Visiting the Antiques Fair

My sister and I went to the Kensington Olympia Art Fair. We ate a hearty meal at an award winning Persian restaurant with very reasonable prices where the lamb melted in the mouth.

After that we visited the Fair which was literally across the road. It was a lovely experience. So many beautiful pieces and very accesible in that everything was priced and many priced very reasonably.

It proves that you can have a fair where art and antiquities are priced and still have it be accessible to ordinary people people a day antiquities wonderful event.

Man sister was a little shocked that authentic works by Mattise were going for less than works by less a famous artists, she is likely right from from a valuation standpoint, but blue paper cut outs are not really worth more than beautiful oil paintings in terms of artistic talent, beauty, and merit to me personally so I don’t know.

What is the famous saying “I don’t know ‘art’ but I know what I like”

And for me be that Ballet, opera, paintings, furniture, clothes or jewellery, it’s all about the classics for me.


Refreshment for the Soul

After work last eve, myself, my sister, and two others went to see Rossini’s The Barber of Seville at the English National Opera.

This is the second time I have seen this wonderful performance at the London Coliseum. I enjoyed it, even more, this time because I had far better seats and could see the performance as well as hear it!

There were a total of 4 black people that I saw and I am one of the four. The other was my sister attending with me, the single black cast member playing one of the Musicians/Soldiers (an unnamed part with some chorus singing) and lastly the ice-cream vendor (I recommend the Salted Caramel, it was delicious, and not too shocking at £3, unlike the Baileys for a staggering £7!)

I turned to my sister at one point and joked, “want to play spot the black person” she turned to me and answered simply, “no, why would I want to do that?”. I’d forgotten who I was talking to, I play this game with my daughter all the time, it amuses us no end, and sometimes if you’re lucky enough to spot another black person at these events you get the nod, I can’t explain this to you easily. I suggest you watch this to hilarious video to help you

My sister and I were raised in a tight-knit religious community that had no interest in or time for racism as we are all God’s creation. (Don’t worry, there is a fair amount of biblically mandated female as second to a male to counter this). My point is for me it’s amusing when people do a double take at seeing a black person at an opera or ballet. In fact, the double take is so common it is one of the main reasons I never hesitate to wear items from the Indian part of my heritage -because people are going to stare anyway, may as well give them some truly fabulous modified sari and jewellery to stare at!

However, for the first time I had a good think about this last night and wondered.

Is it really exclusion when my people often don’t want what you’re selling?

The Barber of Saville in case you don’t know about it, is a comic opera and is meant to be laughed out loud at, they make frequent jokes in the performance about how these new comic operas are dreadful because that was how vox-pop (the voice of the populous) felt at the time. Yet apart from two ladies sitting next to us howling with laughter (actually quite unusual at these events) the mostly native English crowd sat stiffly through the performance as standard with the occasional chortle, only coming to life for the thunderous applause at the end when they deign it appropriate to react.

My culture is immersed in music and dance and joy and vibrancy, we find it very difficult to sit stiffly and not show enjoyment of the art forms we celebrate -and in the end maybe that is what excludes.

What a Jag

Jaguar created a 3D presentation using a model scale car, projections, and video and created the illusion the car was driving through the skilful use of light and staging and all manner of clever tricks.

*(Image Source: ku.mace.17, 2017)

Apart from the pleasing visual-audio experience, the message seemed to be that in the future autonomous cars will become the norm. Unfortunately, the data does not support that. There are a veritable plethora of ethical issues surrounding the fact the logic systems in self-driving cars must be programmed to take evasive measures.

*(Video Source: Ted-Ed, 2015)

One cannot complain about this, it is a simple matter of logic. Computers do not understand grey areas, they are logic driven calculators. Binary, 0 or 1, true or false.

In short, unless Jaguar has some new solution to this computational quagmire, you and I may not be taking an autonomous Jag ride anytime soon.

Off To See the Wizards

On Wednesday the 20th of September we went to the Design Frontiers exhibition, at Somerset House, Embankment, London. It was running as part of the London Design Week.

Frankly, I am not one for modern art or anything bland or in my personal view pointless. Of course, personal tastes are highly subjective. Many find my love of all things that glitter pointless, to each their own! I’m just saying, show me a glittering beautiful piece of fabric or jewellery in rich primary colours, sumptuous jades, rich golds, mouth-watering rubies and we can be friends. Show me bland boring clothes in white and grey, or as I saw at the exhibition at the far end, -fabric that appeared to be undulating in a somewhat nausea-inducing manner for no apparent reason –no thank you o_O

There was little in the way of things I found aesthetically pleasing. However, there were several things I found very interesting 😀

Day One-Ish

So, the welcome week is over!

We started out, all of us tense and prepared for the best or the worst. We the new class of 2017 huddled together not sure what to expect but determined nonetheless 🙂

*(Image Source: King of the hill, No copyright infringement intended, posted under fair use policy)

The first day was difficult for a host of reasons including an over 2 month battle for funding because of a host of administrative errors, meaning on the day it was still very much up in the air. Sub-zero temperatures all day and at the end of a long day some “testing” I was unprepared for and yet had to submit as a representation of my ability was, unfortunately, the straw that broke the proverbial Camel’s back ^^’

It was an unmitigated disaster in terms of the first impression any student would hope to make! 😳

When this kind of thing happens, no matter how horrifying, infuriating, frustrating, and humiliating, you just have to remind yourself that there are far worse things going on than your first world problems, so just be glad you have a second chance, and pick yourself up, dust yourself off and redouble your efforts to do better 🙂

The next session was much warmer thank goodness 😀 and we were able to get down to the practical exercise of creating team protocols based on what we had experienced in the past. It was clear upon comparison that there was consensus on what we all deemed acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

(Image Source: The Mace Diaries, 2017)