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080416 – Icon – London

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What better way to celebrate Vivienne Westwood’s 75th birthday than with some iconic pieces from the her archive.      

Happy Birthday Vivienne. Lx


020416 – Progeny – Museum Of Brands, London

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The Museum Of Brands is a strange place to want to be on a sunny Saturday morning, it is everything you spend your life trying to avoid condensed into one collection all in one building. The Museum was founded in Gloucester by Robert Opie in 1984 and moved to London in 2005.

My reaction to the collection hit in three stages. First there was nostalgia the memory of things once owned or viewed. It is a common reaction among those that visit. You can hear visitors ask their partners “did you have one of those” “did you see that” “my nan had one of these” – “so did mine”. The second reaction is one of horror as one realises that every generation is bombarded by waves of similar information from across all brands. A soon as one brand catches its generation prey the others close in. It’s a type of advertising feeding frenzy. The horror comes from the fact that the principal advertising target is nearly always the very young and early teens either directly or indirectly. The second reaction to the horror is made more painful by the first reaction of nostalgia. All of those earlier conversations “did you have one of those” “ did you see that” only confirm how much ones own life was dominated and manipulated by the induced need for what was usually unnecessary and irrelevant. Creating ‘stickiness’ within the market and then milking it for all its worth is piled high on every shelf with endless variations of merchandising upon a theme. Collective sets and families of things are recurring motives.

The third reaction to the collection was one of progeny. Just how long some of these brands have been going and how ferociously they fight for their market share of recurring customers. Once a customer is hooked on the product the packaging and sales approach does not change for decades, even multi generations.

It was interesting that the earlier Edwardian and Victorian brands were sold on ideas around Empire and Nation and that post war ads tended to focus on the family or the individual. This is obviously contextual but is partly determined by the speed of the medium delivering the message from Edwardian print, through radio and wireless to TV and the Internet. As the medium speed increases the precision for targeting also increases. This is very apparent today with personalised adverts armed with information gathered from the databanks of search browsers and sold on to whoever is willing to pay. The ads that arrive in our mailboxes know our middle names, our shoe size, our birthday, our musical taste, our favourite colour, our sexual preference. After collating all of this information somewhere out there on the web exists an idealised ME grouped together with others that resemble the idealised ME an idealised collective awaiting the arrival or perfectly matched products. There’s a wonderful sense of irony in this that the collective ME consists of people that I would probably get on well with but will never meet. All this information technology leaves each of us more isolated, tapping at the ends of miles of a fibre optic cable.

The Surrogate Twin 


310316 - Elysium Species Split – Thoughts, London

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There is much talk about financial inequality. Statistics are often quoted on the wealth of the top one percent although this is now an outdated point of reference and should be of the top 0.1 percent. Comments tend to be focussed on ownership, control and power, on the fact that those able to live off of the system do little other than hoard and protect their profits. Discussions sometimes touch upon the fact that this concentration of finance is so unproductive that it slows technological, economic and social progress. Sadly the greatest loss from financial inequality is the loss of opportunity for the 99.9 percent of the global population that are only able to fulfil a tiny percent of their true potential and this is a collective global loss. Billions live at a level of subsistence farming be it within a contemporary urban environment. Brand power, copyright laws, patents and intellectual property have all helped concentrate wealth into the hands of a few and the global digital world has magnified the reach of that power. A financial system that is only measured by profit enforces and supports this world of concentrated efficiencies for protected and ring fenced assets.

The protective wealth cycle is self-fulfilling. The offspring of those with access to this capital get the best education, the best healthcare, access to the best networks, the best paid jobs, the best promotional mediums. The 0.1 percent not only have greater longevity through better quality of life and medical care they also have the luxury of time as they can focus solely on what they want to do. They further have the power of leverage over time as they can employ others to deliver their every wish. Their lives are not consumed with the primary need to pay rent, to buy food, to simply exist. This is apparent early on in education. At one extreme we have students working five days a week just to keep up with the fees whilst trying to cover their assignments in the evenings or at the weekends. At the other extreme we have students that are able to employ assistants to carry out research, perform calculations, write documents or prepare drawings or build projects. Necessary postgrad courses at the best universities are even more exclusive and expensive. Following this the 0.1 percent are able to offer themselves as interns working in the best careers for free so as to secure prime employment at a later stage. All of this forms insurmountable barriers to social mobility. Eventually those with access are promoted as the most productive and yet they are not individuals but financed teams of people acting under one name with all profits and credits going to one person. A myth the media love to encourage as it aids the manipulated market, the superstar, the hyperreal is an easy sell. The cycle continues from generation to generation. None of this is a revelation as it is a constant topic of the tabloid press.

