Beard by Brock Elbank @ Somerset House

Free events, Photography



Postcards from the exhibition – Frank Moon (left) and Ricki Hall


As you may gather from the date of my last post, I’ve been off the blogging boil for quite some time. Excuses include abandoning the life of a nomadic freelancer for that of a sulky one-hour-plus commuter who could no longer work from 7.30am until 12, go to a gallery when there’s no-one but a few trendy pensioners hanging around and be back at your desk for the 3pm until whenever-you’ve-done-enough-work-to-silence-the-voice-in -your-head-that-says-working-from-home-isn’t-a-proper-job shift (if it’s in time for the news at 10, you’re having a good day).

I’ve been to so many great art shows in recent months and not found the time to write them up (highlights: Museum of Water at Somerset House, Post Pop: East Meets West at the Saatchi, and Grayson Perry’s Who Are You? at the National Gallery) but I promised myself that this year I would force myself to stop being boring at the weekends and get back into doing creative things, so here we go. If you can’t post opinions no-one asked for on the internet in 2015, when can you? And frankly, I’ve run out of things to watch on Netflix.

Anyway, I went to an exhibition called Beard at Somerset House. There were a lot of guys walking around it in various levels of hirsutism, each expressing a corresponding degree of woeful inadequacy. Because the beards on display – photographed by Brock Elbank – were, frankly, magnificent. (If you don’t like that adjective, there are a whole host of others on’s gallery of featured beards, which for reasons I won’t go into is something of which I am aware. My personal favourite is “Patrick’s picture-perfect beard”. No, wait. “Andy’s awe-inspiring beard”). I can only assume that the other attendees were dedicated pogonophiles. Full disclosure: my boyfriend has a beard.


The Turner Prize: Love it or hate it, it still gets people talking

Art, Events, Installation

So infamous I won’t even bother with a caption (psgri2003 on Flickr)

Originally published on the Independent blog here

Outside of the art world, the Turner Prize seems to be a byword for work that is self-indulgent, ‘easy’ to produce and generally laughable. Most years it serves as an excuse for anyone who fancies it to make uninformed, unfunny jokes about Tracey Emin’s unmade bed. However, with a lack of such easy targets, could this year change the way people see the beleaguered competition?

Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair @ National Portrait Gallery

Events, Free events, Photography


Thought some of you might fancy a peep at a review I wrote for Weekend Notes of Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair – an exhibition of rare photos, magazine covers and film stills which is at the National Portrait Gallery in London until March 24 (it’s also free!).

Be a peach, and have a look here.

Snapped: Yoko Ono @ Serpentine Gallery

Art, Installation, Public spaces, Sculpture

Just a few snaps from Yoko Ono’s show “To the Light” at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park. I’ve written a review too, but have entered it for a writing competition and am all shy and modest n’ shit, so I’ll post it later. By which I mean, if I win.

These are of “Play it by Trust” an all-white chess set outside the building. The idea behind it is a bit peace n’ love for my liking, but at least it looks cool. Just don’t read the description. The show is a bit half and half between annoying hippy cliches (read: a wishing tree) and proper, decent art, but if you have time you should go down and check out “Cut Piece,” a film from 1964 (re-shot in 2003) where Ono sits on a stage and has her clothes cut off by members of the audience. Lazy shits can also watch it on Youtube here.

Below that is the new pavilion designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei, which has a little lake type thing on top. When I was there it was packed with people, but that’s probably because it was pissing it down with rain.

Out of Sync: Fernando Casasempere @ Somerset House (Pics)

Art, Installation, My photography

Today, I went down to Somerset House to see the new installation by Fernando Casasempere.

I felt kind of let down at first because the image on the poster looks a lot like a doctor’s hand holding a human heart, when the exhibition is actually just a bunch of clay flowers. But despite my initial disappointment, it was a pretty nice way to wile away half an hour of a sunny afternoon.

The fourth plinth: wtf?

Art, Public spaces, Sculpture

The latest incarnation of the fourth plinth Photo: Streatham Mike on Flickr

What the fuck is this?

It’s the latest installment of art on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, that’s what.

Is it even art? It’s suspiciously jovial. I have a suspicion that it might be a leftover from Hamley’s Christmas display. Spirit of the recession and that.

But no, the press release assures me that it goes by the name of ‘Powerless Structures, Fig.101’, for some reason, and was created by Swedish duo Elmgreen and Dragset. We’re stuck with it until next year when it will be replaced by a giant blue chicken by Katharina Fritsch. Now I’m not one for Imperialism, but wouldn’t it make sense to have something British up there in the Olympic year?