Sunday, 17 October 2010


We kicked off the Frieze week festivities with a Saturday night opening at 176 in Chalk Farm.
The museum is an old Lutheran church, which shows exhibitions of a private collection owned by the Zabludovich family. This one was installations by the artist Toby Ziegler.

We loaded up with popcorn and Kirin and set about to explore the show.

The space allows for some pretty spectacular installations, like this covered bucking bull from Mexico perched on top of some beautiful pink scaffolding.

And this enormous balloon.

Following a very strong smell of fish, by chance we stumbled upon a crazy after party in the back of the building

Kirin and popcorn were replaced by truck loads of vodka-elderflower cocktails and food all catered by Hix (hence the smell of fish).

After working the ArtLondon fair at Chelsea Hospital all weekend, going to the opening of the Pavillion of Art & Design Fair at Berkley Square on Tuesday night followed by openings in Fitzrovia, I was almost fair-ed out by Tuesday, but accepted the challenge of Frieze opening night.

The combination of all the best contemporary galleries from around the world showing their best artists, chaotic free bar and some top-notch people watching made for an exciting and over-stimulating experience.

Thursday night was a more low-key and less intense though equally chaotic event: Art Bingo at Yinka Shonibare's studio just off Broadway Market.

The lovely Elaine, in town for a short time as part of an around the world jaunt, joined in the fun and games.
After 3 bottles of red wine, concentrating very hard for 3 long games of bingo and making up countless hilarious rhyming sayings for the numbers, we walked away empty handed but in very high spirits.

After a much needed rest on Friday night, we regrouped for an opening at Wilkinson on Vyner Street. Compared to the usual First Thursday mayhem, it was a relatively calm and subdued affair, before we decided to drink the bar dry....

And Leigh Douros showed up!

After they kicked us out of the gallery, the shenanigans continued long into the night...

And despite feeling a little fragile on Sunday, I made it to Portland Place to check out the Absolut Artists Salon.

We managed to stomach a cloudy apple apple cocktail and made use of the art materials available in the salon-style basement.

In the rest of the building, which has at various stages over the years been home the home of sorts of aristocrats, the embassy of Sierra Leone and a swingers club, housed a magnificent exhibition called 'Vanitas: The Transience of Earthly Pleasures'. We preceded a tour of the show with an intimate artists talk by Hugo Wilson, who was intelligent, fascinating and charming. One to keep an eye on I'm sure.

The first piece we encountered was one of the most magnificent.

artists: Tim Noble & Sue Webster

It is comprised of 88 taxidermy animals: 46 birds (35 varieties), 40 mammals (18 varieties) and 2 fish. Faaar out.

Some pieces were more delicate like this made from lace, chiffon, plaster and bone.
Everything was lit and displayed so beautifully,

artist: Jodie Carey

and ingeniously placed in nooks and crannies around the house.

artists: Tim Noble & Sue Webster

The building had a pervading feeling of faded grandeur, with the low moody lighting, enormous mirrors, worn wooden floors and peeling walls.

Lurking in the basement was an awe-inspiring work called 'Slick' by Kate MccGwire. Magpie and crow feathers were oozing out of an antique fire basket, shiny and luminous yet sinister and macabre.

How to sum it all up, who knows, but there is a hell of a lot of very cool stuff being made, and London really seems to me to be the centre of it all.

Sunday, 5 September 2010


*new trousers

** Honey Im painting, currently on show at Gift in Vyner St.

*** library book which has changed my life - never again will I ever be able to eat chicken unless I know exactly how and where is has been raised.

****non-edible gift from Miss Heather.

Wolf Hunting

Owing to a combination of factors, including the release of the eleventh issue of FANTASTIC MAN and the major summer exhibition at The Serpentine Gallery, has lead to the development, for Siggy, Max & I, of a fun little obsession with Wolfgang Tillmans.

Anyway, this shared obsession has been lying dormant for a little while, apart from me buying this nice big book for a steal at the Koenig Whitechapel shop.

However, yesterday we popped into Maureen Paley Gallery to see the new group show- Male - featuring none other than the Wolf himself. The show was excellent, and even more excellent, we learnt that the private view was happening that evening.

We regrouped and returned for some Wolf hunting.

And there the Wolfie was, in his natural habitat, in army-pants-tucked-into-army-boots, surrounded by hundreds of men.

It was the perfect opportunity to test out my brand spanking new camera and do some Wolf-shooting.

The event ended the best possible way - after the beer ran out and they turned the lights out to get us out, we were loitering out the front of the gallery (incidentally, in the laneway where Wolfie's studio is) and Wolfie passed by Siggy and gave him a wink and a nod. The question is where can it go to from here??

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Boating and Boaters

This weeks Ladies Monday was relocated to Oxford, Oxfordshire where we were in the hands of the lovely Miss Heather.

The town was just as I had imagined - old buildings, pretty gardens, academics, tourists and chavs.

Heather guided us around all the sights, including this bridge, very famous, for who knows why.

But the real purpose of the excursion, was PUNTING!

Unfortunately it was not as easy as it looked.... This picture shows me as an apparently seasoned punter, floating down the river in a leisurely and controlled manner, taking in the sights, enjoying the serenity. Unfortunately this was not the case, and after having spent 10 minutes ramming into trees/bridges/boats and wildlife, we returned to base and swapped for a row-boat.

Much more ladylike!

Dee looked like she was made for boating.

I chose the preppiest outfit I could muster for the day, including chinos and a polo. I think I could pass for a student in this courtyard at Christ Church.

Heather was able to tell us lots of the antiquated customs and traditions that still exist there, such as not being permitted to your exams unless you are wearing a fresh carnation that someone else has bought for you - it is bad luck to buy your own.

Oh and of course there was picnicking - it's never Ladies Monday without a picnic.