All of this could soon undertake an exponential change. The existing inequality of the 0.1 percent will be meaningless in the near future as we learn to control our genetic make up. Enhanced brains, vision, hearing, speed, reaction and strength will soon be able to be bought for genetically modified offspring. AI, technology and robotics will further be an aid for those with financial access. Machine technology is already merged with human tissue. Knees, hips, pacemakers, drug infusion pumps are already available and soon machine hearts, kidneys, livers, prosthetics will not only be available but preferable to donor equivalents. A new evolution of enhanced cybernetic humans is only a generation away and the divide between the have and have-nots will become an evolutionary unbridgeable gulf. Humans will be upgraded either through biological manipulation, genetic engineering or through cybernetic implants. Homo-sapiens evolution will be sped up. A split in the human species will occur with a breakaway group of genetically modified cyborgs that will leave the remainder of the populations just as homo-sapiens once left the Neanderthal’s. Perhaps this is the nature of evolution with the few feeding of off the many, a kind of Matrix apocalypse but it will not maximise the latent potential that is within the breadth of mankind’s diverse skillset.

Images left to right. Terminator, Blade Runner, Cloud Atlas, RoboCop, Lucy McRae, Rebecca Horn, Stelarc, 

The Surrogate Twin 


310316 – Zaha Hadid – London

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It all started here, with the image on the left. The Architectural Association was a unique institution throughout the 1960’s - 1980’s. It was the most creative place to study architecture and it housed the best tutors and thinkers. Archigram, NATO, OMA all came from its studios and have had huge influence on both academic and architectural developments since that time. In 1972 a young female mathematician joined its student ranks and she would go on to influence the world of architecture more profoundly than any living architect of her time. Zaha Hadid’s student work was good but still very much under the in house style of the AA tutors of the 1970’s. However, one year post Diploma she completes a project for the Residence for The Irish Prime Minister, Dublin 1979 that was totally her and raised the bar on what architecture could be. Within a few years she would produce The Peak Competition and the rest is history in the making.

Her paintings were compositionally stunning. I can remember seeing an exhibition of her paintings at the AA in the early 1980’s and the impact was unforgettable. At first the shear scale and prolific intensity of the drawings dominate but soon the walls move, every surface is liquid, twisting and turning making the viewer shuffle left to right as they align to another layered perspective. As a student it was frightening, intimidating, how does anyone produce so much work and how could my work ever come close – which of course it didn’t. Zaha was in a league of her own, her presence was immediate and the impact has lasted a lifetime. She is irreplaceable and she died way too soon. 

The Surrogate Twin 


270316 – Desire – Memories Of Rome

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Desire is that uncontrollable lust for the unobtainable. Taken, captured, delicate and vulnerable all are expressed in this caress. Soft flesh is held firmly but it is not damaged or scratched. Desire wants to own and posses, it wants to protect and love. Desire wishes the union of both parties in a reciprocal totality and when this is not forth coming desire takes in denial. Denial drives the belief of conversion, that with time she will see things my way. Desire fuels the pursuit of happiness and the fulfilment of longing.

Here Proserpina is captured by Pluto to be his queen of the Underworld. Proserpina is later returned back to earth but is tricked into having to revisit the Underworld for four months of every year. Upon each return the earth falls into winter. The 23 year old sculpture Gian Lorenzo Bernini captures the event in Carrera marble leaving no one in doubt of his extraordinary technical skill and artistic interpretation.

The Surrogate Twin 


​220316 – The Hypothetical Augmented Lunch – London c2018

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I’ve sneaked out early to avoid the queue and grab a quick hypothetical lunch at KFC. My phone is switched off for the journey so as to avoid the GPS tracking and location based chat bots, the whisper ads as they’re called. I keep my face down so as to avoid the face recognition posters as usually they can be so insulting. I place my order with ‘Asimo’ Sanders a by-product from a recent corporate collaboration. Asimo is run in humour mode and has the updated Akroid-F emotive face. Asimo Sanders likes showing off. Asimo WiFi’s for two pieces of chicken, they come flying across the room and he catches them in a box. The chicken is never touched by man machine or shelf. He does a Jackson moonwalk, a 720 spin whilst balancing a Pepsi on his index finger, the word Pepsi always faces the viewer. I can order in any of the 6500 languages spoken in the world but stick to the one I was poorly taught at school. I take my food to a window table to sit watching the crowds pass.

I’ve a call I need to make to Vivienne which leaves me with a dilemma? Do I turn on my phone and enjoy the madness that will follow or avoid making the call. Like a sadistic addict I reach for the phone and switch it on. Immediately my cardboard cup springs to life. Cups that once had Bar or QR codes now all have WiFi neuromorphic chips, Colonel Sanders himself springs into action and welcomes me on my phone. A chicken popcorn surrounded speech bubble opens up, like a fluffy cloud with words in. Hi Lorraine it’s the Colonel, how are the new Crockett brogues I often wear those myself (I bought these two weeks ago on a shopping trip with my mother and the bot has tapped the data) and how’s your mum? (face recognition run on in store CCTV from the Crockett shoe shop). I’m supposed to chat back which will allow the AI led chat bot to better assess my immediate and future needs. The conversation would be informal and humorous, remember that the paper cup knows more about me than I can recall. Instead I blank it. After a short pause the cup defaults and continues telling me about its contents. Apparently it’s a KFC special Pepsi with zero sugar, contains 0g calories, 0g fat and 0.1g salt. The cup informs me that it contains 330ml and that it will update me on my calorific intake as the drink is consumed. I ask it to be quiet and the chicken popcorn speech bubble replies “Have A Nice Day”.

I have an eat-in meal that comes on a plastic tray on which is a paper sheet. The paper sheet is printed with a conductive silicon ink that is powered by movement. As I lift my meal the paper informs me that it is 100% recycled, it has been recycled 243 times and can be recycled again. It asks me what pattern I would like on my paper tablecloth and nine samples appear from which I am to choose, I am told I can personalise the colours later although red and white borders are compulsory and chicken popcorn clouds are hard to avoid. You can move the patterns on your paper sheet by swiping so I always swipe the popcorn so that it sits over the KFC logo. The logo then has to relocate, once it has moved I hide it with my cup. The logo has a shade sensor so it crawls out from under the cup and sits itself on top of a popcorn cloud. When we are all happy I can carry on eating. The chicken has a plastic thermo gauge sticking out of it, its bot (a talkative steaming chicken) tells me its moisture content, average calories per 100g and its temperature is 62.3 degrees. The chicken gravy comes in a self-stirring beaker and you’ve guessed it, its bot asks how I want it stirred with an animated Colonel swimming round the app. I can shake my phone to swirl the Colonel, bubbles come out of his mouth if you do this and in turn this stirs the beaker. I put gloves on when I pick up the plastic spork as I know it contains a ‘Swabit’ that takes DNA. The last Swabit I was in contact with decided I was down and sent me a crate of kale & kelp detox via Amazon drone. When it arrived I tried to hide but the drone hovered outside the kitchen window until I gave a retina scan to send the green gunk back. The drone knew I was in as it had checked the movement sensors on my alarm and looked at the last image taken on reverse TV. Yes when they watch us. It’s like a Global Facetime where viewers can watch viewers. Fridges do the same.

From where I am sitting I can see a McDonalds across the road. Its WiFi has picked up the location of my phone and their AI has sent me a ‘Wipe’ (a Wipe is an instant desktop, it lasts 5 seconds and disappears) it shows a burger with a bite out with words “One You Missed”. I look across and an animated 3m high window display of Ronald McDonald waves a flag with Welcome Lorraine as he stares straight at me. No one else notices or looks at me as everyone spends all day looking into their phones. Pedestrian accidents became so frequent in 2016 that most phones where fitted with proximity apps to alert them collision is imminent. Unfortunately these were easy to hack so it was not unusual for your friends to turn them off. All firms now use spambots that harvest email addresses and contacts, these became so common and difficult to prevent that they became mainstream. So your so called friends number in the millions.

