Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Losing My Focus: Thomas Ruff's ma.r.s photographs

The geometric serenity of Ben Nicholson’s white 3D sculpture pictures have been haunting me since I saw them yesterday lunchtime. The clever formation of shadowed curves and lines in his pieces are subtle and ever changing depending on the direction of the light. We constantly have a need for perceptions to be challenged, viewpoints shifted and the unexpected to be just around the curve, hidden from sight. 

Monday, 16 April 2012

Unlocking the Universe: Off prints and scientific publishing

I’ve been following the arguments surrounding the publishing of scientific research with interest; what the Guardian are calling an ‘Academic Spring’. Since the Wellcome Trust, in conjunction with The Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Max Planck Society ‘announced they are to support a new, top-tier, open access journal for biomedical and life sciences research’, various academics have come out very much in favour of freely accessible research papers. Recently mathematicians have taken matters into their own hands and thrown down the gauntlet in front of Elsevier publishing. This has major implications for academic libraries and the renegotiation of journals contracts. I will continue to monitor this from a professional stand point.

Serenity, Or On Ben Nicholson's 1935 (white relief)

Simplicity of whites
Circles encircle
Lines divide

Perfection of balance
Attention held
Quiet abstraction

Moment of time
Storm clouds gather
Friends harmonious

Expanse of space
Moons and suns
Shadows cast

Held in thrall
Geometric precision
Monumental comforting

On Ben Nicholson 1935 (white relief)
And a reminder of a serene Saturday.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Thank you!

I am moved by the generosity of the Twitterers I know. Even left me a little tearful which if you know me, is very unlike me.

I first found out about Kids Company in 2002 when I stopped sending Christmas cards and started giving money to charity - they were the first and I've never looked back.

It's not just kids in London that need a bit of a leg up, I also have a friend in Ghana. He sees me as adoptive mum/sister and we've known each other years. I'm paying for his university education which if you're a parent, you'll know it's not just the fees but all the other bits that go with it. Not to mention finding books and case law for him! I hope one day he will be a VIP person in Ghana and I'm able to say, 'I helped a bit'. That he is brilliantly clever, utterly motivated and has a thirst for knowledge with which I can sympathise, assists enormously.

The running started as a whim to get fit this year. Get this, I'm thinking of a half marathon next and definitely staying on the 10K training because I'm feeling ultra fit and can eat many bacon and fried bread sarnies. You can tell by the picture how much I'm loving it.

If anyone else wants to make me run faster, please feel free to donate. Or don't donate and send a nice encouraging message instead. Much appreciated.

So yes, if we all do our little bit it might make things better. I don't do it to make myself feel good, I do it because I love people. And you're all pretty fab too. *sends kisses to all*


As of 12 April I have one more training session to go according to micoach. Apparently I'm ready to go and all I have to do is turn up at West Ham Park at ridiculous o' clock on Sunday morning.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Looking and Listening: Contemporary Rwandan Art

Sometimes I will look for art and sometimes art will find me. Yesterday was the former (yes I know, I need to write it up) and today was the latter. I was going to my usual lunch place and the small gallery nearby  caught my eye. So I went in to investigate.

The name of the show is ‘Rwanda: A group show by 8contemporary Rwandan artists’ at the Charlie Dutton Gallery. According to the notes, this is the first occasion that Rwandan art has been shown in the UK. They continue, saying that 'in the context of the pressures that the country has faced, the formal teaching of visual art has taken a back seat so it is extraordinary that artists are working and practising to produce art that challenges their understood conventions, represents their own expression and that of their countrymen’.

A long winded way of saying that heartfelt, honest art flourishes regardless of schools. 

A number of works immediately grabbed me and others made me think. The first was Innocent Nkuruinziza’s Untitled (Stripes and Circles) which is a striking piece, with paint thickly rendered in bright exuberant colours in a pattern. It made my eyes dance with the rhythm of the pattern and is just the thing for warming up a cold grey day.