whathappensinlondon

Storyteller

In Day to Day on January 27, 2013 at 11:07 am

Seeing as the wonderful exhibition Tim Walker: Storyteller finishes today, I thought it was a good time to publish my review of loads of reasons you should go, and just one why you shouldn’t.

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You don’t have to be an avid reader of Vogue, or any of the other huge fashion names associated with Walker’s photography to appreciate his brilliant approach, as it’s his creativity and boundless imagination which makes his work so captivating. As well as photographs, of course, the fairly small exhibition features a selection of the huge props he has used over the years, from an insect playing the cello, to a fairly creepy giant doll waving you off as you leave the last room.

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Drawing comparison to Annie Leibovitz, his talent lies in creating incredible sets and stories – the photograph merely captures this in a perfect image at the last moment.

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In my opinion, it’s his take on Edward Scissorhands and the recurring theme of skeletons that really show how he manages to use some of the more sinister aspects of the world of fantasy to show off beautiful clothes.

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And the one reason you shouldn’t go? The Rizzoli gift shop is SO disappointing – for £3 a postcard, I expect at least more than one choice (the Humpty Dumpty image used in all the advertising for the exhibition). Same goes for the posters. With such an incredible range of work on display in the actual exhibition, it would be nice to see some of the same variety in the shop. But that’s it, my only complaint, you should definitely get up and go to the exhibition right now.

They might even reduce that postcard as it’s the last day…

Get your skates off

In Day to Day on December 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm

COVENT GARDEN, SOMERSET HOUSE, THE STRAND

So, last weekend I managed get nail varnish remover spilt on my beloved MacBook Pro. Obviously in no way my own fault, it still meant a Sunday trip up to the Mac Store in Covent Garden and a very long wait seeing as their online booking system is totally shit.

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With 4 hours to kill between getting there and my vital 15 minute appointment with them geniuses at the Genius Bar, I guilt-tripped a couple of friends into spending the day in Covent Garden. Turns out ‘I’m so sad, I’ve potentially lost all of my photos of me larking around on a beach in Thailand’ tugs at the heartstrings in more ways than you would expect and they eagerly jumped on the train to meet me.

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First off, while waiting for my friends to spend a day waiting with me, I stopped off at Somerset House. It’s so pretty once they’ve put up the skating rink, I challenge anyone to go there and not start to feel a bit Christmassy. I watched everyone whizzing around (no falls) for a bit, but it’s not as fun as actually going on the ice so made my way towards the exhibitions. There’s loads on at the moment, and most of it’s free, so I’d massively recommend heading up there if you’re looking for something to do of a weekend while still saving up the pennies for important festive things like booze and Christmas presents and a sequinned dress for the office party.

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The first exhibition I went to is just to your left as you walk into the main reception. In the late 1940s black-and-white photographer Cartier-Bresson said that ‘colour photography is not up to the mark; prove me wrong’. Curator William Ewing has set about doing just that in ‘Cartier-Bresson: A Question of Colour‘, by showcasing a number of photographers working in colour who also adopt Cartier-Bressons hallmark ‘decisive moment’ style of photo.

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For the exhibition Ewing has chosen contemporary photographers including my favourites Karl Baden, Ernst Haas, Fred Herzog, Joel Meyerowitz, Alex Webb and Trent Parke. Each interprets the ethos in their own way but all display incredible talent for powerful capturing split-second moments.

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Next up, Night Paintings from Paul Benney. The curation and location of this exhibition make it a worthwhile visit as it’s situated underneath the ice rink in a series of hidden passageways and atmospheric chambers. The space, known as Deadhouse, has never been used for an exhibition before and actually contains the gravestones of 17th century courtiers within the vaults and set into the walls. To find out more, there are free organised tours every Thursday and Saturday. Also, if you were left dying to find out more after reading my blog post on how London is romanticised in films, Deadhouse plays Newgate prison in the 2009 Sherlock Holmes film.

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I squeezed in the Henri-Besson photo exhibition and Paul Benney’s Night Paintings exhibition but am heading back this weekend so that I can see the Valentino and Timothy Walker exhibitions – to be honest I want to give them more time as I’ve heard that both are brilliant.

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Seeing as I’ve tagged and led this with spilling nail varnish remover on a MacBook, here’s a link to what you should do straight away (which I didn’t). You’re welcome.

All aboard the Big Red Bus

In Day to Day on October 28, 2012 at 5:23 pm

DEPTFORD

And I’m not talking about one of those sightseeing tour buses. The Big Red pizza bus is the antithesis of a London bus: it’s fun, it’s relaxed, you have s-p-a-c-e and you don’t have to pay to get on it. Oh, and it doesn’t go anywhere.

Selling pizzas, beer and delicious mojitos this place is definitely one you should add to your list should you find yourself in the area. Too often, I get so bored with the chain restaurants in Blackheath and Greenwich and this is a good alternative, tucked away at the end of Creek Road next to The Bird’s Nest.

I’ve already written a post about the best pizzas in London, and I’m annoyed I hadn’t discovered these ones when I wrote it. They are delicious. Not too thick and they don’t skimp on toppings (although I’ve read reviews that say each time you go the toppings on the pizzas change – I think this is a good thing but I suppose if you order something once, you’d expect it to be the same the next time you order it).

It’s cheap, too – an average meal with a drink and side/starter comes in just over a tenner. Try the Flamenco, which has Italian chorizo and lumps of morcilla, which is like black pudding – they’ve also got Meantime beer, side salads and a selection of desserts. The one thing on the menu I wouldn’t recommend is the bread and dipping oil, simply because you don’t get enough.

I was pleased to see that there’s room for loads of people in the number 30, which is good now the weather’s turned colder, but their outdoor area is covered in awning with lots of comfy sofas and blankets for the braver among us.

The location is what does it for me. Although Deptford is enjoying a bit of a regeneration at the moment, there are still parts of it that belong on Derelict London and by being situated underneath the DLR, on a main road, the area occupied by Big Red feels random and totally out-of-the-way. Actually I tell a lie, the mojitos are what do it for me…

I’m even more likely to go back now I know there are plans to park a truck next to it and to create a cinema.

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