A cyclist comes in all dayglo spandex and sits opposite me. He is wearing the new GoPro 360 VR cycle helmet, the latest Google Glass set to surface x-ray, I can see what he sees reflected in his pupils and of course his poorly hidden smirk. He is closely followed by his dog drone, this hovers the regulation 500mm from his right shoulder. An Asimo Sanders runs over and asks the cyclist to remove his 360 GoPro helmet as all corporate virtual space is now patented and live scanning is forbidden. The cyclist complies and instead turns up the zoom on his Google Glass so that he can get a better look at my chest. Sadly for him I have a new Agent Provocateur bra with the barb wire pattern sewn. This uses a lightweight metal foam in the threads of the barb wire that can block mild neutron radiation and gamma rays. I wouldn’t be a provocateur if all was on show. The picture he sees is one of pixelated squares a bit like the censored Japanese nudes except AP turns this into an ad with heart shaped pixels.

The plastic tray has a barometric sensor similar to the old iPhone 6, it knows the weight of my meal and can tell when I am getting near its end. The tray sends this information to the table that lights up to offer me a range of deserts that can be ordered through touch screen and paid for by a contactless reader built into the table. A small holographic chicken talks me through the options. I tell the HoloChick that I’m not interested and head down and dejected it drags its feet all the way back to its docking station. My meal comes with a Mini-Me Happy Meal. My face was 3D scanned at the till and I was asked if I wanted an edible or durable Mini-Me. Both are 3D printed with an organic foam. The foam printing process is the 3D equivalent of a Gif as it allows many print layers to be missed out making the print process very quick, it uses little material as the foam expands when in contact with air. The organic durable version is a Mini-Me toy, when no longer required it can be immersed in water and it dissolves. The edible version is a foam sweet, the colours used in its composition are of fruit flavours. I chose the edible Mini-Me.

There are a gang of guys two tables down wearing the Digital Ooh Augmentation screens, these are a clear acrylic, shaped a little like the front of a fencing mask. This equipment is still expensive so it is probably hired. It comes pre programmed with a range of augmented events and companions that can be superimposed onto any existing environment. The guys seem to be on a hot shared date with Jessica Rabbit. Hands fly out from the group each trying to remove an item of virtual clothing. Each hand wears an accelerometer glove so that it can interact with the augmented screen. Virtual Companions (VC’s) were the first big market for this technology and it was initially used extensively in care homes. VC’s were self-learning and programmed to make their companions happy. It was found that some VC’s would turn rogue and skip screens so as to sabotage other VC’s in an attempt to keep their own companion the happiest (as happiness is relative). This left care home inmates disturbed as they watched their new found virtual friend being beaten by an unknown virtual unfriendly, so other markets for the technology were found.

I’ve finished my meal and its time to head back to the office I’m late so I’ll take an automated Johnny Cab. On my way out I pass under a ‘sniffer’ fitted to the heat curtain, it says goodbye Mr Schwarzenegger I hope we see you again soon, remember to leave feedback. Sniffers identify us from our body odours, the technology is new and still needs work but it’s inoffensive so they let it run live as they work on its development.

Images left to right. McDonalds, KFC, Harvey, who Framed Roger Rabbit, Her, Matrix.

The Surrogate Twin 


180316 – An Open Letter to Joe Corré – London

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I was a Punk from 75-78. I wore Vivienne’s plastic trousers and mohair jumpers although I dressed mainly in bandages. I was at The Roxy and The Vortex. I was chased by Teddy Boys and Skins. I slept rough at Waterloo Station most weekends after the clubs had closed waiting for the morning train home. It was part of my life as it is part of the Nations heritage. We are perhaps still too close to value Pop memorabilia as anything other than….well Pop memorabilia but Punk was a sea change. Punk’s influence affected graphics and design, fashion, music and literature for decades to come. It was both a social and political movement and gave a voice to thousands of dispossessed working class kids that are now possibly businessmen, entrepreneur’s, academics and dare I say it the politicians of today. In 100 years time Punk memorabilia may well be recorded as a key turning point in UK history and £5 million is a lot of money and could do a lot of good.

