Saturday, 23 November 2013

Dylan Thomas / Peter Blake

By strange coincidence, the same week a friend introduced me to a brilliant recording of Dylan Thomas reading his own poetry, I heard a review on BBC Front Row (21 Nov) discussing a new exhibition of illustrations/collages/constructions by Peter Blake, to accompany Thomas' 'Under Milk Wood'. The exhibition is in Cardiff, at the National Museum, until March 2014.

I find it hard not to read any of 'Under Milk Wood' without imagining it in Richard Burton's voice... a recording Blake says he still listens to at least twice a week.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Invisible Bike Helmet

This looks like an immense piece of innovative design - an 'invisible helmet' for cyclists. It is effectively an airbag, worn around the neck.

More here.

That said, I'm glad this guy is wearing at least a full helmet... I'd wear one to WALK down the route he takes...

Friday, 8 November 2013

Tribal Photography

An impressive (but not, perhaps, unproblematic) series of photographs by Jimmy Nelson documents his travels around the world to view remote groups of indigenous peoples.

View the site advertising his book (feel free to buy me a copy, it's only £5500 for the limited edition...) for more information.

Alternatively, 32 highlights can be seen here. There's some interesting controversy in the comments at the end of the article (when isn't there). Several people suggest that it is misleading and demeaning to present such peoples as 'disappearing' in posed photographs, wearing ceremonial outfits they may no longer use on a daily basis. What do you make of them? Are such photographs truly 'documentary'? Does it matter, if it preserves evidence of cultures in decline? Or do we simply become tourist voyeurs, being wide-eyed at social difference so foreign to our own lives?

Here's a bizarrely cheesy 'trailer' video with more content about the journey and the photographs...

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Reith Lectures

I hope you've been listening to Grayson Perry's current series of BBC Reith Lectures - his often whimsical or humorous tone belies the fact they're extremely informed and full of provocative questions.  (Much the same could perhaps be said about the usual media coverage of his bright and zany cross-dressing, which often distracts them from the artwork he creates.)

Download or subscribe to the BBC podcast here.

A recent article in The Independent sums the lectures up pretty well - 'refreshing' and 'accessible' as he explores the big questions so-often sidestepped in contemporary art: issues of taste, quality, and concept.

There's some good stuff on the British Museum site regarding Perry's recent exhibition there last year.