society

Culture's a funny business, sometimes other people have a different idea about what it is all about.  The Southbank is the officially designated centre of London Culture (and therefore UK Culture). 
This is what the Southbank website has to say: (
  • Southbank Centre passionately believes the arts have the power to transform lives. We also believe that the arts must be available to all of us – and this lies at the heart of all we do.
  • Southbank Centre is a world-famous arts centre on the South Bank of the Thames. Created in 1951 for the Festival of Britain, Southbank Centre draws on its heritage as a festival site, with art and activities inside and outside. We encourage everyone to become involved in the arts in new and creative ways.
Meanwhile in the undercroft below: (
  • The undercroft of the Southbank Centre has pretty much been the beating heart of London skateboarding for around 40+ years now. With a love hate relationship between the building’s owners and skateboarders (Brilliantly documented in the documentary “Rollin Through The Decades” by Winstan Whitter). The area set aside for skateboarders comprises of a variety of ledges, banks and a set of stairs. There is also a railing to stop tourists from wandering a bit too close and getting in the way too.


And not just skateboarders but street artists too.  Every inch of the undercroft is covered in graffiti.  Some of it is good, some of it is rubbish.  That doesn't matter too much because someone else will paint over it before the next full moon. 
overheard conversation today
husband:    they're breaking the law is what they're doing
wife:          no, they're allowed to do it here
husband:    that's no good, it gives them the idea they can do it anywhere
wife:          so what
husband:    well, next they'll be doing it round our house
The Southbank is going to be developed.  The undercroft will be gone if the developers have their way. are campaigning to protect the undercroft.  Imaginatively they had tried to get the area recognised as a village green.  Yesterday that was knocked back.

Billy Bragg has a point of view:  Not everyone agrees.  You can't move history they say