From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Posts Tagged ‘Photography

Sunday Swoon. October 13th 2013.

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1. Pizza Pilgrims permanent home on Dean Street in Soho has stolen my heart. Although all that usually takes is somewhere that serves a Negroni (they do) the pizza’s here are the best in London served by happy smiles and polite staff (the complete opposite of how Pizza East seem to be serving people recently). Order the Napoli Salami and you’ll never look at a pepperoni again. I’ll be making many return visits for a pizza fix and next time I want to save room for Affogato (vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso). Two pizzas and four (alcoholic of course) drinks came to £36.50.

2. Aside from my sister chanting “Margaret Thatcher, milk snatcher” Have I Got News For You, and especially Ian Hislop, was the first thing to make me not only pay attention to politics and the press (closer bed fellows than we once thought) but to also make me question what I was being fed. That would have been as a teenager (it’s been running for twenty-three years). This week I got to sit in the studio audience, completely in awe and giddy with nerdy happiness. Amazing experience.

3. I was heartbroken when LCD Soundsystem called it a day. But my heart is slowly healing seeing as James Murphy is filling his time remixing, elongating and producing tracks from some of my favourite artists. This week his mix of David Bowie’s Love is Lost.

4. You only have one more week to see The Memory Palace at the V&A, it’s worth dashing to South Kensington for. Hari Kunzru latest work of fiction is a walk in book with illustrations from illustrators, designers and typographers, set in  future London. From lamenting the NHS to glimpses of our Olympic Village in ruins. You get to save one memory in this future. In the V&A you get to submit yours at the end.

Tony Ray-Jones. Approach.

Tony Ray-Jones. Approach.

5. The Science Museum has opened a Media Space and launches with Only In England. Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr. This runs until March 2014, photographers and people curious in our culture and social characteristics would find this fascinating. Both men documented English life, focusing on our seaside towns. Shots of Margate and Broadstairs especially giving me that warm cosy feeling of reminiscing of our family holidays to those destinations. Above is Tony Ray-Jones approach to photography tips, don’t take boring pictures being my favourite. Below is from his note-book.

“British characteristics and qualities. 

Love of tradition

Love of stability
Art of compromise & muddling through
Privacy
Apathy & indolence [from the security of the welfare state]
 
A country lacking in drama and yet the people have a fine sense of drama”.

Sunday Swoon. 4th August 2013.

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1. Running until 29th September at Somerset House is I Only Want You To Love Me by Miles Aldridge. This is his largest retrospective to date and you’ll catch glimpses of how he sketches his ideas through to the final photo’s. His work focuses on women and colour and all his pieces certainly command your attention in their brightness and composition. Adored his take on religion especially.

2. New album from Fuck Buttons has been on repeat the past few weeks. Stalker and Hidden XS standout the most for me and it’s definitely worth listening to Slow Focus. Missed them at Glastonbury (clashed with The Rolling Stones) but hoping to catch them in London this September.

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3. Fika on Brick Lane has turned into a Wes Anderson shrine. Curated by Dani Wes Kingdom is littered with film references (even down to replica’s of Wes Anderson’s made up books from Moonrise Kingdom) to cocktails including a tiny fish in a bag, a nod to Life Aquatic.

4. By some kind of karmic luck (a contact at V&A and the kind Anna on Twitter) we managed to get to the long ago sold out David Bowie Is at V&A. Unbelievably moving and inspiring. Other curators take note, this is the future of exhibitions, the headphones worked on sensors as you approached displays. Do what you can to get along on its final week, and if you can’t work a miracle then you can book tickets to the live cinema event.

5. The strange but beautiful video to Earthly Pleasures by Villagers is on their website. Definitely one of my favourite albums from this year and the accompanying music videos are always worth watching.

Interesting Old Faces and Bright Sci-Fi Lights

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The past month or so I’ve struggled with my writing. I wouldn’t describe it as a block. More like the creative part of me was grinding to a halt and I couldn’t find inspiration. About a week ago I honestly thought this blog had reached its end. Maybe it was the endless winter or the soul-destroying flat hunt I’m currently involved in. I’ve been reading books at a slower pace, gone into a trance when I’ve picked up my laptop to write, left my camera at home when I should be out taking photos.

Today I decided to give myself an art overdose in the hope of being wowed and excited by something. First The Light Show at The Hayward Gallery. If you happen to be an art loving Sci-Fi fan this is an absolute must. Leo Villareal’s Cylinder II made me feel like I was stood amongst a million stars, Ivan Navarro’s Reality Show was like the bottom of Doctor Who’s Tardis had fallen out spiralling into a vortex and Olafur’s Eliasson’s Model for a timeless garden felt like I had found water on mars (strobing unreal droplets hopping and falling in a pitch black room).

Leo Villareal. Cylinder II

Leo Villareal. Cylinder II

A short stroll across our dirty old river took me from a futuristic experience back to the 1920’s. The National Portrait Gallery is currently showing Man Ray Portraits. I was trying to commit every photo and moment to memory. From the seventeen year-old boy freaking out at the sight of what I can only describe as a healthy bush of pubic hair on Meret Oppenheim (“that’s just weird!!”).  To moments when I found myself welling up at photos of his lovers (Kiki and Lee Miller) and wife Juliet. The one constant thought in my head throughout the whole exhibition was “I think we have less interesting faces now”, which is a testament to Man Ray but perhaps doesn’t say much about my fellow Londoners. I include myself in this of course, especially standing in front of his portrait of Virginia Woolf. I have a terribly dull face in comparison.

I’ll end this post with Man Ray’s words of encouragement to his niece Naomi Savage when she started her own creative journey. It struck the right chord today.

