Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Picasso at the National Gallery

This was one of my favourite paintings in the Picasso exhibition. It is supposed to be taken from the Delacroix painting titled 'The women of Algiers' Looks a lot more explicit in this version by Picasso.

Monday, 16 March 2009

The fall of the peacock throne

I dont often go to see plays but I really wanted to see this one having read about this particular piece of history.

Based in Iran it tells the story of the doomed window of democracy the country had back in 1953. More than this is also tells of how the West ie USA and UK are able to blackmail weaker countries into having to give up their rights. From what I have already read, I found this portrayal to be accurate and this is not surprising since the writer was assisted by the grandson of the former Prime minister, who was imprisoned by the end of the production.

I liked the main story but as they decided to run it alongside another tale about Alexander and Darius and the actors played up to 3 parts each it sometimes became a bit confusing. If it were not that I knew

The play was very well acted by all the partipants. I liked the fact that we were almost part of the stage. I like the location, the train running over the bridge added to the grittiness of the production. It was like a hidden secret with only a dozen of us in the audience witnessing this play. Very well done.

Posh Fulham supporters

No swearing, no singing, no raised voices and not that much support for a very good team. Fulham FC must have the poshest supporters in the country. Indeed it is based in a very affluent area of London and I understand that the socio economic class of the average supporter is in the top bracket. Great for kids and ladies as there is absolutely no fear of any unpleasantness at this venue. I personally would go there all the time if I lived nearby as there is some fantastic football going on here. I enjoyed the Blackburn match on Wednesday even though Fulham lost there was lots of action and some great saves by the Fulham goalkeeper.

My favourite player was this little one from Blackburn.

Everything must go


I was thrilled to have got involved by chance in this installation in Southwark. I only went in to ask directions to the Playhouse and was offered the chance to take as much plastic as I wanted. Some huge shapes in bright orange and red as well as perspex. Jeremy Hutchison, the artist filmed the proceedings including us trying to jam these huge bits into the car. I am excited about making art work out of the pieces and look forward to displaying them. Hope he keeps us up to date with future installations.

Islamic art at Satchi

The most effective and impressive installation at this exhibition of islamic art is the work by Algerian artist Kader Attier.

The work is delicate and very fragile and it is clever how he has moulded the aluminium foil around a body shape. Glimpsing inside the shapes there is just blackness which tells a whole story in itself.

The huge number of women depicted show how meaningless they are as individuals. Anonomous figures just shapes without personality or feelings. Faces hidden.

The whole of this exhibition is a fantastic statement about the oppression of women in Islamic countries. Much needed comments by brave artists.

Ambassade D'Ille

A very interesting though quite expensive meal can be enjoyed at the Ambassade D'ille in Old Brompton Road.

I was very impressed that the staff courteously called one hour before the booking to ensure we would still be coming. Maybe because there were so few bookings on the night. Only 10 people in total while we were there.

Nevertheless it was a wonderful experience of good service and a whole range of tasty morsels.

The picture above shows the amuse bouche comprising of quails eggs and tiny scallops. These followed root vegetable crisps in a huge pile of battered herbs.

We chose the tasting menu which in reality is good value. Totally delicious fois gras in delightfully modern soup bowls filled with lobster sauce was a highlight for me.

It is well worth going for the additional cheese board (one between 2 is enough for any couple as the choice is huge and generous) A speciality of Lyon is brought to the table along with a trolley of ripe cheeses from France. Three trolleys in all as an extra one comes with the Stilton mixed with Port. You may have as many cheeses as you care here and plenty of lovely bread and 2 sorts of butter, constantly replenished.

Service is attentive and unobtrusive. The staff are friendly and since Hamid speaks fluent french it was particularly pleasant to chat.

Chef toured the restaurant before the end of our meal, but you are able to watch the kitchen on large screens during the meal from some points in the dining rooms.

The rest rooms have some fantastic features with a bubbling geyser to wash your hands.

Our only criticism is the price of the wines - nothing much less than one hundred pounds but as a tip you can have several long drinks to start that are much more reasonable.

To finish we had a liquorice flavoured ice cream served on ice cold steel. See picture.

Dr Atomic is magnificent

I had tickets to see this minimalist opera at the colosseum in London.

It opens with a fantastic stage set incorperating the choir in boxes each one with a picture of a scientist working on the 1st atomic bomb.

Later in the production indians in full tribal dress replace them for a fabulous choral scene.

By the end tension is added to the threatening sounds and atmosphere by the props appearing to

There is so much to see and like in this opera. The orchestra and sound effects. The stage sets. The voices and of course the story. It is still possible to get tickets for the show and it is well worth anyones time and the relatively small price of the tickets.