Monday, October 30, 2006

To Understand Modern Celebrity

With the help of P.J. O’Rourke; "You can’t shame or humiliate modern celebrities, what used to be called shame and humiliation, is now called publicity. And forget traditional character assassination, if you say that a modern celebrity is an adulterer, a pervert and a drug addict, all it means is that you've read his autobiography.".

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

BTWF* - Star Spotting; can you name them?

For a while in my life, My Guy was the preferred reading, and a few of my friends were photographed for the photo stories I awaited with baited breath. On reflection, this 'comic' & its imitators had a good thing going; can still remember the smell of cheap paper & ink, & I think they only paid £10. It was a lot to a girl at school in the late 1970's was a lot to a school girl & fame in the small pond of school was worth substantially more.
I bet some of these people got paid a little more than those my peer group!
I shall see if you can name the names, list from top to bottom please, & reveal all on another day. Only one would be really hard to get if you don't live in the UK; the first one, but the others shouldn't give you too much trouble. It is displacement therapy for me really; I am in the middle of a more personal post about something I need your advice on. Trouble is I keep bursting into tears whilst writing, so I keep having to distract myself and make hearty comfort food, for which the bf is eternally grateful.

*Before They Were Famous

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Give the Girl an ASBO!

Supermodel Naomi Campbell arrested for alleged assault - quelle suprise!

Give this girl as ASBO rather than demonising all those hoodies? Noami Campbell has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman, she was held for 12 hours in a police cell before being questioned over an alleged assault. The 36-year-old supermodel had to sleep off jet lag after being arrested for allegedly scratching the face of her drugs therapist.

Miss Campbell was questioned by officers after her counsellor walked into a police station with blood-red marks down both her cheeks. The Streatham-born model was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm at her central London home at 1.20pm yesterday. Campbell is believed to have slept for up to 12 hours at Charing Cross police station before being questioned and released on bail at 1am today.

A source said the attack had allegedly happened when the model flew into a rage at her therapist, who has not been named, during a counselling session. The source said: "She looked quite shaken up. The marks were so red you could tell the attack had only recently happened."

In the past, Campbell has sought help for anger management but last night her spokesman pleaded innocence. He said: "We believe there has been a misunderstanding. Once police have investigated we are sure this will be resolved satisfactorily." The case is due in court in New York next month, when the model is expected to deny the charge.

This now adds up to eight times, in the last eight years, that Campbell has been accused eight times of committing acts of violence and verbal abuse against her employees and associates.

In 1998, her aide Georgina Galanis claimed the model threatened to throw her from a moving car and hit her over the head with a telephone in a hotel room. Campbell pleaded guilty to assault charges in 2000 and paid Miss Galanis an undisclosed sum of money for the distress caused. Under an agreement with the prosecution her record was cleared in exchange for her expressing remorse.

A few months after the court case, Campbell's personal assistant Vanessa Frisbee also claimed she had been physically assaulted.

A year later Campbell's new assistant Simone Craig alleged that she had been kept hostage by the model and beaten repeatedly. Both accusations were denied by Campbell's lawyers.

In 2003, a maid sued Campbell for throwing a phone at her and in 2004 police were called after housekeeper Millicent Burton claimed she had been hit.

In March last year, the star was said to have slapped her assistant Amanda Brack and beaten her around the head with a Blackberry personal organiser. The star's spokesman Rob Shuter denied the incident ever took place but in July this year, Miss Brack began proceedings against Campbell accusing her of assault, battery, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress.

Italian actress Yvonne Scio also claimed the model left her "covered in blood" after a spat at a Rome hotel. Miss Scio told police: "She punched me in the face. She was like Mike Tyson."

On 30 March this year, Campbell was arrested again for allegedly assaulting another of her assistants with a Swarovski crystal-encrusted cell phone in New York. The woman needed stitches to the head and Campbell was charged with second-degree assault - a crime that carries a minimum sentence of one year and a maximum of seven years.

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Enough Already!

I am really dubious about the adoption from Malawi of a little boy who still has a father, but I am also struggling to identify what the world is really kicking up a fuss about; Angelina and Mia didn't seem to get into hot water like this. Our tabloids are just brutal. What's done cannot be undone & they look like a really happy family. I was relieved to see Guy in the picture, I wondered what had happened to him. As Mrs Ritchie looked tearful on Oprah, she revealed her adoption would involve the same British scrutiny as any other, and I know what that process looks like. Mind you, she will be getting any old social worker, just like any other family, & how star struck will she be! I may fast track my qualification & move... Madge needs a new best friend & I'm absolutely sure I would get on well with Rupert Everett so there would be no jealousy or anything...

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Spot The Difference

One is a photoshopped image of Lindsay Lohan, the other is a size zero model, and I hope nobody ever really wants to look like either of these images. If this is what our expectations of beauty become, the people who look like this will have osteoporosis at 40, and otherwise seriously risk their health. Come on girls, read Fat is a Feminist Issue, and take up your rightful space in the world because we need what you have to offer. I think I actually prefer Kate Moss photoshopped into plumpness and Calista definitely looks better when she isn't impersonating a twiglet! I'm not advocating obesity, just the ability to find beauty in the uniqueness of women who don’t look like carbon copies of hair straightened, fake tanned celebrities. Watch these 2 explain why going under the knife is never a simple solution and how some of our self dissatisfaction, involves issues which can't be cosmetically resolved. Most of all, we need to cherish the people who love us for who we are, not what we look like, please!

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Monday, October 23, 2006

"the homeless are the people you step over coming out of the opera"

I love opera, though I know it isn’t to everyone’s taste, I guess it is just because I was brought up listening to it alongside with The Beatles. I definitely don’t see it as an elitist pursuit, and in fact take great pleasure in treating it like an everyday activity, rather than an event. The Guardian today really warmed my heart with its article, much of which I admit to lifing here, as well as shocking me that any minister can be quite so crass. Keith WarnerWaring has produced Ring cycles in London and Tokyo, staged Lohengrin in Bayreuth and won an Olivier for his Royal Opera production of Wozzeck. At the peak of his career, he can now choose to do anything he wants. Which makes it all the more surprising that he has elected to head north for Tyneside to work among the homeless.

Few companies could entice Warner to make the leap from opera house to a homeless shelter, but Matthew Peacock of Streetwise Opera is a persuasive man. A former arts journalist, Peacock was working in a homeless shelter when the then Tory minister George Young's comment "the homeless are the people you step over coming out of the opera" so enraged him he resolved to set up a company that put the homeless on stage. Warners says “…the point at which you've done the Ring at Covent Garden and Lohengrin at Bayreuth is precisely the time when you ought to consider doing something like this. It's a chance to remind yourself why you got involved in the business in the first place, away from the usual aesthetic arguments and the tedious crap you get from critics."
The result is the production Whirlwind which is at the Sage, Gateshead, from tomorrow until Thursday. Box office: 0191-443 4661.

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The Streets Where I Lived

Where I used to live in London gets a bad press, it looked a bit like this, well a lot like this actually. I liked it, it was where I felt at home, it was where my grandparents lived and where we came from as East End Jews. It was noisy, it was busy, & it was multicoloured. Sometimes the cacophony of other people's lives would get too much, and the seaside would beckon; the seaside which was so easily within reach. When I moved to Leicestershire, people would tell me I must be so much happier in the countryside, because it was nicer. Nicer??? When London has so many squares, and this one was just around the corner, without a locked gate on it. When I could walk through Manchester Square via the Wallace Collection in my lunch hour, or just go directly to Selfridges giggling with my mate K on the way. I wasn't happier. I am sure London is a lonely place if you don't know anyone, but I can't imagine feeling any more lonely and isolated than I did in a small Leicestershire market town. People were more conventional, didn't understand me, and I didn't want to be like them. Even though Leicester has the largest ethnic population in the country, the villages are white, I am too but I found that so odd. Now when I walk down Kingsland High Road, surely one of the dodgiest streets in the world, I am happy. When all around are tensing in the madness, I relax.
I am wistful, rather than unhappy here now, but I know people here really don't understand why I love London. Well, one of them does; I was having my hair cut by a lovely guy the other day who had trained in London. He was thinking of going back, and I was hyperventilating with enthusiasm! I tried to reassure him that London had lived through the IRA's mainland campaign for decades, vile though it was, & I know London will have shrugged of 7/7 in a way 9/11 will never be. Not forgotten, just b*****ed if those terrorists are going to win, whoever they are. Sometimes I just really miss standing at the bus stop on the days I didn't cycle, waiting for the most elusive 277 bus from Mile End and watching the work on the Green Bridge. It is true though, that I used to stand there imagining I was in France, the road reminded me of one I had once got lost on in Paris. On that occasion I was completely bewildered about where I was, & surrounded by old drunk Parisian men, so I expect I imagined myself elsewhere even when I was there.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mapping Visits

