October 2019



September saw us tip into autumn and the days now are frequently grey and rainy. Equinox on the 23rd this year saw the equal balance between light and dark, but now the darkness grows.


Sunny days too, though, in between and so-called ‘spring’ tides at this time of year, which means that they are higher and lower than is the norm.



I spent this time down in Cornwall.















Gwithian Towans:







Same place by day:






Whilst there, it was a pleasure to go to a concert of the Marazion Apollo Male Voice Choir. Such choirs are traditional down that way:





In my home village of Mousehole, they unveiled a plaque for Grenfell Street:





To be honest, I never heard it called that as a boy – no one ever seems to have referred to it in that way. But, now, it has an obvious association with ‘the tower’ and I believe there are efforts to connect the two. Still, funny to see….




In my own garden, it is harvest time: I am drowning in Apples!!!





For some odd reason, the first edition of my book Pierre Bourdieu: Key Concepts seems to have been doing the rounds on the web:








LOTS of art this month.




Firstly, London, and the Royal Academy:





Felix Vallotton. A most peculiar artist. Born Swiss, he later moved to Paris and became a Nabis. Despite radical views he married into a rich bourgeois family. The outcomes were not happy and successful for him. He ended up painting these strange Hopper-like pictures where the figures in them seem to be disconnected from each other. Quite eerie!





Helene Schjerfbeck was no less strange. Coming from Finland and spending much of her life cooped up with her mother in a small apartment. Nevertheless, some fine paintings – she really was a pioneer of form and representation.




Then there are her self-portraits. She executed several across the years of her long life – she lived to 86. Yet these are quite disturbing, and the life seems to bleach her away. In the end, there seems nothing left of her in the painting – as she must have felt in real life. So, a meditation on aging.











Something altogether different from the Nigerian artist Otobong Nkanga at the Tate St Ives. A different aesthetic here with the focus on environment – how it changes and the place of people in that process:





My CD of the month is Sattva 0101 that a student of mine brought back from Mexico for me. This is really high-up modern jazz fusion in the style of Hermeto Pasquale. Very nice.





Reading quite a lot this month. Including the collection of essays, poems, articles, etc. from Lindsay Clarke:





His The Chymical Wedding was pivotal for me at one point when I was grappling with the connections between my life and alchemy.






On a related theme, the new William Blake exhibition opened at the Tate, Britain. More on that in a future post. Here is something to whet the appetite: