Monthly Archives: April 2011

Alfred Wallis & Ben Nicholson

Yesterday’s Black Bough day trip consisted of a visit to Compton Verney in Warwickshire to see their Alfred Wallis and Ben Nicholson show. It’s a gem of an exhibition; tight, considerate and direct. The currency of Wallis’s work at the time was the interesting part for me; that his paintings were passed between other artists and, as in the Winifred Nicholson painting below, used as a prop. You just have to hope that he wasn’t exploited by this patronage.

It all made me want to visit Jim Ede’s house at Kettle’s Yard again, and also to see Wallis’s grave in St Ives with its Bernard Leach tiles.


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Jonathan Glazer w/ Jason Pierce @ Coachella

Fingers crossed that this project makes it out of Coachella and finds a temporary home somewhere a bit more convenient. There’s a longer piece about what they are trying to do on The Creators Project website; Jonathan Glazer says that he was trying to make a visual experience to accompany music without making a music video.

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Black Bough Day Trip

Tuesday is our day off. In an attempt to not spend it embroiled in catching up with paperwork, making things for the shop, or housework, we are endeavouring to take a weekly trip somewhere.

Aberystwyth and Aberdyfi (Aberdovey) were the target destinations. Feeling all the better for some sea air, sunshine and encounters with dead jellyfish on the beach.

Should probably have made time to go to Borth, somewhere that Henry recommended and that I now learn is cited by Morrissey as the inspiration for Every Day Is Like Sunday. Did however make it to Ultracomida for a take out lunch, eaten on the cliffs at Aberystwyth castle.

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Toby Ziegler at New Art Gallery Walsall

I missed the opening but made it over to Walsall on Saturday to hear Toby Ziegler in conversation with Elizabeth Neilson from the Zabludowicz Collection on exhibition of the body of work he made for the Collection entitled The Alienation of Objects. A really lovely exhibition, it’s on until June 18th, if you happen to be venturing on to the M6, get off at Walsall and go and have a look.

The photographs above are of his installation at 176 Prince of Wales Road, the Zabludowicz Collection HQ in London. The re-imagining of the pieces for Walsall presents them in a very different way, and in the starkly beautiful spaces of the Caruso St John designed galleries. The New Art Gallery Walsall opened in Feb 2000 replacing the previous gallery. Somewhere in my vast collection of disorganised museum postcards I have 2 cards from the Garman Ryan Collection for which the Walsall gallery was built to house that I bought from it’s previous incarnation.


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Chick Infestation

It’s the Easter window to beat all other Easter windows.


Filed under Birds, Craft

New product alert

I have a much loved leather purse that I bought in the sale of a well known retailer with a high-end store on Westbourne Grove; over the years the leather on this purse has softened magnificently, the lining has long since disintegrated but it has done me proud. Having found a local leather worker (it still raises a few eyebrows when I say I am going to see a man about some leather) and bitten the bullet about having a knife made to cut the appropriate sized piece of leather and chewed further bullets in commissioning a brass embossing stamp – in itself a thing of beauty – I collected our first commissioned pieces yesterday.

One has already found its way into my back pocket.

The stamping process is that which would ordinarily be used in conjunction with silver or gold foil – if I say National Trust leather bookmark you might get the idea – it’s a heated system so effectively it brands the leather.

On equipment that I can deal with in a domestic setting I’ve also made some pencil cases/zipped wallets for the shop as below, which, if it has achieved nothing else, it has at least meant that I have learned hoe to sew in a zip.


Filed under Craft, Design

It’s hard enough to watch the news yet alone explain it to a child.

Ain’t that the truth Mr Ben Watt.

Today was regime change at Black Bough. Or rather I changed the window.

Out with the Angie Lewin-esque umbellifer stems and in with blackthorn blossom. It’s pretty fragile stuff, I pinched the branches from a local field (with the permission of the farmer obviously) and although the branches still seem to be full of flower, the back of my car is also looking like the aftermath of some vigorous confetti throwing at a country wedding.

Primroses are still “underplanting” these branches but they might see themselves moved to the meadow at home any day soon – to join the emergent camassias and erythronium.


Filed under Craft, Design, Gardening, Music