Hands accross the water. People blog for all sorts of reasons, and my visitor stats do have an effect on me, but I think I'd actually be a bit scared if I had a big audience. I do though really like to see where people come from, and to view their route, because that leads me in turn to all sorts of intriguing sites.


Home Truths

This may not be the sexiest post ever, but court documents have today apparently revealed details of Paul McCartney’s behaviour, and have led me to consider domestic violence (DV). The most shocking statistic I heard about DV was that the average victim will endure 30 – 35 assaults before seeking help.

Behind closed doors, of even the most outwardly respectable families, abuse is rarely a one-off event. For those of us who think we will leave when hit once this is not just weakness. It is worth considering that some of these episodes will be of emotional abuse, draining the abused of resources they otherwise might call on, and undermining any sense of self which might remind them of being worth more. Many incidences will be fairly minor, and their triviality may make the victim feel disinclined to report the perpetrator, especially someone they are already inclined to forgive, one who is perhaps also the parent of their children.

What we must not forget is that the level of abuse is likely to increase over time, and could even result in murder.

I can’t imagine living in constant fear in your own home, can you? Of being afraid of what might happen when your partner walks through the door. For many people this is the day to day reality they have to live with. DV is a serious and complex issue. Abuse may be physical, psychological, sexual, financial or emotional. It is a hidden crime, leaving its victims feeling trapped, powerless and isolated – afraid to say anything in case it makes a bad situation worse.

Experience suggests that friends, families and neighbours are often aware or suspect that something is happening but, for one reason or another, are reluctant to get involved. This is a mistake. DV ruins family life and has long term, serious consequences for everyone concerned.

What Is DV?
DV is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between individuals who are or have been intimate partners, regardless of gender or sexuality.

DV also includes incidents between family members, aged 18 and over. (Family members are defined as Mother, Father, Son, Daughter, Brother, Sister and Grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or step family.)

A Few Home Truths about DV:
1) An incident is reported to the police in the UK every minute
2) Two women are murdered each week in England and Wales by their present or former partner
3) One in four women are likely to experience DV at some point
4) Violence often starts and escalates when a victim is pregnant
5) 90% of incidents are witnessed by children who live in a household where abuse occurs*
6) Around 15% of incidents involve men as victims
7) Physical injuries caused by domestic abuse costs the NHS £1.2 billion each year
8) Many murders involve a history of domestic abuse – in West Mercia five out of six recent murders showed such a pattern

*It is worth noting, recent research appears to prove that children are as affected as much by the violence they witness as they are by any which might be inflicted upon them.

Who Are the Victims?
Anyone can experience DV – it can happen in any relationship and for any reason. Over time abuse tends to increase in occurrence and severity. Other members of the household, particularly children, often witness what is happening and may end up being abused, if not physically then emotionally or mentally. DV will not end until someone speaks out – either the victim themselves or somebody - a relative, a friend or a neighbour - who cares about their welfare.