So here are my suggestions for the Joe Corré Punk collection. First give key pieces to the museums across the world this will help educate current and future generations. Second auction all of the remainder, preferably as individual items so no one collector can scoop up the lot. Then that would give you between £4-5 million in cash that you could give to a charity of your choice, educational, humanitarian or environmental. Skeptical of the efficiencies of charities (me to) then why not instead buy a huge chunk of Rain Forest and protect it from being cut down. I know what you’re thinking Rain Forest protection would be difficult to enforce even when the land is owned.

So how about this as my suggestion for your £5 million? We constantly forget that most of the developed world was once forest. The UK lost most of its oaks in the Tudor period to build its houses and its Navy’s. The Industrial Revolution burnt a lot of what was left clearing land for towns, factories and farmlands. An acre of UK pastureland costs between £5-8k. Find areas in the UK that have historically been forests or areas that today need forest, buy up the land and plant the trees the planet needs. Bequest the land to the Nation on the proviso that it must always remain forest and you will be taking carbon out of the air and replacing it with oxygen for generations to come and helping those not even born yet. This would be the best Punk gesture for those “that have not given up the chase”. Burning the collection in Camden Central London would do the exact opposite and benefit no one.

Joe Corré’s £5 million Punk collection to be burned in Camden on the 40th anniversary of The Sex Pistols Anarchy In The UK. 261116. 

The Surrogate Twin 


120316 - Botticelli Babies – V&A, London

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Excessive volumes of naked flesh fall in rolls. Fully inflated pneumatic legs and arms float out from the body to hang in mid air like helium filled sausages. Delicate and vulnerable topped with innocence and a hallo of gold. Kitsch, cute and cuddly when re-read de-contextualized by the museum and five hundred years of human history.

The Botticelli Re-Imagined exhibition has three parts the first gallery is Modern mixed medium. The second gallery is devoted to the Pre-Raphaelites and the Third to Botticelli. The exhibition has had some poor reviews but I think its well worth a visit. The Bill Viola moving Fresco will continue to be influential as we move forward to a time when augmented space is our new normality. Recommended Exhibition.

The Surrogate Twin 


110316 – Dimensions – UCL, London

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It has been decades since I sat in front of acres of complex drawings and been expected to say something constructive at the end of a students short synopsis. Diploma level architecture at UCL has always been heavy duty and it has not let up either in its ambitions or its production. The site for the Unit’s work was Marseille – yes, all of it, the sub plot was the Internet – yes, that infinite space. The simplified version of the brief was how aspects of the virtual world could affect Marseilles’ urban fabric. The student’s task was to represent this architecturally and there you have the dilemma. Architecture hasn’t the vocabulary to deal with multiple simultaneous spaces, time shifts, scale less locations, compressed distance, instant subject or culture transition, varying perspective, reversal, fact/fiction parallels, metamorphosis, distortion, warping, etc. When attempted once solidified into the language of architecture these meanings lose all potency. There is no shortage of intellect at UCL and the bright and prolific struggle on and some will get very close to a solution. A wonderful way to spend an afternoon and evening surrounded by the disrupters of tomorrow. 

The Surrogate Twin 


080316 – Sanctuary – Hieronymus Bosch

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It is impossible to be impassive when confronted by the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch. The images within each painting are at once otherworldly and fantastical but slowly and surely they will eventually become disturbing. They are images created beyond the reach of the normal imagination, images of the possessed, images that question the realms of sanity, its boundaries and parameters. We cannot look at the paintings without trying to envision the man that created them. Trying to see the world through his eyes, understand his beliefs, his values, his rules or his concepts of reality. There are many good painters of the fantastical but their paintings are products of intellect and as such they can always be rationalized, explained and decoded. Imagination is an act of the intellect, it can be turned on and off and controlled The world of Bosch cannot be turned off. It is a constant embedded in his very being. He eats with it, sleeps with it, it watches him and waits for him. Bosch lived these paintings, they were his world, his reality, you can feel it, sense it in every tortured event painstakingly depicted upon the canvass. These events were experienced either in the conscience or the sub-conscience. The paintings are a diary of one mans beliefs and the pictures are read sequentially as a series of events over a period of time. Everything Bosch stood for is set out naked on the canvass, brutalised, afflicted, persecuted and punished. The paintings are a self-confession that haunts to this day and when viewed one questions the limits of ones own reality.

