June 2018

This month has flashed by, as I attempt to catch up after South America. It is spring: actually, May and June are about the only months that I can tolerate in the UK. It is even warmer here than Mendoza – which gives me a certain amount of pleasure!


My apple tree blossom is out, promising a harvest of apples later this year.



Immediately, there are lovely new foods to enjoy. Like Asparagus, which I enjoy with new potatoes, butter and an egg. Strawberries too!!






My first book to be translated into Portuguese comes out. Very proud. Excellent translation from Fabio Ribeiro of Sao Paulo, Brazil:




I manage to do quite a lot of art this month. Mostly, I am critical of the curration. One has to remember that people like me – academic – get as much pleasure from criticising art as enjoying it. And, this time, there is plenty to object to.


First off, Tacita Dean. I like her work a lot. It seems always very elegiac. Her film about the lone around-world sailor Donald Crowhurst is a marvel. A story of ambition, fakery, heroism, and tragic death: http://www.tate.org.uk/download/file/fid/6559





This time, she has an extensive exhibition occupying no less than three London Galleries: National Portrait, National, and RAA. I enjoyed it, and there focuses on Landscapes, Portraits and Still Life.



All very good, but this sort of contemporary art is a bit like contemporary music: it is best encountered in small doses. This makes it more concentrated and focused. As it was, I found the three gallery span a bit ambitious and, finally, diluting. Her work can be so spectral. But, here, it is a bit underwhelming.





Second, off to Cornwall, and a major show of the expressionist, Patrick Heron at the Tate. He was a leading light in the 1950s – 60s and put St Ives on the map as it were. He was also a writer who was able to articulate what they were trying to do. For a while, St Ives was the centre of the international art world.






Heron with John Wells – another St Ives artist – and the American art critic Clement Greenberg in my home village of Mousehole:







Actually, the show is good with many pieces from the family vaults rarely seen. However, again the curration is absurd in that they mix up all the work over four room: so, basically, four rooms of mish-mash with no sense of chronology. Not that each room does not have titles like: Edge and Space. But, it is all the same for Heron, as if the spectator could not work that out.



Thirdly, Hummadruz at the Newlyn art gallery, which was completely barmy as far as I could see.




The title pertains to an audible ‘buzz’ that is apparently heard as a background in Cornwall on occasion. But, the exhibition was a mix of art from feminists over the past half century or more – give or take – with a whole bunch of pagan artifact, which would not be out of place at the Boscastle Witchcraft Museum.



There were even ‘anti-men’ spells that the viewer could take away with them to enact. Sadly, my friend Ithell Colquhoun’s work was also represented, although why I do not know.



The Nine Opals.

A mess, basically.

Still enjoyed it: But, a complete misrepresentation and misappropriation.


Whilst down in Cornwall, I took in some lovely walks. Like Trencrom Hill with its spring: the cleft in the rock takes the sunset light at midsummer.




Magnificent sunsets as well.




A trip to Madron Holy Well:




On my way back, I visit the Japanese Garden near Newquay. A special place:







Invited to the Family and Friends rehearsal performance by King Crimson – in preparation for their forthcoming European and Japanese tours. Some new pieces – mostly instrumental and jazzier. Quite an amazing ‘run through’.





I have been reading:


The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli:





And, listening to:


Zsofia Boros’ Local Objects: