Friday, 30 July 2010

England, My England

Kings Place is the calm cultural haven in which you find Chris Steele-Perkins photography, just one floor down in the very bright and airy belly of the building, but with its grandeur I can’t help but feel the exhibitions correlation has been a little lost.

I choose to turn right and so follow the photographs in an anti-clockwise sequence, and sequence is precisely what I seem to be missing. Firstly a beautiful, if not a little frightening in its realism and grit, a black and white photo of Newcastle football fans, and I must say I’m instantly captivated by Perkins’ work, however the next portrait I go on to look at is part of a series, detailing the ill and their carers. Each photograph is more touching than the last in its simplicity and truth, and I have almost forgotten the aggressive passion I saw moments earlier from the football fans. Each composition evocative in its own way, however, I’m then faced with photographs from Perkins’ personal life, immediately followed by a disturbing image of the National Front movement. Perkins is without a doubt a gifted photographer, and each photograph tells its individual story, I just wasn’t sure about the way the images hung together.

The work ranges in age from the 1960’s to the present day and having always been somewhat nostalgic myself, I must say anything he photographed between the 60’s-80’s I found mesmerising and wish there was more. The range of people, from young to old, wealthy to poor, is another aspect which fascinates me about Perkins work. How was he there when he was?

As I said each photograph tells a story, and the people within them are empowered and beautiful in their own right. The exhibition showcases both his work in black and white and colour, and I always feel more drawn in by those pictures without colour because the artist achieves more depth and character to a picture. Again the pieces used to create this exhibition are worlds apart, a smooth line of thought did not go into its creation, as I wonder round the sprawling gallery floor I jump from era to era and back again, and find some photos appear to have gotten lost on a further floor down, again showing the same random stage presence as their friends upstairs…first a scene of worship in a church, then a game keeper in a field with his 7 dogs…

Now I worry I may have sounded a little negative, each photograph I found myself peering at as if I was terrified I’d never see its beauty again, but when it comes to an exhibition I would like a little chronological order, perhaps a little consistency, and maybe even a little more focus, but what I did see was a taster of Perkins work, which I haven’t ever seen before. This exhibition gave me something that left me wanting more, a knowledge of his work that is open ended enough for exploration.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


Today King’s Cross is very sunny, very sunny indeed, and so with this uplifting sort of weather I thought it was best to have a little wonder out of the office, right on down to the Gagosian Gallery, where right now they have dedicated their entire space to Picasso’s work ranging from the 1940’s – 60’s.

It’s beautiful. I found myself smiling sublimely at odd paper cut outs of owls and a little chic he’d coloured yellow and put in a wooden box with bars on. In the hallway as you enter there is a collection of sketches devoted to the development of a picture of a bull, starting off as a few lines creating an outline and soon becoming an over-detailed masterpiece. I want these in my hallway.

There was experimental work with sculpture, paper, pottery, sketch and painting and only a handful I felt stared back at you with the mark ‘Picasso’ firmly on them. My idea of Picasso’s work from a young age has been that he’s that guy who paints ugly pictures of women with everything on her face in the wrong place and to liven it up why not paint blue, yellow, green, orange…the list goes on. With this particular exhibition I was truly inspired by the pieces I saw. Picasso really wasn’t a frustrated toddler who struck lucky, he was a very talented artist, and with a good sense of humour too I feel.

One portrait that really caught my attention was something he’d called “Portrait de femme à la robe verte” which I think roughly translates to “Picture of a woman in a green robe” the simplicity of this was what got me, it was a woman, check, and she was wearing a green robe, check…but who was she? And what was so fascinating about her that she deserved to be painted and thus immortalised by this man with such talent?

The moral of my story is please go to the Gagosian Gallery as soon as you can, and wear more green.

Monday, 28 June 2010

On a very hot and sunny Friday afternoon I walked down Euston Road to the Wellcome Collection because I had been dying to go and have a look at their intriguing new exhibition: Skin.

They say themselves that skin is “the largest and probably most overlooked human organ” and yet it is what holds us all together, creates our identity and shows our age more vividly than anything else, all areas which this exhibition explored. I personally found the wax figures for the early 15th and 16th centuries fascinating, that since then we were taking such an active look at the more intricate parts of the body, I also found the look into tribal markings and tattoos really interesting, the instruments once used, now on show, conjure up some rather graphic ideas of pain if your imagination is just half as active as mine.

The more contemporary works with the use of photography and video are beautiful in a grotesque way but again I can’t take my eyes of something that scares me a little. All in all, the entire exhibition is very comprehensive, it shows a total spectrum of this organ in a space that was not as sprawling as I’d expected, yet still large enough to debut all these topics and never overcrowd itself.

This exhibition showed how the exploration of the human body will never cease to amaze us, as lets admit it; we all love to talk about ourselves.
Exhibition Runs 10 June-26 September, for information call: 020 7611 2222

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Creative Director

The Claremont Project are taking applications for a new Creative Director. Claremont has a reputation for being a community where its staff and members shine. We’re looking for someone to take over from Louise, our current Creative Director, who is moving to deepest Somerset to start a new life in the country.

They're looking for someone who is quite special. The person needs to have a mix of warm charisma and leadership confidence while also being thoughtful and sensitive to the perspectives, needs and moods of others. The person needs to combine being creative and enthusiastic with being an excellent administrator and planner. The person has to be able to work competently with MS Office applications.There’s lots of creative programming, from one-off arts events (dance extravaganzas or the world record attempt at the largest gathering of sock puppets, for examples) to regular weekly classes and monthly Culture Shock shows. There’s also lots of listening to people and building trusting and worthwhile relationships, often with people who may have been very lonely. Being able to engage with a wide range of people and to manage occasionally difficult situations is important, as is a sense of optimism and a sense of humour.