Recognising the Sign
While every DV case is different, there may be telltale signs that indicate abuse is taking place. These include:
1) Unexplained, regular injuries
2) Children truanting / performing poorly at school
3) Low self–esteem of the person being abused
4) Withdrawal of social contact with friends and family leading to isolation
5) Lack of financial independence
6) Loss of control / extreme anger / anti-social behaviour regularly exhibited by the abuser
7) Abuse of animals

The police have a responsibility to investigate incidents of DV and can arrest and charge people who are committing these crimes. Since July 2005, the evidence of the victim is no longer required to pursue a prosecution; the police take responsibility not the victim.

Help for Abusers
My own experience of DV is via the probation service's courses for perpetrators of DV. Help is available for those who are violent, or otherwise abusive, towards their partners. If someone is worried about their own behaviour they can call: The Respect Helpline : 0845 122 8609 and Respect will put individuals in contact with the providers of counselling services.


Saturday, October 14, 2006

When God Says No

The nature of faith is on my mind today, with Jack Straw finding it diffcult to look beyond difference in order to communicate, BA asking an employee to conceal her crucifix, and a teaching assistant being asked to remove her veil. Perhaps rather than faith, it is the nature of human frailty which concerns me; thus we can none of know for sure if we are right when it comes to a question of faith. We can be sure that, if there is a God, he is aware of our flaws and doesn't leave it all up to us. That's why I like this song by Dan Bern, if you can hear it somewhere you may find it more haunting, whatever your creed.
I met God
On the edge of town
Where the wind meets the stillness
Where the darkness meets the light
Where the ocean meets the sky
Where the desert meets the rain
Where the earth meets the heavens
On the edge of town
I met God

I asked God
Do one thing for me
Send me back in time
Send me to Seattle
Let me go
Find Kurt Cobain
Take away his gun
Take away his bullets
Talk to him
Make him wanna live
Tell him how we love him
Help him see his glory
God Said No
If I sent you back
If you really found him
You would only ask him
If he could
Help you get a deal
If he knows a lawyer
If he can help you
God Said No
I asked God
Do one thing for me
Send me back in time
Send me to Berlin
Let me find
The one they call Hitler
I will stalk him
I will bring him down
I will bring along
A powerful gun
Loaded with bullets
Obliterate his memory
God Said No
If I sent you back
You would get caught up
In theory and discussion
You would let your fears
Delay and distract you
You would make friends
You would take a lover
God Said No
I asked God
Do one thing for me
Send me back in time
Send me to Jerusalem
Let me go
Let me go find Jesus
Let me save his life
As they try to kill him
Let me take him down
Down from the cross
Take the iron from his body
Try to heal his wounds
God Said No
If I let you go
If you really found him
Walking with the cross
You would stare
Your tongue no longer working
Eyes no longer seeing
Ears no longer hearing
God said Time
Time belongs to me
Time's my secret weapon
My final advantage
God turned away
From the edge of town
I knew I was beaten
And that now was all I had
God Said No

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Want to sleep with my wife?

The media here were exorcised yesterday over the spoof webcam set up by Birmingham MP Sion Simon on YouTube. The 'victim' was David Cameron who has set up webcameron! Last month, Simon urged Tony Blair to resign, and there he was upsetting the Conservatives as well after filming a spoof video in which he mimics David Cameron and invites voters to sleep with the Tory leader's wife. Wearing a baseball cap and T-shirt, the Birmingham Erdington MP introduces himself as "Dave". He goes on to offer to give his children away and asks, "Want to sleep with my wife? That's cool," in a minute-long parody of the webcameron blog launched last month. It is a parody of street talk, if you like, and definitely of youth culture, though I am not best placed to define that.
Sion Simon's colleagues joined Tory MPs in criticising his "satirical" attempt to inject humour into the battle against the Conservatives and it was really funny, if you listened to the whole thing rather than picking a few phrases out of context. It reminded me of Spitting Images and made me wonder where the really biting humour about our politicians has gone to. David Cameron Cameron diffused all the fuss by saying no-one took Sion Simon seriously anyway. It made me pine for the early days of comedy clubs in the UK, when Alexi Sale marched his communist credentials across the stage at The Comedy Store. The spoof too far has only drawn more attention to Cameron's efforts to reach a wider audience, and he is clever enough to recognise that rather than taking offence.
On a more serious note, despite being as far to the left of The Conservative Party as is possibly possible, I do admire this attempt to engage with those who are disengaged from the political system. A comment on his Cameron’s site asked "is this whole webcameron gimmick really supposed to win you an election?" His reply was “On its own, of course not, I'm not that stupid! But I think there's a real problem with people who say ‘I'm interested in political issues, I'm interested in understanding more about what politicians do and what they're like, but I'm turned off by the whole political process.' Webcameron is an attempt to deal with that, but it's only one of the many things we're going to do to make sure we communicate directly with people, listen to them, debate with them, and engage people in politics in a new way. Some of the stuff we're doing on Webcameron is going to be wrong and we're not going to get it right first time, we're not always going to find the right method of engaging people in the debate but hopefully we'll work it out and try and understand what people want, adapt and get it right.”.

