Friday, 19 October 2012

Travels 2012 - Oct 18th - Day 9 - The 60th

Day 9
So we arrive at the 60th of Marisol and its our anniversary to boot, so a day to be enjoyed.
Shopping followed by a mouth watering meal at Massala Zone on Marshall Street, then exhibitions at the Royal Academy on Picadilly and Tate Britain in Pimlico.
Finally a birthday dinner with Anil, Hannah, John and Loli at an Italian restaurant in Soho, called Boca di Lupo or mouth of wolf - which is like saying 'break a leg'. 'you are in a lucky place', the waiter told us.
Mewith Anil and Hannah in London

We could get used to this!!
Happy Birthday and anniversary, Marisol and Arvinder.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Travels 2012 - day 7,8 - more art

Day 7.
After the usual morning rituals we headed to the shops and later after a quick bite to eat got to the Saatchi Gallery on Kings Road. Some great photographic exhibitions, but the thing that really made us smile was the huge array of Karl Lagerfeld photographs that take up an entire floor, where all the images have been printed on paper then hung directly on the walls with small pins...exactly the same way that I hung my Fractal images in Laredo. One of the associates of the gallery expressed his concern on seeing what I had done, and said he thought that it was a cheap way of putting up an exhibition. I thought it was quite a modern way to display, and buyers could choose their own frames..never mind we bring progress slowly to the provincials!
Karl Lagerfeld photo hung straight on wall with pins at the Saatchi Gallery

Day 8.
More shopping, lunch at the Cafe Pacifico, which appears to have improved quite a bit! They had a lunch special, where everything was half price! and a glass of wine 1.50, Margarita 3 pounds! amazing for London..then we saw the 'On the Road' movie which has just arrived in London. I was a Kerouac fan, and was one who had read the book with some interest, however the film dissappointed me a bit. There were obvious nostalgia moments, however the treatment of some events was too graphic and in your face, whereas in the book they were passing references. So instead of building an atmosphere, the film spends two hours where the characters are going nowhere and appear to make a nuisance of themselves along the way.
Oh well, I had been looking forward to seeing this but it did not quite live up to my expectations.
Then as we left the cinema and began to walk down Shaftesbury Avenue, someone on a bicycle shouted 'Marisollllll' and came to a screeching halt on the avenue, causing a minor panic in the traffic. It was Wayne Chisnall from the London Biennale group of artists that we used to socialize and work with in the past. He had just bought a new bicycle too!
Marisol and Wayne on Shaftesbury Avenue!

Dinner with Derek and Pat near Regent Street was much more relaxing and enjoyable..

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Travels 2012 - Day 5, 6

Day 5 was interesting..we decided to join Anil in London after browsing the markets around Brick Lane, Old Spitalfields market and the big market at Brick Lane itself.
Now there is something distinctive about someone picking you out of a crowd full of people, however it soon turns to degradation if it happens to be a ticket inspector who boards a bus full of people and comes straight to you and asks to show him your ticket. The day improved soon after that.
We were expecting to meet Anil around lunchtime, however a phone conversation revealed that he was not feeling too well. The cause of this malady was a party the night before when the attendees were stamped on their wrists with a warning that went something like 'beautiful debby f***'s you', perhaps referring to the special punch the hostess had prepared for the revellers! Apparantly everyone had a tremendous sickness and hangover the next morning and had to call the hostess to find out how to cure it. Designer Hangover was an apt description.
Anyway, Anil was late, we ate fast food from a market stall ( Morrocan food which was almost like curries) but it was nice to see him, as that was one of the main reasons we had stopped over in London. We hung around the Bethnal Green area shown around by Anil and Hannah, then headed back home to Epsom.
Day 6
Today we packed our hand luggage to spend the next week or so in London, staying at the beautiful home of John and Loli, almost within touching distance of that famous zebra crossing made famous by Beatles' Abbey Road album.
Two things stand out from today, the first being that Mr Saatchi made a big mistake - advertising his 'New Sensations' exhibition as finishing today, so when we arrived at Victoria House at Bloomsbury Square, we found that the show had closed the previous day!! Not possible, this is London!
Never mind, we had just enough time to head for the Tate where we were meeting Luis and Maruja for art, jazz and later dinner when our hosts John and Loli also joined us.
The 2nd thing that stands out today is a small news item that attracted my attention in the free paper you can find everywhere in London. The first public law suit against American and European banks  for the interest rate manipulations  for the subprime mortgages in the USA. That could be collosal, a total estimate of all such cases could be more than 200 billions dollars!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Travels 2012 - Day 4 - Cork Street