For more information of course please visit this website:

And best of luck to all applicants! x

Monday, 24 May 2010

Lingering Whispers

I've just been to go see 'Lingering Whispers' at the Crypt Gallery at St. Pancras Parish Church on Euston Road, London, and it was fantastic, the space definitely lends itself well to this particular exhibition and the layout will spark every element of your imagination.
The exhibition comprises mainly photography with a few cleverly placed items that make the exhibition come to life, and seem to tell a collection of individual stories.

A couple of words of advice however, the images are not for the faint hearted; nudity and a knod towards sado masochism is noticable throughout the exhibition, however I truly felt that every image - despite being challenging - held sincere beauty at the same time. There is also a series of mannequins hidden around the gallery and they do appear a little spooky in the crypt surroundings, but again powerful if you're willing to see it from a performance art point of view.

The collection as a whole gave me a sense of being set between 1990-2010, some of the images are incredibly modern yet others appear to take the form of something inspired by an earlier decade. I also think alot of the objects say more than come to light at first glance, for example the beautifully grotesque "Vegas Girl" shoes by Iris Schieferstein.

I would definitely recommend a visit to the gallery, the exhibiton ends thursday and it would be a shame not to see this work if, like me, you can't tear your eyes away from something that scares you a little.

Monday, 10 May 2010

King's Cross artists Jim Geddes (1932-2009) left an extraordinary body of sculpture, ceramics, paintings, drawings and textiles in the house he lived in for some 30 years. His work has been places in store and will be distributed through a series of 7 day ebay auctions, each item opening at £7 and closing around 7pm on Sunday. Two items will be auctioned each week. The two items are places on display at 24 Caledonian Road N1 9DU adjoining Peter and Tony's Barbershop.

Bids for his work can be made via or via Postage will be refunded on works collected from King's Cross.

Samples of his work can be found on and on search for James W Geddes."

So seriously...get on this! x

Friday, 7 May 2010

Magnificent Maps

I have just been given the opportunity to go and have a good mooch around the 'Magnificent Maps' exhibition here at the British Library. On entering the crowd seems pretty typical, the over 60's and the trendy young mums who've pushed their designer prams to something fabulously intellectual in hope that baby will absorb it, but the further in I get I can see more and more young people, and realise more and more as to why. These Maps are utterly beautiful.

The maps date from around the 1200's to 2008, however from my gathering I feel that the majority lie between the 1400's and 1600's. The Medieval maps put the word intricacy to shame and so I had no shame in standing with my nose only centimeters from the protective glass to try and get a better look at the tiny trees, and the tiny huts, and the even tinier men on horseback.

You also notice the amount of information that they have written on each of these maps, the typeface being a work of art in itself, along with the huge range of materials on which these maps are presented on, from parchment to tapestry. The range of the whole exhibition is enormous (not only in sheer volume of the number of maps there are to look at) showcaseing everything from pocket globes to the world's largest atlas and so on these grounds I seriously prompt you to go and have a look, it is free after all.

Stephen Walter's "The Island" presents London as an island, and comments on each tiny aspect with some lovely humour. There was a little crowd forming around this piece of work, each person trying to find what it says about where they live. As for my neck of the woods I was informed that it is "ye olde good place to buy your milk" - which is rather helpful actually.

Magnificent Maps, British Library, 30 April-19 September 2010.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Good Morning!

Just a quick buzz about a few lovely things that are on this weekend in King's Cross (naturally) Firstly, over the weekend 23nd-24th April we see the run of two truely awesome performances, 'In Time' at the London Sinfonietta starting at 7pm and '1000 Revolutions per minute' by Periplum starting at McGlynn's Pub at 6pm!

Secondly, there is a Ukelele Cabaret on at the Lincoln Lounge on York Way, it's on April 27th and starts at 8:00pm! It looks like a really nice way to spend an evening and I myself am a huge fan of any genre of live music.

Please go and see something, majority of it is free, and so if you are too then why not treat yourself!?

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Hello lovely blog readers,

I am dying to tell you about an awesome new cafe: LUMEN cafe!

They say that what they do is very simple – they buy the best ingredi­ents that they can find and turn them into deli­cious food, cooked from scratch. They make all their own cakes and bis­cuits, pickles and chut­neys, dress­ings, may­on­naise and breakfast jams!

Lumen Cafe is owned and run as a social enterprise by the Holy Cross Centre Trust (, a local charity which works to promote positive approaches to mental health, homelessness and refugees and asylum seekers. All profits to go into supporting timebanking and other community projects, and so you can have a delicious lunch and feel a little better about yourself too!

Lumen Cafe is part of the award winning development at Lumen, 88 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT and for any more info please visit their wonderful website:

If your in or around King's cross I can't think of anywhere better for a bite to eat?

love x

Friday, 9 April 2010

Hello everyone!

I've just been on a rather long tour (on foot) of King's Cross to chase up important places that might be showcasing our all important flyers for REVEAL!

A quarter I admit to not finding, another quater were closed, the 3rd quarter already had the beautiful flyers and so my work there had been done, but at a few golden places, about a quarter of the list I was given, there were lovely people who genuinely wanted to here about REVEAL and were more than happy to take some flyers off me and display them proudly! These places are The London Canal Museam, Thornhill Community Centre, Marchmont Street Community Centre, and a very cool pub called the Cross Kings. To anyone working at the above places I say thank you, and to anyone in the area of these places, do pop in and pick up a brouchure, you won't be dissapointed.

On another note, I totally under estimated how big King's Cross is, and also, how beautiful it is, there are so many quiet little streets, corner cafes and peaceful rows of terraces that look like they've just wondered out from Notting Hill. Well done King's Cross you've once again made me smile!
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