Spinning Plates: Season of the Witch

So, a month since I updated my to do list, with a bloody busy ten days.

I’m leaving out lectures (four a week on average this term) and if I’m circumspect about details, it’s just because I’m superstitious that way.

  • Notes on bad taste and comedy – tonight
  • Paper on A Scanner Darkly – 30 September
  • notes on The Island of Doctor Moreau
  • Clarke conference CFP
  • Paper for Lisbon – mid-November
  • turn Wyndham paper into article – 1 December 2016
  • books proposal for Sekrit TTTTTTTT project – asap
  • revise bounced book manuscript – asap
  • three book reviews
  • turn War of the Worlds, The War in the Air and A Scanner Darkly papers into articles
  • Chapter on Star Wars – 22 February 2016
  • continue beer research
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Bish Bash Bosch

And so somewhere along the line I heard that a once in a lifetime exhibition of the work of Hieronymus Bosch was being shown in his home town of Den Bosch. Somewhat nervously, I decided that I wanted to go, although I nearly left it too late to book a slot. I booked a hotel in Amsterdam, a city I’d wanted to visit for years, and could have got to from Hull, had I spare time and spare cash and the same time.

So I went, and did the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh and took the train down to Den Bosch for what was a crowded but fantastic exhibition. I paid for it the next day, as my knee decided to pack up.

Ouchie.

Continue reading →

If You Go Back to the Woods Today

My Back to the Woods (National Gallery, 11 May-30 October 2016)

George Shaw is that rare beast, a painter who has been nominated for the Turner Prize. I was enough lucky to see the exhibition at the BALTIC, Gateshead, and to my mind it was the best work.

It couldn’t possibly win.

I don’t mean that in a modern art is crap way. I like contemporary art. I just haven’t found myself agreeing with the winners that often. Continue reading →

Beyond the Lady Gardens

Georgia O’Keeffe (Tate Modern 6 July-30 October 2016)

“you hung all your own associations with my flowers on my flowers and you write about my flowers as I think and see what you think and see of the flowers and I don’t”

“Miss O’Keeffe’s drawings … were of intense interest from a psycho-analytical point of view” Camera Work MDCCCCXII

Joanna Russ’s How to Suppress Women’s Writing is a blistering anatomy of the ways in which critics dismiss female authors. I suspect the same is true in the way we treat female artists. So many of them are just plain ignored, not part of the history, whereas others get related to more famous (artist) husbands. The recent Barbara Hepworth exhibition at Tate Britain is a case in point — the juxtaposition of her work with Ben Nicholson’s (much as I like him), risks privileging the influence in one way.

The muse is female. Continue reading →

Kit Out

Christopher Wood, Sophisticated Primitive (Pallant House, 2 July–2 October 2016)

There is a shadow over the art of Christopher Wood:

Aged twenty-nine, having just had tea with his mother, he threw himself under a train at Salisbury and was killed.

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