on chesil beach

my friend Maria is a member of Barbican cinema, which has a great offer that enables you to go to see new films for a very reduced price on a Sunday morning – its a lovely comfortable cinema and it was quite refreshing to travel to a part of london that I don’t usually frequent on a Sunday. I really liked this film, despite its mixed reviews;  based on a novella by Ian McEwan, its set in early 1960’s and retells the honeymoon night of a young couple.  its very sensitively told and their youth and upbringing is revealed through flashbacks.  it may seem quite old fashioned now, but its a stark reminder how we used to hide our feelings and be affected by social stigmas.  its also quite sad, that 2 people who obviously love each other can’t be quite honest with one another and risk losing each other.  its quite slow, but both actors, Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle are both convincing and excellent, and the cinematography is very beautiful.   I have never been to chesil beach, but its definitely on my list now.

 

all too human and a century of painting life

if you love painting, then you would love this exhibition of paintings;  i think its the medium that i am drawn to the most with art – as well as paintings by Bacon and Freud, there are a selection by Rego, Auerbach and Sickert.   Tate Britain is a wondeful spacious gallery situated by the river – I find it less hectic and more peaceful than Tate Modern.

I particularly love walking around the area of Pimlico and Victoria – interesting independent shops, including lots of vintage and charity .  love this washing line really close by.

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the Guernsey literary and potato peel pie society

if you are looking for one of those Sunday afternoon films with beautiful period costumes and cinematic landscapes, then this is a perfect film.  its a sugary sweet love story about a writer who visits Guernsey in search of a story about a book club with locals,  in the aftermath of world war 2.

I was a bit disappointed to read thought that it was mainly set in Devon and Cornwall- both beautiful places – but I watched the film thinking how amazing Guernsey looked.

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100 club

I was lucky enough to watch 2 concerts last week, Gregory Porter at the Royal albert hall and Matt Bianco at the 100 club.  the royal albert hall is one of my favourite venues, but going to both so close to one another, I just felt that seeing live music in something small and intimate like the 100 club is just  far more superior;  you feel the music, the atmosphere and feel part of the whole night – takes me back to being young – the albert hall is a grown up sophisticated venue, but unless you are right at the front, you are quite distant.   we ate dinner in the newly refurbished Coda restaurant at the royal albert hall, which was quite good – I had never eaten in the venue before, but they have organised a 2 course dinner which fits in perfectly between finishing work and the concert starting.   we are so lucky in london to have all these live venues – long may they live.

walking through Kensington gardens on a balmy sunny evening in spring is so pretty.

 

badgers velvet underground

I am so chuffed to be showing alongside such talented and inspiring artisans this weekend at the Department Store -it was recently restored by  architects Squire and Partners, and revives a local Brixton landmark to create a series of collaborative workspaces supported by an evolving hub of creative, retail and community uses. Originally built in 1906 as an annexe to the Bon Marche department store  it is great to have such a space in the heart of Brixton.   this weekend the wonderful Ros Badger of  Badgers Velvet Underground has curated 40 artisans to come together to show for a 2 day event at the store.  there will be something for everyone and so utterly inspiring.  I will be presenting my merchants table of vintage finds amongst my drawings, photographs, prints and ceramics.  Friday 20th April 6 – 9pm, and Saturday 21st April 10 – 6pm.

Proud cabaret

sadly, Proud Camden was forced to close as the lease was not renewed, as the oligarch owner has decided to commercialise the market – a sad demise to london that independents are being forced out in place of commercialism and money.  so its great that Alex Proud has come up with another fantastic venture that puts London on the map;  I was fortunate to go to the opening night of the new Proud Cabaret on the embankment – a fun night of burlesque set in a glam 1920’s moulin rouge style club.   situated right on the river banks, the food is Chinese,  lots of cocktails served by equally glamorous staff – its a bit cirque de Soleil meets folies bergere.  its not a serious show, just an entertaining evening.   lets hope it doesnt get inundated with hen nights……

 

 

120 beats per minute

I highly recommend this two-hour plus historical drama about gay activism in the late 1980s/early 1990s by French writer-director Robin Campillo’s 120 Beats Per Minute.  Centring on the activist group Act Up-Paris, an offshoot of the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power that started in New York in 1987, it serves as a snapshot of those who resisted in the early days of the disease’s global pandemic. The film lives its “politics in the first person”, showing how Act Up lobbied for legislation, research and treatment for those with HIV/Aids, while also tracking a tender romance between two of its members.  it is sensitively filmed, very emotional, and quite explicit in some scenes , but the acting is great. of course I ended up in tears, remembering the friends who we did lose in that time, who now would be alive due to the discovery of better drugs.