I believe politics is vitally important and that you must use your vote, but I also think that politicians are self-serving and Tony Blair has been corrupted by power, not least by trailing in the wake of George Bush's coat tails. The current regime has become akin to watching Macbeth unfold, Cherie Blair would make the most wonderful Lady Macbeth. New Labour will leave blood on the carpet, probably Gordon’s if you believe that Tony is waiting for a suitable rival before he decamps; he is so determined to hoist that man’s petard. Tony Benn once said to me (oh and an NUJ audience) that he didn’t understand New Labour because he was a socialist; whatever happened to socialism.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Monsters & Madness

Having heard so much about Sylvie Guillem from my friend in Suffolk, I decided I couldn't miss her, & that spending 3 hours driving to Snape was the same amount of time that I take driving to London. Sylvie's website is brilliant, lovely photos & gives a real sense of her. So I shall be seing a new production; Sacred Monsters, in which Akram Khan performs with Sylvie Guillem. Apparently they explore the dynamics and language of two great classical dance forms, kathak and ballet, all I know is that I will be seeing 2 major dance talents. "I have spent my life studying and performing kathak, it is the source of my creative process. Working with Sylvie Guillem is an exciting new challenge, giving me the opportunity to explore another classical dance language with one of its greatest exponents, and as a result unearth the things that are most often lost between the classical and modern world." Akram Khan

Sacred Monsters also features additional choreography by Lin Hwai-min, Artistic Director of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre in Taiwan, and live music specially created by Philip Sheppard.

I am also looking forward to going down for the day and wandering about on the beach, but I am a bit envious of Snape Dances, a partnership between DanceEast & Aldeburgh Productions, which has presented over 24 dance the during the past 5 years. They have performances by some of the most exciting national and international dance companies and we have nothing like that in the metropolis that is Leicester.

Sylvie Guillem & Akram Khan peform Sacred Monsters on Friday 24 & Saturday 25 November 2006 @ 8.00pm. There are a few tickets left for the Friday, at the top price I think, but probably worth it if you live a bit nearer than me & aren't already going. The Aldeburgh Productions Box Office is available on 01728 687110 or click on the photo of Snape above to book online at

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tears of a Clown

Today is my nephew's 4th birthday, I haven't seen him for about 2 years, since my mum's 60th, so am feeling a bit sad. My brother& I never really got on, although we are fine when we do see each other, and share a lot of the same values, morals and politics etc. even humour. I looked after him a lot when we were growing up and was the bossy older sister, not that I really wanted to be in charge. I had hoped that we might have a better relationship as adults, but he got married straight out of university, and I managed to f**k that up too. Not his wedding you understand, he just said he wasn't sure about getting married, had not been sure about the relationship at times, and had met someone else on kibbutz which he told wife-to-be about in his unerring honesty.