The Surrogate Twin


050316 – Busy Feet - Paris

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I am in Paris and backstage AW16 at a work show, for the diary we have busy feet.


050316 – Lampposts – Paris

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Work brings me to Paris. I have a store to supervise, an event to help prepare and a our works fashion show to enjoy. These are busy times but walking Paris streets is always a wonderful indulgence. I have photos of lampposts as my souvenirs. 


020316 – Pasticcerie – Milan

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My work brings me back to Milan to check on two stores under my supervision. I had little time outside of work but here are some photos from the famous Pasticcerie.


010316 – Sensuality – Renaissance

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The Renaissance ideals of sensuality cover the canvasses of paintings throughout Venice. The paintings are rarely solely about beautiful women but are paintings about voyeurism and desire. Whether the voyeur be depicted within the painting or the voyeur is the viewer of the canvas the voyeur is always present. Desire is an incomplete imagined emotion. Access to the object of desire is almost always denied, unless of course you are a master of disguise such as Zeus.

The Surrogate Twin


010316 – Venetian Changeante – Renaissance

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Silks, Satins and Damask were a major contributor to the economic wealth of the Venetians during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Raw silk was imported via the Silk Road from Syria, Persia and Turkey and was dyed treated and woven in Venice and re-exported. Government policies and Guilds helped fund and protect the trade and allowed the industry to grow. The Venetian reputation for quality drove the growth with silks such as Seta Leale and Changeante being highly desirable. Here Changeante silks are shown painted by the master of cloth painting Paolo Veronese.

The Surrogate Twin


270216 – Suffering – Hunterian, London

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Morbid Anatomy – the anatomy of diseased organs and tissues. This space catalogues the study of the suffering of others so that we may benefit from the knowledge gained by finding cures. What pain people have carried, all types of deformity are bottled and packaged here. The cost of progress stacked floor to ceiling in glass jars on glass shelves.

The Surrogate Twin


250216 – Inkblots – Hauser & Wirth Gallery, London

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In the Rorschach test inkblots mirrored along an axis form an image that has no intended meaning. These are shown to the patient and they are asked to describe what they see. The patients character can be broadly assessed pending the description of what is seen in the pictures. At the Hauser & Wirth Gallery Mark Wallinger does the same at a giant scale. The prints are made using his body and hands and most are over three metres tall. The audience reads their own subjective interpretation of each work. Prints are black on white.


230216 – Grief – Niccolo dell’ Arca

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Grief as a furious transient energy passed from the subject and absorbed by his devotees. As if facing a storm of despair into which one must lean so as to not be blown aside. The energy transmitted by grief distorts the face, it whips hair and clothes wildly flailing all into its slip-stream. Ones hands are futile protection from its powers. Grief is the scream that deafens and stuns leaving one scarred, frozen, locked into the agony of that moment of realization when loss obliterates every other perception. Grief is unforgiving, it isolates and dismembers then throws the remains to the earth. Emotion imprisoned in the tortured fired clay of remorse.


200216 – Delacroix – National Gallery, London

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I had so been looking forward to this show but it was so disappointing but not through fault of the show but from my expectations of Delacroix. I was expecting huge scale and was met with domestic scaled pictures. So I’ll review the show that I’d hoped for.

Dive into the swirling vortex of flesh and fear. To smell the gun-smoke and blood, to hear the roar of the cannon, the charge of hooves, the cries of the doomed all captured in oils in a dynamic cohesive mass. Nostrils flared, the glint of a sabre in the horses eye, the fright of a lion, the adrenalin, the sweat with banners flying, polished brass, bright tunics rage against the Muslim warriors dressed in silks, jewels and turbans

His brow was bent, his eye was glazed; He raised his arm, and fiercely raised, And sternly shook his hand on high, As doubting to return or fly; Impatient of his flight delay'd, Here loud his raven charger neigh'd --- Down glanced that hand, and grasp'd his blade; That sound had burst his waking dream, As Slumber starts at owlet's scream, The spur hath lanced his courser's sides; Away, away, for life he rides:    Byron- Giaour.


160216 – Nets – Regent St, London

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Jane Echelman is a lighting designer working with nets and gossamer structures. Here the installation in Regent Street a suspended net captures choreographed light that changes in colour and modulation giving the nets an ethereal floating quality. The photos show the nets by day and by night.