Britain’s Rights to Privacy : “Worst in Western Democracy”.

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(Click on the thumbnail to see the whole world!)

Privacy International performs an annual survey to rank 36 countries – including 25 members of EU states, grading them for their ability to protect the privacy of their citizens.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland were abysmally low down the list. Continue reading Britain’s Rights to Privacy : “Worst in Western Democracy”.

TypeFaces (Type – Faces Geddit?)

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Figaro; Primer Two Line Ancient; Eight Lines Elongated Sans Series No. 3

From “Typefaces You Won´t Recognise”, a series of witty postcards produced by Paul Belford for the London Type Museum.

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Five Lines Pica No. 2; Anglo Saxon; Granby

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Eight Lines French Antique No. 1; Seven Lines Open No. 1; Doric No. 3

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Eight Lines Thorncliffe No. 2; Expanded Grotesque; No. 120 Sans Serif Old Style

It seems the Type Museum is has been going through some changes recently. The website still gives the impression that it is possible to visit the amazing collections in its care, so if you are thinking of visiting, it’s probably best to check first via the contact page of their site just to make sure.

There’s a 2 page image gallery here.

The museum address is:
The Type Museum
100 Hackford Road
London SW9 0QU

Telephone 020 7735 0055

Naomi Klein’s `The Shock Doctrine´

A powerful and nut-grabbing short publicising Naomi Klein’s new book:`The Shock Doctrine´.
The book examines economist Milton Friedman’s idea that governments can push normally unpalatable trade agendas onto their electorates in the immediate aftermath of shocking events. She thoroughly debunks the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically.

The publicity short was produced by The Foreign Office.

Watch it here in Quicktime, large (164Mb) and medium (19Mb), and if you really want to, in Windows media, big (224Mb) and middling (24Mb).

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Banksy isn’t actually credited as art director here, but my, how his influence is visible.

The Guardian has created a mini-site for the launch of this book. There are four pages of excerpts, here, here, here, and here.

And a YouTube version here.

The New Stream of Consciousness

Well it’s more of a river, really. Its name is play.blogger, although on the web page it clearly says Blogger Play.
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(Click on the thumbnails to enlarge them.)

It’s a continuous feed of all the images that are being uploaded to peoples Blogspot blogs (Blogger). The staff at Google have enjoyed watching this stream of random images for sometime now, but now they have decided to make it visible to us, the great unwashed, after (I presume) designing some smart picture filters that will prevent us from having a fit of the vapours should we see something that might be considered offensive.

There are some simple controls that allow you to read descriptions of the pictures, and vary the speed of the flow, or even stop and reverse it.

It is hypnotic in its randomness and one of the most compulsive wastes of otherwise productive time so you must use it with caution.

The weird thing is that on the two occasions that I looked at it yesterday, I recognised the work of, or the name of two people I know, who just happened to be uploading that very minute.

Here are the links to their blogs, just out of curiosity.
Marco Piersma, who I worked with on “Space Jam”, and one of last year’s graduates from Ravensbourne, Gareth While.

And now some silly pictures…
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The more you look at Blogger Play, the more it resembles a torrent rather than a stream, especially if you crank up the speed slider!
I use the slightly pretentious word consciousness in connection with Blogger Play because it really does seem to me like a sort of visible representation of the collective unconscious of the world (or at least the Blogger world).

Have fun!

Art & Design in The British Film # 11: Cedric Dawe

Continuing a series about Art Directors in the British film industry up to 1948, when the book containing these articles was published.

This chapter deals with Cedric Dawe (1906 – 1996)

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Temptation Harbour 1947
(Cliccare sulle immagini per ingrandirle)

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Streets Paved With Water

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Easy Money
One of child star Petula Clark’s early screen appearances.

The text continues after the fold: –
Continue reading Art & Design in The British Film # 11: Cedric Dawe

Architects For Aid’s October Bamboo Building Workshop

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Architects for Aid ( ) are promoting an event called “Shoots”, which

will be a 2 day workshop in North London to help pool expertise from a variety of disciplines and combine it with enthusiasm from attendees in order to raise awareness, skill levels and knowledge of bamboo as a material for the application in sustainable practice and the developing world.

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If you are interested in this workshop, you are encouraged to apply before the 5th of October at the latest.

The What, The Where, The When: Building With Bamboo. 9 Bonhill Street, London, EC2A 4QJ, 20th – 21st October, 2007.

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The staff and volunteers from Architects for Aid.Org

There’s a booking form and information pack here. (PDF)

This Is The End, My Friend. The End….

One of the mantras in screenwriting is that you have to know the end before you can write the beginning. Or the middle.

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(If you click this thumbnail, it will get slightly bigger, but not much!)

This set on Flickr concentrates on the very, very end of the film. In truth, it’s the bit that really comes after the end.

Flickr user Fliegender presents a set called 24fps that shows screengrabs (from TV) of classic The End titles, and invites us to enjoy the typographic experience.

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Such classy type design.

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Some of them are in colour –

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Personally speaking, I can’t look at these without some very corny cinema music going through my head.

There’s even a Flickr group dedicated to these end title cards.

May all your endings be happy ones!

William Wray – `Dirty Beauty´ Book & One Man Show

William Wray’s latest paintings will be in a one man show at Segil Fine Art from the 22nd of September to the 20th of October. The Gallery is at 110 W. Lime Avenue, Monrovia, California CA 91016

He sums up his plein-air paintings thus: “If Thomas Kincaid is the painter of light, I’m the painter of blight”.

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(Click to see complete show poster)

He will be signing copies of his book, `Dirty Beauty´ at the reception on the 22nd September.
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His book is also available through an eBay shop. Click here.

Here’s a selection of pictures randomly picked from William’s work, all they have in common is that they appealed to me. So, not completely random then.