When he told me he was getting married, I took all the wisdom of the 5 and a half years I have on him, and launched into a speil about how he should be sure and otherwise shouldn't be getting married. In his unerring honesty, and feeling got at as is understandable, he relayed all of this to my now sister in law who managed to take it personally. It wasn't, but that Christmas she felt uncomfortable and I was supposed to rescue things, which I did try to do in the pub, but I have less in common with her than a plug socket. Various attempts since, in various guises, have flatlined and I have given up.
It is easy to understand her take on it, with no family to speak of herself, I was threatening the one she was creating. Since then, my parents have moved to their city because they wanted to live in a city, as well as to be near the grandchildren, and have taken it upon themselves to finance my brother's house purchases without giving me anything. It is their money apparently and they can do what they like with it. I still love them, and forgive them if that it to say I wish them all the best, but I think they did wrong. On the outside, I didn't look as if I needed their help, but that is because I am not my avaricious sister in law who told them she did, oh and I am the 'difficult' money grabbing one somehow. My brother disengenuously says that he didn't ask for it, but he was obviously happy to take it, and he has taken all the money there is. There is no more even if someone belatedly decided to play fair.
Add to all this that the friend I took to Suffolk spent most of Saturday making snide remarks in a way that felt like she was in competition with me, but for what I am not sure. I am an easy target, not that I expect my friends to take advantage of it, perhaps I had done something to upset her or make her feel uncomfortable. I think she wanted my friend in Suffolk to like her more than me, and even asked her why she would want to visit us in Leicestershire because it was flat and dull. I think perhaps we are the draw, rather than the landscape!
So a bit flat and reflective today, but looking forward to Benjamin opening my present, I was told to get a musical toy so bought a xylophone. How to p**s off his parents... I got so upset while I was writing this that I finally sent my parents an email. I started to write a letter a year ago, but couldn't finish it, and I am not sure I am crying any less now. Still 'tis done and shall not be undone, although I can quite imagine my mum just replying sorry you feel that way and let us know when you feel better. It will all be my fault, blamed on my depression/vulnerability, and no acknowledgement that I have any right to feel I have been treated unfairly. I don't even want any money, the distribution of wealth just seemed to shout about the way we are valued, and tell me I am not.

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Out of the Mouths of Babes...

According to one source, not only is Madge adopting from Malawi, but apparently, 12 orphans sang songs from her repertoire when they were lined up for her. There is no trace of this spectacle in the original story, and I am hoping it isn't true; how vile is the image of African orphans desperately trying to seduce a new mommy with her own lyrics.

Monday, October 09, 2006

House in the Clouds

Much of beauty & of fun in Suffolk, but a headache prevents me from sitting in from of a screen for any length of time today. I shall share just one of many enjoyable images & hope you had a good weekend too.

“The fairies really own
this house or so the
children Say, in fact,
they all of them
moved in upon the
self same day.”—Inspired by the House.
Mrs Malcolm Mason. 1923.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Seaside Sauntering

Lots to do today so just some pictures to share ... This weekend we are going to Southwold and visiting a friend nearby
who is going to take us around and show us a crinkle crankle wall! As well as other sights which I am sure I shall bore you with next week. I'm taking another friend, and the 2 have never met. The bf is allergic to cats, so we can't stay at my friends house, but the friend I'm taking can, so I am really hoping they get on! But not that well that they become best friends independently. How childish is that.

Have a lovely weekend and pray it doesn't rain too much for us.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Simply The Best?

Busy in a running around fetching cars that have been mended day today, nothing to write home about, or to you about. I could talk about the young offender I saw, my voluntary work, but another time maybe when I can really sound off about something I found out today which is completely abhorent and demonises young people in the guise of public policy. Instead I found this blog and thought it was brilliant so I'm generous enough to share it with you.

I know I have visitors, so you'll all have worked out by now that I haven't got a clue what I am doing with mine, t'is a work in progress & I'm making it up as I go along. I probably should've had a plan, but that just isn't me in this life anytime soon; no plans, no goals, just hoping serendipity will work her magic. It is lovely that you keep checking back though, & it only takes a minute (that was supposed to be funny btw - a little song title guessing in the text). I know you don't always feel like communicating with me, I understand because I can be a little reclusive myself sometimes. I know some of you got here by mistake; that post which mentioned S&M brought us together didn't it but don't worry, I'm not taking the time to drill that far down through my stats!
It's great to have you around whatever, and I'd like to introduce you to someone who gets it so right. Now don't you go deserting me for her now you hear! This made me laugh out loud, & don't go trying these diets at home! Oh & she is beautiful as well as clever & funny...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Rainy Sunday Sustenance