“You don’t need a huge audience. You only need five or six people who care, and there to encourage you… Don’t worry about idealism and practicality… Try to get paid for what you do, and don’t worry if you don’t. Just keep on working. You’ll make up for it time.” 

Sunday Swoon. September 23rd

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This week I need to talk to you about How To Dress Well and eating your five a day….

1. The second album from How To Dress Well was released this week and on first listen it was immediately cemented in my top albums this year.  It’s genius, excellent, I can’t heap enough praise on how intricate and clever it is. At times R&B smooth, at others arty and poetic. & It Was U is my standout track on the album. You can stream it on The Guardian’s site but then I insist you fall head over heels and trot out to buy a copy.

2. Sadly by the time you read this the Road to 2012 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery will no longer be. Slowly and surely the remnants of the Olympics and Paralympics are disappearing. I am clinging to them as much as I can, digging my nails in and silently screaming “nnoooooo, don’t leave me”. This featured photographic portraits everyone from Martin Creed to Katherine Grainger. As the exhibition started before the events the gallery had kindly stickered the medallists in corresponding colours. Lovely stuff.

Riverford Field Kitchen

3. Tucked away in Totnes, Devon is Riverford Field Kitchen and it’s without doubt one of my favourite places to eat. The vegetables come from their farm surrounding the restaurant and recipes ensure you overdose on essential vitamins. You’re served on long tables, generous sized bowls are placed on the table for you to heap onto your plate. Griddled leeks with French Beans, lemon and olive oil. Pointed cabbage with garlic and parmesan. Yes, that is a huge tray of Pork scratching in the photo above. To top it all off the (handsome) chef’s talk you through a choice of five puddings to make sure you leave stuffed. The quality is outstanding, absurdly good. If you ever find yourself down south book in advance.

4. I know very well people fell out of love with The Killers after Hot Fuss and granted nothing has quite lived up to the synths and indie glitz of their debut album but they’re still in my heart. Remember, I loathe musical snobbery so don’t come moaning to me about them as I shan’t be swayed. Battle Born was released this week. The brilliant fairsharemusic have it for just £5 and 50% of profits go to charity so it’s a cheaper, more wholesome alternative to iTunes.

Dirty Burger

5. Swimming makes me utterly ravenous and Dirty Burger was worth walking across Hampstead Heath shivering in the rain for. Tucked away on Highgate Road you enter what looks like a no thrills shack but it’s warm, cosy and playing some seriously good music. The chips were crispy, the milkshake fruity and thick and the burger amazing quality (the juice dripping onto my hands, a curious yellow tinge to it from the mustard smeared on the pattie). Go visit. Believe the hype.

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August 20th Mixtape

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Friday night after drinks with a friend I found myself wandering around London with my camera. I was cold, a bit drunk, feeling run down, a bit bloody scared of the future as I’ve recently been made redundant, also slightly relieved as I was miserable at my last placement. Above all these emotions I felt a massive need to fall in love with London again.

All week I’d reminded myself how much I love it here, a drink alone in The Endurance, a walk around streets where the old buildings are allowed to co-exist with the new, inspiring drinks with my dearest friend, geeking out in Gosh! and surprise lunches from Lolita.

Unemployment scares the shit out of me frankly, I’ve never been out of work. This week the following panics have gone through my mind. What if I have to move to Milton Keynes? What if I start going loopy and try to grow my armpit hair? What if I have to work in Chicken Cottage? I don’t know why any of these thoughts have haunted me, but they have.

Where I’m lucky is that I’m really self-motivated and haven’t let this crush me (entirely) so I’ve been overly proactive on the job hunt. Where I’m even luckier is I have a lot of people who really believe in me, unconditionally and without question. They have kept me buoyed.

Music has played a massive part in keeping me positive as well. The songs that came on the jukebox at just the right time when I was sat alone and feeling down. Songs that have made me think anything is possible. Songs that keep me connected to all the things I adore in my life. You can listen to them by clicking anywhere on this post that says mixtape.

Last weeks mixtape was dedicated to strangers that inspired me. This weeks mixtape is for those that have been pretty awesome to me this week, putting up with the phone calls, the moodiness around the flat, the pints purchased and especially Lolita who has talked me out of my moments of Milton Keynes madness.

  1. Moloko – Familiar Feelings
  2. Metronomy – The Look
  3. Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
  4. CSS – Music Is My Hot Sex
  5. John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett – Really Free
  6. Billy Bragg – A New England
  7. The Kinks – This Time Tomorrow
  8. Band Of Horses – Factory
  9. My Morning Jacket – The Day Is Coming
  10. Bon Iver – Holocene
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Written by Anon PA

August 21, 2011 at 9:17 am

Magic at Caledonian Road – Part 1

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I love stumbling into unexpected, creative, magical things. For me, that usually comes in the form of hearing a song on the radio when you find yourself suddenly rooted to the spot. A song that brings back a memory or something new that you instantly connect with. That feeling also can come to me through a book, a thoughtful gesture, a talented friend and through art. Another great passion of mine.

Last night the magic arrived courtesy of Kim, who works for TfL at Caledonian Road station. I was stopped in my tracks but this quietly confident woman who was creating art from a tub of pens and the white boards usually reserved for the usual travel disruption announcements we are all used to in London.

Kim creates a picture a week, then it is wiped clean, and she starts again with her next piece. Each one signed off by name to her “Lovelies” with a positive message for us worn down, exhausted rush hour commuters. When I pounced on her and asked if I could take photo’s she was insistent that she’s not an artist. I disagree. I want to try and visit at least once a week and keep capturing her temporary installations, I’m determined to document it now I have discovered her. Full photos can be found on my flickr account if you want to see more. It will give you a little bit of faith in our our transport system, and I guarantee if you’ve had a tough week that seeing this will lift your spirits. How could it not?  ♥

Written by Anon PA

May 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm

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