Monday, 24 September 2012

Didn't we have a loverly time...

I didn't go to Bangor on Saturday, I went to Margate.  I know you're humming the tune...

Margate, it has to be said, isn't the most beautiful of seaside towns - yet.

It appears to have had a colourful history.

But it seems to have lost much of its charm.  I took a trip with J and L to see the recent work of Margate's prodigal daugter.

Our destination gleamed in the low September sunshine.

It, the Turner Contemporary, is truly a beacon of cultural hope and modern optimism.  It's strapline (we must all have one) is 'art inspiring change'.

In it we saw a selection of Tracey Emin's new drawings, watercolours and embroideries.  They were/are beautiful, raw and poignant.

I learned that Turner's champion, Ruskin, took it upon himself to censor Turner's more intimate, physical works to ensure that his idol was seen as a master of light, colour and landscape, not legs, tits and bums.  There were three of Turner's tiny sketchbooks on display.  Mesmerising.

Tracey obviously wanted to demonstrate that her work is, in fact, nothing new or shocking.  Displaying her work alongside Rodin and Turner watercolours, she made the links clear.  I loved the way she referenced 'my house in France' and the trauma of having her olive grove brutally pruned.  One of the rooms was painted 'cooking apple green' by Farrow and Ball.   As they say - the girl done good.

I loved it but then I've always admired her.  I love the way she's just carried on, doing what she does, having the heart and sheer brutal determination to work amidst the fury that often surrounds her.  Now the Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy, I think she's worked for her good life and I'm interested in how her confessional work will change as she ages. 

Around the gallery, it seemed that there are changes afoot in Margate.  It felt as if there was a little seaside garden of creativity and entrepreneurship being nurtured and protected by the sea wall and this brand new artistic venture. Almost as if the gallery had just moved in to a house with a run down plot and had started to plant the basics - there were cafes and vintage stores and pop-up galleries. 

Old Town seemed to be the main hub of regeneration.  There was a little on the sea wall that jutted out from the Turner but there needs to be more than a few fuschia parasols involved to make this Brighton.

Margate left me hoping that it would succeed, that Londoners would take the trouble to train it to the seaside again.  It's got all the raw materials.  I might go back again one day. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

project third year

Like millions of families, we took ourselves to Stratford during the summer holidays.  You  know I'm not a sports fanatic.  Despite much boring protestation on my part in the run up and duration of the greatest sporting event....ever, I enjoyed our trip.  I loved the buildings, the landscaping, the demonstration of sheer organisational perfection.

I was, in my youth labelled with 'clever but flaky'.  I still leave irons on, doors wide open, cars unlocked and trails of random items, most recently my bank card in the cash machine at HSBC in Malmesbury.  It was OK.  It was in Malmesbury.  The lovely lady at the bank had acquired it by some sort of banking magic where it was absorbed into the building. 

I never leave my keys in the same place which amuses (not) The Worker no end.  I make piles rather than files and my knickers are in with my socks.

I admire people who build things, make things, arrange things especially when they manage such things on time and without shouting at people.  I imagine Seb Coe's household must be a minimalist shrine to doing and being pleasant with it.

So, to get to the point.  You knew I would, eventually.  I find myself, today, hours before my induction with a pile of books I've sort of read and a few scrappy pieces of paper on which I've made scribbles of notes and ideas upon.  They may find themselvs in a lever arch file at some point but, they're strewn across my desk.  There is no evidence of drawing - at all - since I finished the second year at the end of May.  That's three and a half months of no drawing. 

This will not do.  I haven't had my recurring college nightmare for years (until last night).  The one where I've messed up (like last time) and get a chance to go back (like this time) but I just don't do it.  The events that conspire against me are different every time I dream it but I've never dreamt I graduated.  I've always dreamt that something stops me whether it's my own incompetence of a green, fluffy monster. 

Study-wise, I need to prove what I'm thinking and not keep it all in my head.  I have to produce sketchbooks, notebooks, reading notes, dissertation outlines, all the while 'developing my practice' and drawing, drawing, drawing.

It's going to be an interesting nine months of productivity.  Can you tell I'm feeling a little anxious?


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

what's that coming over the hill?

It's a new blogger interface, apparently.  I'm looking at it now as I post and I'm not very happy.  There's quite a bit of orange and it looks completely different to the old dashboard I have been managing with for however many years I've been blogging.  Yuck.  It's interesting how one small change can have quite such an impact.  I like things to stay the same or, at least, change slowly.  I don't like pop-up warnings that shout about impending upgrades and do it now or, you never know, your blog might disappear in a flash of html.


School has started.  The primary years are over in our house.  No more walking to school, delivering our precious offspring, no more carol services, no more cycle proficiency, no more chatting at the school gate.  From now on it's slightly earlier mornings, off on the bus at 8am and back at 4pm unless there's something else more interesting going on instead.  I'm sure there will be several dramas of a variety of descriptions along the way but I have to say I'm happy to be slightly further along the parenting road. 


I should have known that things might turn out to be a little more complicated than when I was optimistically making lists.  The final year of my degree starts next week and I have been given a copy of the timetable.  The next nine months are going to be a challenge.  I see that now.  No amount of list making is going to help me avoid the fact that there are deadlines to meet and actual, real studying/reading/drawing to be done.  All this and our usual shenanigans.  There was an article in the Sunday Times at the weekend about being busy and the types of busy we can be.  I've put it on my noticeboard with an addition.  Just *&^%$ing busy - that's all!


I'm still running.  Three times a week.  Enjoying the early morning mists and the low sunshine. It might be time to invest in a long-sleeved running top.  I'm getting a bit chilly around the upper arms.  I also invested in a rather attractive running belt.  No more sweaty ipod for me!


And finally:  Geri H & Russel B - can this be real?  There's a part of me that truly hopes it is.