Last weekend to a free event celebrating Chinese New Year at the Royal Philatelic Society. Disappointingly there weren’t many stamps on display – they’re very light-sensitive – but I had a chance to try some Chinese calligraphy. Hopefully this says ‘happy’.
I learned that it takes about a month for the RPS committee to authenticate (or not) a stamp – there are a lot of forgers about – and saw a picture of the most valuable stamp ever. It’s the British Guiana magenta, and was sold for 10 million dollars.
Dusted off my cuttings book and realised I miss my travel writing days. Some years ago I took part in an Introduction to Racing day in Newmarket for the London Evening Standard. The day included my riding a mechanical horse at the National Horseracing Museum, wearing jockey silks. As you do. The Evening Standard insisted, and sent a photographer. I rather wished the horse hadn’t been turned up to full gallop mode at the time.
Posted in Travels
Tagged Evening Standard, horse racing, jockeys, London Evening Standard, mechanical horse, National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket, Newmarket jockeys, Newmarket stables, the Marlborough Club, travel writing, travel writing for newspapers
Great to see this talented young artist using one of my Draw It! series of activity books, this one about monsters and other scary stuff. With thanks to author Alexandra English for today’s photo.
Two scenes from Paper Theatre (with moving parts) made to go with my audio piece Defying Gravity, one of six events by different artists in six small rooms in London last night. Events included film, performance, magic, music and a feast including a fabulous cake. The entrance was guarded by a doorman who checked, weighed and measured visitors. Of course. With thanks to Roland Denning for sound and Roland and Lesley Davies for organising.
Greatly enjoying playing with ideas in my notebook. For a new commission.
I’m running another explore and draw workshop on the afternoon of February 14th at Swedenborg House in Bloomsbury – 20/21 BloomsburyWay, WC1A 2TH, nearest Tube Holborn or Tottenham Court Road. This time I’ll be encouraging everyone to make comic strips. What happened to Swedenborg’s ear? What is the talking cupboard saying? Explore this fantastic venue and get creative.
For adults and children 6+ Book online at email@example.com. Book signing, free leporello … and cake.
More unchecked HS2 lunacy. This letter from Jeff Travers (Chair, Adelaide Community Garden Club) in the 28th December edition of the Camden New Journal comments on the recent eviction of uncompensated Euston homeowners, and the building of a hotel for beetles in Camden’s Adelaide Nature Reserve. Having experienced some of HS2’s shenanigans last year as a petitioner at a Lords Select Committee hearing, maybe it doesn’t surprise me..
Beetle pictures from Twiddling Your Thumbs, a book of rhymes for children written by Wendy Cope and illustrated by Sally Kindberg, published by Faber & Faber.
I’ve always collected bits of printed ephemera, and my flat has several pinboards and walls covered in it. A friend/work colleague asked me to make two pieces in the style of my pinboards, incorporating my own drawings, Victorian scraps, labels, cards etc, as presents for two young sisters. A delightful commission …
Here’s how they looked after my friend put them into frames for the two little girls…
Below are some details of the pinboards in my flat. Every item tells a story. Can you spot the Atomic Fireball, Sigmund Freud, the Pocket Trout, Desperate Dan’s chin reliquary, Tommy Cooper, my Tall Ships Race medal, a leaf from Sherwood Forest’s Great Oak, two female wrestlers and Joseph Beuys’s felt suit? I’m taking more commissions by the way …
Posted in Drawings, Work in progress
Tagged art commissions, badges, collages, cutouts, labels, packaging, pinboards, postcards, printed ephemera, tickets, Victorian scraps
Last week I called in at the Bank of England Museum, to check if my work all about gold was still being displayed – it was. Still wish they’d paid me in gold though. My visit to the City of London included going to the recently opened Mithraeum under the Bloomberg Building. Smoke, Latin chanting, a bit of drumming (or was it marching footsteps?) but no bull or sacrifices in the temple that particular lunchtime anyway.
My activity book Draw It! London included mini-interviews with people who had jobs in London, and included one with MOLA archaeologist Sadie W., who worked on the Bloomberg site, and talked to me about her work. Here’s her interview …
After my visit to the mysterious temple site, I asked this man in the street outside whether he was going to a party? ‘No,’ he replied, ‘it’s my friday suit.’
Later I nipped into the reception area of the Bloomberg Building and took a photo of its Olafur Eliasson ceiling. It’s made of stainless steel whose reflections ripple like water, maybe a reference to the ancient river Walbrook running underground nearby. Security men asked me to stop taking pictures, and as I left, I saw the Friday Suit man scurrying into the building, an exotic specimen amongst all the dull suits.
Posted in Books, Travels
Tagged archaeology, Bank of England Museum, Bloomberg Building, City of London, Draw It! London, exhibition, gold, Mithraeum, MOLA, olafur elliasson, river walbrook, Sally Kindberg's exhibition work