(Click on the little pictures to make them turn into big pictures.)

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Birds on a wire

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Springtime at Levitz

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I have no idea how many of the paintings above are included in the book!

Link to Wray’s excellent blog.
His cartoon blog.
And his website.
Gallery 1: Segil Fine Art
Gallery 2: Just Looking Gallery.
Gallery 3: The Vault Gallery, Sonora.
Gallery 4: M.J.Higgins

That’s enough links. Good luck with the show, William!

Painters, Plants and Panoramas

Our family managed to get away for a week in Cornwall, just as the sun finally emerged from two months of pluvial grey skies.

We stayed near Maenporth Beach, just round the corner from Falmouth. Large ships anchor in the bay, either refuelling or waiting to enter the deep water port and repair yards of Falmouth.

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(Für vergrößerte Darstellung bitte anklicken)
Life saving surfboat crews doing competitive training at dusk, off Maenporth beach.
A pure “Golden Hour” moment.

Falmouth has an art gallery that was showing a collection of pieces by Miro, as well as a few canvases from its permanent collection. (Hint: The printing service on their website gives a glimpse into more of the permanent collection. Click here.)
Their postcard rack also highlighted some local artists previously unknown to me.

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The Bombing of The British Chancellor in Falmouth Docks, 1940
Painted by Charles Pears 1878 – 1958 (Please click the thumbnails to enlarge them)

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Falmouth Harbour at Night, 1902
Painted by Claude Rowbotham (1864 – 1949) with a nod to the Japanese prints that were so much in fashion at the time.

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Leslie In The Studio 1923
By Thomas Martine Ronaldson (1881 – 1941)

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Kennel Vale, Ponsanooth Watercolour by William Martin (1899 – 1988)

This next painter was known to me, however. Laura Knight is perhaps best known for her pictures of dancers and children, but here we have a more robust subject in pencil and watercolour from 1914, showing the hard manual labour in a china clay pit, presumably near St Austell, executed with great dash and using a very limited palette.

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China Clay Pit 1914
By Dame Laura Knight (1877 – 1970)

She was the first woman to be elected a full member of the Royal Academy. (1936)
Here’s her self portrait –
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I’m sorry, I don’t know when she painted this, but I’m glad she left us with this image of a person who clearly had a very vivacious character.

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One thing I was particularly keen on visiting was the gallery and museum at Penlee House in Penzance, which by happy coincidence had amassed their biggest ever collection of Stanhope Forbes’ works in one exhibition called, er: “Stanhope Forbes”.
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Penlee House Gallery and Museum, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4HE

I’d seen many web pictures of Forbes’ work when researching my long post about him last December, so it It was a great opportunity to see his paintings in real life.

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On Paul Hill 1922
By Stanhope Alexander Forbes (1857 – 1947)

Penlee Gallery have done a superb job of presenting Forbes’ work, and the visitor can feel a real sense of local pride in this painter who was so closely identified with the area.

What made the visit so enjoyable for me, aside from seeing all the paintings, was the collection of little cartoons, drawings and scribblings produced by Forbes’ fellow Newlyn artists. I was struck by the fact that all of them had such beautiful handwriting.

A further big pleasure for me was to go just another few miles and visit the crew at Spider Eye in St Just. Morgan and Erica had to remain tight lipped about a special project of theirs that was about to take off, but until contracts are signed, they will have to remain schtumm. Nice to see Michael Flaherty there too.

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One of the reasons that so many artists were attracted to this far flung corner of the British Isles was the quality of the light. If you think about it for a moment, the quality of light has to be different for a long, thin penninsula. The sun shines down on the sea and much of the light is bounced up again, only to be reflected down once again by whatever cloud cover is in place at the time. So many photons ricocheting round are bound to give an enhanced radiance to the light. This effect of enhanced luminosity is especially strong to within about 5 miles from the sea shore. The further you go inland, the less you see of this lighting effect, because the ground is absorbing it.

Now the light that’s good for the painter is also good for plants, and when combined with the benign influence of the warm North Atlantic Drift, you get a climate where plants grow like nowhere else in Britain. In this part of Cornwall, they “grow like smoke”.

There are many small valleys that run down to the rivers and down to the sea, and because most of them are completely sheltered from the fury of Atlantic gales howling in from the West, the plants in these valleys thrive mightily.

One such valley extends southwards from the house at Carwinion, in the village of Mawnan Smith. It’s a small, almost intimate valley that leads down to a tiny beach on the Helford River.
I was once astounded to see Pete Townshend (of The Who) standing on this little beach with no-one else around. A surreal moment.

Carwinion has a 12 acre garden nestling in the upper part of the valley, and much of it has been given over to an amazing collection of bamboos, planted in and amongst some truly fantastic trees, huge Gunneras, and astounding tree ferns.

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Bamboo aficionados running for their lives as their guide warns them in graphic terms about the prodigious growth rate of Chusquea culeou.

Here’s the terrace area at Carwinion. It is famous for one of the best clotted cream teas in Cornwall. Yum.

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My connection to Carwinion goes back some 20 years or more to the day when its owner, Anthony Rogers, kindly allowed me to snoop round his garden that he had opened to visitors in aid of the Macmillan Cancer Nurses fund. His entry in the famous Yellow Book included the magic word: Bamboo. Look what has happened to his garden since that day, way back in 1984

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Phyllostachys edulis The famous and fabulous Moso bamboo, growing beautifully in Carwinion. The safest place to be during an earthquake!

Lastly, on our way home we stopped for several hours at the amazing Eden Project.
Here’s a little pano of the tropical biome –

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The Eden Project, Tropical Biome.
(This panoramic image might take a while to load for people with dial-up connections.)
Click the thumbnail to see a mahoosive panoramic picture!