Last Sunday, I realised I had missed this, but look out for Anja; these pencil drawings are larger than life size. Whether working in performance or drawing, Schrey, the artist, is always the subject of her own work. Poses range from the provocative to the innocent suggesting an attempt to convey a feeling, although overall the drawings retain a sense of clinical detachment. I may have missed out this time but I know I have some international visitors, so excuse my schoolgirl language skills here as I attempt to tell you about her next exhibition en Français.
La prochaine exposition d'Anja sera à la galerie de Les filles du calvaire à Paris en 2007, les ressembler les plus proches de métro à Files Du Calvaire, que je n'ai pas identifié, mais il n'est pas loin du Beaubourg non plus. C'est le grand espace ainsi je peux voyager, n'importe quelle excuse pour un voyage à Paris vraiment, et je n'ai toujours pas été sur l'Eurostar. Well it is in France, so my text should be in French, and you can go to the gallery site for an English version anyway!
We were hoping to get out for a walk but it was raining, hence checking around galleries. MK is near, where the Anja Schrey exhibiton was showing, & I'd never been to the gallery or the shops there. Birmingham is probaby about the same distance, as far but I have never not got lost getting out; I wish I could say the row in the car home didn't spoil the day ...
The lovely people manning the offsite work for the Ikon Gallery nearly made up for it & it sounds like their team are doing some great work in some really deprived areas of the city, particularly where the industry has moved out leaving the people behind. Art can't solve everything, but I like the idea of taking it to people, where they might want to engage. The setting of Gillian Wearing's installation is an apartment in a block which is being redeveloped as so many buildings in the city are being. It has its own comment to make about the way we use space and the changing face of the city, as well as the way it reflects society which is particularly apt when the 'working class' family in the piece are living cheek by jowl.
Two new films by Turner Prize winner Gillian Wearing were being screened as part of an installation inside an apartment in Birmingham’s city centre. Inspired by her long-standing interest in the seminal BBC series The Family, the first reality TV show, Wearing reflects on her own childhood as well as the representation of Heather Wilkins, the outspoken teenager who appeared in the programme.
In the style of celebrity television, chat-show host Trisha Goddard led an interview with Wilkins, looking back at the show and reflecting on her life since it was made, interspersed with sequences from The Family. In the next room, a film projection shows scenes of typical domestic life from the 1970s. In a series of shots, a young Wearing lookalike watches television, dressed in Seventies clothes and surrounded by nostalgic paraphernalia. Barely lifting her gaze she turns only occasionally to face the camera to make observations.

Wearing’s return to The Family involves a complex process of retelling, recreation and reconstruction. Combining powerful and provocative insights with intimate documentary making, this is the artist’s most ambitious project to date.
Gillian Wearing is a bit odd, in a fabulous way, & I love her work. I've heard her talk about it, which helps, & has made her seem very endearing to me.
BTW, I realised the other day that this blog can look a bit like a billboard, rest assured that the links are only to give you access to things I like & nobody is paying me for any advertising, more's the pity. I wonder if I tell you that after the exhibition, we wandered around Selfridges, & ate at Wagamamas, some kind of thank you would come my way??? Please...
The bf insisted Selfridges would have an electrical departmenton the top floor. I knew they didn't, but it was at his instence that we ventured forth only to find the designer rooms were up there. It was a bit like finding one of the best lands at the top of the Magic Faraway Tree. I took so long that we didn't have time to make up our minds in the fabulously ovewhelmingly great food hall. I fancied middle eastern, a bit of indian and some chinese, but we only had 4 minutes so we went to Wagamamas instead.
Not to brag (in what universe it would be bragging I don't know) but I'd queued at the 1st branch in 1992, for the bf it was a whole new experience. We were so full that we had our puddings to go; & I'd recommend the white chocolate cheesecake with ginger sauce without reserve! The biggest queue in Selfridges was for Krispy Kreme doughnuts, are they really that good? I'm scared to try them now! I probably should have edited this post really...