150815 – Bakkhai – The Almeida Theatre
A dark crawling shape appears over the rocks and comes to stand centre stage, Dionysus, an androgynous Ben Whishaw and with a wicked grin instantly makes you feel slightly unnerved about what is coming next in this production of Bakkhai at The Almeida Theatre. Opposing Dionysus is Pentheus, Bertie Carvel, just and righteous, before his mindless murder by his mother Agave. The haunting female Bakkhai tell the story through song, shouts and high shrieks bringing a strong climax to this Greek tragedy.
140815 – Baciato Dal Sole - Verona
My work brings me to Verona for a factory visit to check on the new display cases that are destined for the Paris and New York stores. Late afternoon allows me time to soak up the setting of the greatest love story of them all, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In the low evening sun Verona is a stunning tapestry of textures. A city crammed with details all beautifully aged with time. A city built in soft earthly shades with a counterpoint of dark opulent shadows. A city of two halves, of dark and light where sun kissed streets and shadows dance an endless tarantella.
A blaze of interwoven words inked on the walls beneath that famous Romeo and Juliet balcony shows that romance still runs strong.
010815 - Tate Britain - London.
Visiting Tate Britain today to view the Pre-Raphaelite collection on permanent display. The Annunciation, by Arthur Hacker, 1892 is a stunning, otherworldly painting, a subtle, emotional dreamscape that generates a powerful and hypnotic reflection. Contemplation continued in the member’s room overlooking the Thames, also the perfect setting for tea.
300715 – Sir John Soane’s Museum - London
Today is a rare exclusive, breakfast at The John Soane’s Museum. The event marked the opening for the first time of 3 private rooms, including Soane’s model room following a complete restoration. Bibliomania at its very best.
260715 – Alexander McQueen v3 – V&A London
This is our third and final visit to the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the V&A. This is not really a research day but more of a homage to one of the greatest creative talents in the industry. Lee’s death on 11.02.2010 has left a huge void that will be difficult to fill. I was never fortunate enough to have met him and I will regret this for the rest of my life.
230715 - The Shard, London
Today I am having a meeting at Aqua Shard to discuss a collaboration project between Vivienne Westwood & Cool Earth. The heady view from Aqua Shard sadly all too soon I am back at ground level, weaving in an out of the City workers on my walk across London Bridge, a complete contrast to the floating feeling from a moment ago.
210715 – Moncler - Knightsbridge
A window display, no doubt inspired by the ‘near future’ focus, the blend between touchable (and now wearable) future tech and our imagined futures. A subject always on the tip of the tongue and one endlessly represented through film, in recent times; Ex-Machina.
190715 – RA Summer Show - Piccadilly
Sculptor Conrad Shawcross's canopy of welded-steel clouds artwork entitled ‘The Dappled Light of the Sun’, in the Annenberg Courtyard outside the Royal Academy and Jim Lambie’s staircase installation.
180715 – Westminster Walk – London
Early Saturday morning and I am playing Tourist in my home-town and walking the Tourist route (before they arrive). London like and major cosmopolitan city with a lengthy history is constantly full of endless surprises. Here are two gems the disciplined gothic structures of Westminster and a full façade supported by scaffolding as it accommodates its new function on Pall Mall St James.
170715 – Age and Beauty - Conduit Street
As soon as you pick me, I die. Transcending beauty.
150715 – Unseen Waterloo - Somerset House, London
Sam Faulkner portraits of The Battle of Waterloo re-enactments in Belgium (The Unseen/The Conflict Revisited) allow the possibility to view military fashions on the early nineteenth century.
120715 – Fuseli - Tate Britain, London.
We are at Tate Britain this morning to view a favourite painting Titania and Bottom c.1790 by Henry Fuseli. Fuseli was introduced to Shakespeare's plays during his student days in Zürich with the Swiss scholar Jacob Bodmer. A Midsummer Night's Dream held a special appeal for him, in that it explores the realms of the supernatural. Presented here are interesting visionary and disturbing depictions of spiritual fantasy and evil.
120715 – Hepworth - Tate Britain, London
Today we have the chance to view the sensual works of Barbara Hepworth at the Tate Britain.
110715 – Foster Walk - City of London
110715 – Foster Walk - City of London.
This morning we are up super early to tour the recently completed buildings by Norman Foster. In The City there are several within a short walk from each other and the City is empty this early on a Saturday. The buildings on our list are not the iconic Foster buildings but low key office developments. Foster fully understands that buildings have hierarchy and that each has a place within the city context, some go almost unnoticed, some simply line the street, others open up hidden gardens or create public piazzas. I have a lot of time for the work produced by Foster’s office. Here the spaces and context need to be experienced so I took no photos.
Along the walk we discover other hidden surprises, a tiny grade 2 listed pub, The Ship 1802, a tile from the likes of Banksy, to the ‘Parents and Children’ vents on London Wall by Richard Rogers.
Further a statue by artist Damien Hirst, which aims to challenge our prejudices around disability next to London's Gherkin tower. The seven-metre high sculpture, called Charity, is based on a 1960s charity collection box depicting a disabled young girl clutching a teddy bear and a collection tin. The charity Scope withdrew the collection boxes in the 1980s in favour of promoting positive images of disabled people. Hirst's version depicts the charity box as worn and vandalised, with a crowbar lay next to the girl and her empty collection tin. This was a very interesting day out taking photos all the way.
100715 - Silicon Roundabout Festival - Old Street London
Breakfast with Norman Jay and the Burger Bear. 7am and its sunshine, dancing, music and people watching, all before I start work. Events like this demonstrate the power of social media on the dynamic world of marketing.
070715 - Harewood House - Leeds
Harewood House by John Carr and Roberts Adams is a twin winged single axis classical stately home. The house has all the hallmarks of Adams, with neo-classical decoration, exquisite proportions and beautiful ceilings and plasterwork. Heavy outbursts of rain are not going to dampen our spirits, as we manage to avoid getting too wet. Harewood is one of the Treasure Houses of England set in the heart of Yorkshire. With rolling ‘Capability’ Brown landscapes, an impressive art collection including works by JMW Turner & El Greco, renaissance masterpieces, the largest collection of Thomas Chippendale furniture, fabulous Robert Adam interiors, combined with 100 acres of award-winning Gardens and a renowned lakeside Bird Garden.
060715 - Middlethorpe Hall - York
Today, nearing the end of our vacation, we are at Middlethorpe Hall, York, a William III country house close to the city of York and set in 20 acres of its own gardens and parkland. Built in 1699, it was once the home of the famous diarist, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. It was bought in the 1980’s and reopened as a luxury Hotel, restaurant and Spa. In 2008 it was donated to The National Trust with all profits benefiting the house and the charity. A quite lovingly restored house that had fallen into quite alarming decay and it was a pleasure to study, camera in hand.
030715 – Silence – The Lochs of Scotland
A few days vacation relaxing in the stunning landscapes with fairy tale castles of Scotland Lochs.
020715 – Infrastructure and Folly, Falkirk Scotland
A day of two halves that covers 100 years and spanning the rise of the Industrial Revolution. First the Dunmore Pineapple of 1761 a walled garden with a folly for entertaining, the play things of the landed gentry.
Then on to see the Forth Bridge, the Victorian engineering masterpiece of Fowler and Baker. The Forth Bridge has to be seen up close to be fully appreciated. The shear scale, bravado and confidence of the Victorians is so impressive.