Monthly Archives: May 2014

Blue Owl Art

I strongly recommend a visit to Blue Owl Art. The Private View of Launch, their opening exhibition was absolutely buzzing on Friday evening. Jette and Belinda have utilised the gallery space under the roof of the brand new Grantham Tennis Club building to promote emerging artists who have committed themselves to the dream of life as an artist with all the highs and lows, exhilaration and struggle that that entails. The turn-out proved that they have identified a genuine need and created a win/win situation where contemporary artists have a platform to strut their stuff while art-starved visitors can immerse themselves in a visual feast for free.

Here are the links:



More from the artist Carolyn Roberts here:

Lincs and Notts

I’m back in London following a stay with my good friends in the east midlands. There are ten new images in Photography and The Alternative World which is a pleasing haul for one main country walk. The inverted images in The Alternative World are surprising me lately as they swing wildly between imagery and abstraction. This one and several others came to life from images that were really ordinary in the real world while the photos in Photography did nothing in translation. That’s as it should be, though: I’m not posting anything that is just a pretty alternative of a straight shot. It has to do its own thing.

White Horses

White Horses

A Parallel Universe

There are a number of new images under the Visual Art tab. The Alternative World is an exploration of inverted or negative images. This is a simple, almost gimmicky idea but the fact is that you need a decent image to start with and then only a small percentage work out so the successes are a rare delight. After a while you get your eye in and have some idea what might have potential but the feeling of exploring another world is always there. I now occasionally spot things when I’m wielding the camera but mostly it’s a matter of sifting through my picture files and a lot of trial and error. I do crop sometimes and have no qualms about interfering if the image calls for it but, mostly, these are just as I discovered them, a pleasant surprise that I hope others will like too. The slightly eerie blue and mauve colours are rarely altered and are caused by the fact that our eyes are accustomed to light from a sun that is actually quite yellowy orange rather than pure white light.

Wade In The Water

Wade In The Water

Aziza Brahim

Here’s a similar live version of Julud, the track Aziza Brahim performed to steal the show on Later with Jools Holland this week. A beautiful tune sung with grace and restraint (and none of those hideous vocal gymnastic tics they find essential on TV talent shows!). At YouTube you can click the About tab to read a great piece about the album and the political and personal themes that intertwine in the lyrics. When she sang “You are like the night and the stars… you are an example of humanity and of fight” about the persistent and dignified example her mother gave through the political oppression in the Western Sahara, it kinda made Chris Martin’s emoting of “A Sky Full Of Stars” on the same show seem unfortunate and slightly vacuous in comparison. There are stars and there are stars.

Playlist, April 2014

Wire – Strange – Pink Flag

Jimi Hendrix – Third Stone From The Sun – Are You Experienced

Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child (Slight Return) – BBC Sessions

David Gilmour – The Narrow Way Part Two – Ummagumma

Gang Of Four – To Hell With Poverty – single

Broadcast – The Be Colony – Witch Cults Of The Radio Age

Jimi Hendrix – Cherokee Mist (Indian Song) – YouTube

Traffic – Heaven Is In Your Mind – Mr. Fantasy

Tame Impala – Lonerism -album

Mogwai – Stop Coming To My House – Happy Songs For Happy People

The Black Keys – Too Afraid To Love You – Brothers

Slint – Spiderland – album

Aziza Brahim – Julud – YouTube

Various – Rough Trade Post Punk Vol. 01 – album

Various – In The Beginning There Was Rhythm – album

Pere Ubu – Non-alignment Pact – The Modern Dance

Coldplay’s lyric hunt

When I first heard about Coldplay’s Willy Wonka golden ticket styled stunt to promote their imminent album release I thought it smacked of crass, cynical marketing hype. The idea of hiding the envelopes in public libraries around the globe, however, is inspired and fans seem to be having a lot of fun on day trips to open a load of books in buildings that deserve absolutely all the publicity and support that can be mustered.