Day 4 and we headed back into London and we bump into Jon Gershon, an artist we used to know before moving to Spain. We decide to join him to go to Cork Street, where the annual breakfast and Champaign happens during the Frieze week. This year a protest was planned as all the galleries are threatened with closure,  to make way for expensive apartments. So in complete sympathy we visited the galleries, signed the petition, had the breakfast, and met up with other old artist friends (see Mali in the photo)
With Mali in Cork St

Me outside the Flowers Gallery in Cork Street

Then we were off to Marshall street to try some Indian street food at Masala Zone, but not before Marisol had bought a must have pair of shoes at the amazing Irregular Choice, as a birthday present. To get an idea of the kind of shoes see
 this photo!!
The Irregular Choice in Carnaby Street

Later we arrived in Epsom for a dinner with friends, which was number 3 of Marisol's birthday celebrations. There are a few more to go,  in London, Dubai, Delhi and Bangkok.

Travels 2012 - Day 3 - Frieze Art Fair

We skip day 2, which got used up in catching up with various  UK activities and friends in the Epsom area, and head into day 3 which had been scheduled for visiting the Frieze art fair. As luck would have it Anil asked us a few days ago if we wanted some tickets to Frieze, which Hannah was able to get as she was working at the stand of an American art magazine. Did we just!!
So we made our way to Frieze at Regents Park, where Hannah met us with our tickets, an early 60th birthday present. We were soon walking around the massive site and enjoying the huge array of art on display.

This year there are fewer surprises and a lot of 'low-brow' art and the overall impression is not as inspirational as other years. That does not stop us from walking around for seven hours, and take in the topical wooden functional structure where they are wining and dining people with red hair! I am not wearing my red turban,alas, or I may have qualified!
Then there are the galleries from Mumbai, where there appears to be a dead body in a wedding dress, and a video of a performance with the dress, and a project to film ' a murder at an art fair' using the visitors as extras! There is a lot to see and we dutifully walk through each and every booth.
Later totally drained we avoid all entertainment to get back to Epsom and a nice dinner at the home of Fionnuala.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Travels 2012 - Day 1 - London

Ok, so the time is ripe for a short six week escape and to visit a few friends and to see some new places. Its Marisol's big one this  year so this is kind of a big present, but I am sort of tagging along. She needs me I am sure, says I. Its our anniversary too, so hopefully I  deserve this too.
So its day 1 and we have taken Vuelling flight from Bilbao, a few miles east of where we live. An hour or two later we landed at Heathrow, and a short taxi ride brought us to our friend Fionnuala's home in Epsom, just south of London.
The next few days we will be in and around London, Frieze art show, Anil, Indian food, and a few birthday celebrations. Marisol has already had two or three gatherings, including a surprise party which had her shaking and in tears for several minutes! However her big day does not actually happen until the 18th, so there is still time to arrange more celebrations as we pass through different places and meet up with friends and family. The idea this yearis for us to go to our friends instead of the other way around,
So the trip will take us from England to Dubai, to Steve and Maya, then on to India where will catch with family. Then a week in Bangkok, before retrace our steps back to Spain.
I will be writing a travelogue and you all are welcome to follow our exploits as events unfold.
Wish us luck as we head out to enjoy ourselves.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Praying for an equation

A few weeks ago, just before the inauguration of my Fractals exhibition, I went to a neighbouring town where some friends had setup an exhibition jointly with some Italians, and there was some poetry reading and live music, all very nice. One of the poets, read out a poem in Spanish, whose last line really surprised me. It was in English and said 'I feel like praying for an equation'!

Now as you all probably know by now, my Fractals are based on mathematical equations, and I happened to have a Tablet in my bag, with the images of my exhibition. So at the end, I could not resist the temptation to introduce myself to the poet, and compliment her on her poem, comment on the sudden switch to English at the end, and ask 'Would you like to see an equation'?

I was not the least bit surprised when she said 'yes, of course'.

So I pulled out my tablet and showed her a few images from my collection. Needless to say that she was impressed, and I invited her to my exhibition, and to read out the poem in front of an audience during the 'finnisage' or the closing event, where all of my sponsors, buyers and invited friends enjoyed this story and the very same poem.

Thanks to Mar I Bel, some things just happen as if they were meant to.