March - Red Ladder Inspirations
The photography museum here in Stockholm has amazing views from it’s cafe. Unfortunately you have to pay entrance to use it, so I was happy to discover the ‘daydreamer’ membership. It’s only 39kr a month and gives you free entrance (usually 165kr) plus 10% off in the cafe. Go at least once every 4 months and you’ve covered your costs.
To be honest I’d gone off photography exhibitions, I’d seen a few that were too clever, or narcissistic, or nihilistic. So this time, having gone to use the cafe, I was amazed to find 3 exhibitions that I loved.
Anja Niemi - In Character (see the photo above). Everyone in this small exhibition had big smiles on their faces.
Jesper Waldersten - ‘All Over’, I don’t know if I would say I ‘liked’ his work, but it made me want to make stuff, which is a massive compliment to him.
Alison Jackson - ‘Truth is Dead’, having a laugh (look closely below) while making a serious point.
I’m really intrigued by Charlotte Prodger’s short film, made on her iPhone, - Bridgit (2016), but I wonder how I can get to see more than this trailer? It won the Turner Prize so is not liklely to turn up on Netflix, or be found in the DVD bargain bin. If you know where I can watch it all do get in touch.
Home as Art
the David Parr House
I’m thinking about buying a little terrace house in Norfolk so I was inspired to see pictures of David Parr’s house in Cambridge. The website says this, “The David Parr House is a treasure-trove of discovery… it represents an extraordinary survival of modest domesticity in a city where we have lost all evidence of what day to day family life was like in the early twentieth century.”
I doubt most day to day family life was in a house like his. He worked as a painter and decorator and, for decades, spent his free time turning his house into an Arts and Crafts vision. I’d call it ‘a temple’ a homage to day to day life.
Pictures below are courtesy of David Parr House -
In a world where YouTube tutorials are getting faster and faster and I have the option of listening to my podcast on double or triple speed, I’m loving the slow stuff. Slow TV and radio, ‘The Sewing Bee’, ‘Gardener’s World’ and ‘The Food Programme’, all on the BBC.
My jaw nearly hit the ground when I heard Jacob Rees-Mogg complain that the BBC was ‘too left-wing’. These days I’m so appalled at their news coverage that I want to throw my radio out the window. But the BBC does give us some fabulous stuff, I’m thinking of these -
The Art of Japanese Life
Superb three part series, with a lovely young guy, in a sharp suit, going around Japan and being genuinely moved by the things he finds. Never saying too much or being embarrassed by his own sensitivity. He’s made a TV series that has a ‘wabi sabi’ sensibility and I hope the BBC gives him a free pass to make whatever he wants in the future. Here is a little clip of him visiting Japanese carpenters.
Billy Connolly - Made in Scotland
Now and then I catch myself asking ‘where are all the adults'?’. There is a certain way of being in the world which I think of as ‘adult’, and if I’m about to refer to Billy Connolly as an adult then you know it’s not about being serious. Here he is at 75 years old, with parkinson’s disease, reflecting on his past and wondering about his future. I cried at regular intervals through both episodes. Thank you universe for Billy Connolly, such an intelligent, emotional, beautiful and fully grown up man. Here he’s talking about being a kid in Glasgow.
Last night, we watched the final episode, of the final series, of Fleabag. Telly that makes you clap your hands! Phoebe Waller-Bridge is back soon, with season two of ‘Killing Eve’ on Netflix. Here’s a fleabag clip with the wonderful Olivia Colman playing the evil stepmother.
My summer holiday starts at the end of April, it’s a long cold winter here in Sweden and I can’t wait any longer. Here’s my reading list -
Marina Abramovic - Walk Through Walls - a memoir.
Elizabeth David’s - Mediterranean Food - yes, a cookbook, but it is no.30 in the Guardian’s top 100 non-fiction books!
Reggie Ray - The Practice of Pure Awareness