Man Ray & George Catlin at the NPG, London
06 Mar 13
Much as I love Many Ray's photos I was somewhat underwhelmed by the Man Ray Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Maybe they've just become too familiar to me. Fortunately, I was able to get a sneak preview (one of the perks of being an NPG member!) of George Catlin's American Indian Portraits, which I've never seen before. During the 1830s Catlin made five trips to the western United States to document the native American people and their way of life. This was a time of rapid change in the American West. By 1837 over 45,000 indigenous people had been removed from their homeland in South Eastern US. Catlin was an opponent of white encroachment onto Indian lands, which he thought would lead to the inevitable extinction of Native American cultures in all their variety. The Sioux, Blackfoot, Choctaw, Comanche and Kichapoo are just some of those he painted. One of my favourite's is the portrait of Stu-mick-o-sucks, Buffalo Bull's Back Fat - a chief of the Blackfoot.
03 Mar 13
Just screened Tarkovsky's 'Stalker' for the first time in ages - yes, still working my way through Sight and Sounds greatest films of all time (Stalker: 29th equal with Shoah in the Critics' top 100 and 30th in the Directors')! It's an extraordinary film (though my favourite Tarkovsky film is 'Andrei Roublev') and I particularly love the last scene, from which this image is taken. Now I'm going to read Geoff Dyer's book 'Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room'. Appears that Dyer has been obsessed by 'Stalker' since he first saw it (not sure when that was but I'm sure all will be revealed) and this is his exploration of it.
02 Mar 13
Took this on the way to get the papers this morning...
Blood and Fire: Roots, Reggae and... Rastafari
27 Feb 13
Only just catching up with Don Letts' two part special on Rastafari broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Thursday 13th and Friday 14th February. Wonderful trip down memory lane which had me reaching for some old vinyl including this Trojan compilation of late-Sixties and early/mid-Seventies tracks by Dennis Brown, Big Youth, Peter Tosh, I Roy, Junior Byles, The Heptones and many others from this "golden period of roots reggae". The album cover still has the price sticker on it: $14.95 from Cool Runnin' in New York - a shop I used to frequent in the mid-Eighties. Classic cover!!
24 Feb 13
Another beautiful day in Connemara.
16 Feb 13
Fantastic night last night at the St. Patrick's Dalkey Annual Table Quiz. Thirty three tables but only one winner! Great to be on that table - and look at the loot!
13 Feb 13
Magical light here... and everyday it's different.
12 Feb 13
A special place in Connemara.
08 Feb 13
New story just published in the March issue of Town & Country.
10 Jan 13
On a recce in the Wicklow mountains. Always magical here.