Posts Tagged ‘Bethal Green’

Since a temporary move out from my favoured East End, I have to admit that I have struggled to get back there as often as I had initially hoped. There was a brief visit that involved various local bars… but that’s another story.

Whitechapel Gallery however proved too tempting to dismiss. Gillian Wearing’s film and photography exhibition has been available for view since March so I had little excuse.

The exhibitions underlining theme is the exploration of public personas and private lives. After walking into Gallery 1, you are presented with a small screen video of Wearing dancing in the centre of a shopping centre with no music and unaware of the public reactions around her.

I then caught the last few moments of 2010’s video ‘Bully’. An extremely powerful piece where a group of actors are directed to replay a scenario from the directors past. The line between acting and experience blur as the director ends the video aggressively berating the bullies and showing his disgust for the group that just stood and watched as he was victimised. The piece closes with the director in genuine tears, in which might have been his first release since the experience happened.

There are also lighter, but equally engaging pieces to view. 1992’s photography piece entitled ‘Signs that say what you want them to say, and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say’, provides a blank page and marker for strangers to write their thoughts and views. A simple piece that offers an insight into how people’s focus and concerns at the time haven’t changed dramatically compared to today, financial worries, war, racism and governments all included.

There are several other pieces, sharing the theme of public/private perception. Confess All On Video. Don’t Worry, You Will Be In Disguise. Intrigue? Is another darker piece that provides the volunteers the opportunity to confess their secrets of their past behind the safety of a mask. Although I read most of the transcripts rather than watched the videos they will equally moving.

Overall, although not always easy to sit through, the exhibition is powerful and one that I would recommend.


A quick update on some of the pieces that caught my attention this week.

The original piece was one of my favourites, however this is a worthy successor.


Not sure I have done this piece justice, but pretty cool and dark.


Poor old Cookie Monster, I like the little stencil pieces that can be found.


A new David Shillinglaw piece next to the brilliant No Limit Tattoo on Bacon Street.


An old favourite from Eine


That’s all for now, hope you enjoy.

If you have a few hours to spare one evening or over the weekend, I highly recommend a visit to the Natural History Museum. To be specific I am highlighting their current Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, which runs until next March. It provides an amazing selection of digital photographs by amateurs ranging from adults to children.
The pictures provide an insight into the beauty and cruelty of nature alongside the destructive influence of man. There is a great mix of visually striking images, to the simplistic solitude of a single animal with a minimal terrain.  The visit was completed with the obligatory walk through the dinosaur section.

I then travelled back to east London and the repetitively visited Redchurch Street, where two exhibitions caught my eye.
First was the debut solo show by stencil/graffiti artist ‘Snik’ who’s work was hosted at ‘The Gallery’. The collection is under the title of Nocturnal and the theme of darkness prevails through each piece. I have been a fan of his work for some time, and the vibrant bright flashes of colour scream out off the darkness enhancing all of his techniques used. In addition to work on canvas, Snik  also uses a chair, piano and vintage cases to display his work. A collection I really recommend, I am already regretting not purchasing a signed print that I saw a couple of years ago.

A few steps further and I arrived at the Londoncastle Project Space to view ‘Lawrence Watson Photographs Noel Gallagher’. Watson had unprecedented access to Gallagher during the 18 month period leading toward and including the recording of his first solo album ‘High Flying Birds’.
Each selection of photographs (that range from black & white to striking colours) follow Gallagher from the UK across America. I was pleasantly surprised at the volume of images on display, although there were more than I thought there would be the total was perfect for the journey being tracked.
The end of the gallery had a projected video of Gallagher discussing the recording process, and although I haven’t heard the full album yet it provided a great insight into the meaning behind the album. The exhibition closes on the 13th so be sure to visit the gallery before it closes.

It has been a quiet week, however I did manage to make the most of a sunny Monday and head down to Tower Bridge & the Tower of London.

Living and working so close the pair, it’s easy to take them for granted and forget how stunning they both are. However, the real bonus was the All Hallows by the Tower Church, with a crypt containing the remains of an original Roman flooring and underground chambers.

I apologise for the picture quality as they were taken on a BlackBerry, I hope however you can still enjoy.





A few pics from the crypt




As a movie junky I have no excuses to have never visited the Aubin Cinema on Redchurch Street, which is located under the Aubin & Wills shop and is a true find.

The theatre consists of 29 single seats and 8 two people sofas (all with blankets if preferred). If that wasn’t enough each chair has its own little table with drink holder for your tipple of choice whether it be beer, wine or plain water. The intimacy of the venue really adds to the movie going experience. The prices are a little more expensive than your standard cinema, however I can assure you that the value far outweighs the price.

The movie I saw was Lars Von Trier’s latest epic ‘Melancholia’. The film’s plot revolves around an unknown planet that threatens to collide into the earth. During this time of uncertainty,  Von Trier splits the movie into two parts, highlighting a continuous story from the perspective of two troubled sisters (Kirsten Dunst & Charlotte Gainsbourg).

The film has an unusual high number of Hollywood stars (for a Von Trier movie) including Kieffer Sutherland and John Hurt. Although Sutherland adds a darker humour to the film the surprise highlight is Dunst’s performance as the tormented Justine.

The plot & dialogue feels a little weak at times, however the opening sequence and score is truly a thing of cosmic beauty.  The final sequence is possibly one of the most powerful and visually astounding I have ever seen. The theatre, clearly aware this impact slowly increased the volume accordingly which only intensified the movies finale. 

It’s hard to discuss the ending further without a spoiler, however the 5 minutes of pure silence after its completion was the first I had seen. No one was in a hurry to leave their seats as we were trying to take every last part in before we braved the cold outside.

The film itself maybe wasn’t Von Trier’s greatest and a ‘slow burner’, however the sequences mentioned have to be witnessed in a cinema, and at present I couldn’t think of one better than the Aubin. 

I had the pleasure of seeing the finishing touches added to this piece.

I loved it so much I had to take three pics.

There is one more pic blog to go. However I have a few things planned over the next few days, so I will post in a few weeks.

I know I posted some similar pics a few months ago, however I believe the following blow them ‘out of the water’.

I apologise in advance at the picture quality, I used a BlackBerry at 06.45 to get most of the shops shut.

A bright start to the list

About time there was something new from Sweet Toof

Old Street’s very own Pure Evil, at the excellent Print Club

Wish I knew this artist.. Let me know if you do

Keep an eye out as the next post focusses on one piece that is the best I have seen for years.