Tag Archives: London

Things I Have Made and Done Pt.1

Here’s what I’ve been up to recently, planning iartoriginals first ever art sale and cr-afternoon…

At The Actually Affordable Art Sale there will be awesome original and ltd pieces on offer, all for £100 or less! You’ll find work from established artists such as Owen PBest OneMachine 17Michael LawtonThe Panther Club and Luke Drozd as well as a host of up and coming young turks like Becky Barnicoat and Ruth Craddock.

iartoriginals have commissioned some one-off trinkets too. Author Joe Dunthorne and illustrative wiz Alistair O’Shea have collaborated to design a special series of Christmas Cards which you can personalise by typewriter.

Then, Make and Do Saturday! is gonna be the most productive day in the pub’s history as we go Christmas Craft crackers! On the afternoon of the 12th Dec there will be workshops and materials to help you design and make your very own Xmas decorations and most exciting of all – The DIY Christmas Cracker Factory!

The Pembury Tavern’s Knitting Club will be sitting for those that like to drink-one-pearl-one. The Crow will be hosting a ring-casting workshop – the deal is you carve a ring out of wax, The Crow flies off to the lab with it and your dosh and hooray! Back comes your very own silver ring!  If that wasn’t all exciting enough The Cat and Mutton’s life-drawers-in-residence and all round art ranters RART will be hosting an interactive session too!

It’s free entry for the Art Sale and donations for the materials at Make and Do depending on how crafty you get!

Saturday fun will kick off at 1pm with workshops going through until 7pm, check out our Facebook page nearer the time for the workshop schedule!

The Pembury Tavern is right next to Hackney Downs and Hackney Central, the pub is open to 1am if you happen to get stuck!

Please contact iartorginals@gmail.com for further details.

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Dérive

To some – call them capitalists, call them the driven, call them names – drifting is a plague. Something to be avoided. Health is motivation and direction. From this we progress. Drifters have holes is the wrong places. To be set adrift; just the phrase is like an unwelcome tickle to the soul. Schoolteachers and mothers are always plotting against the drifters.

Psycho-geographical drift is culturally heralded. Physical and mental wandering reveal that which may otherwise remain hidden, or rather buried beneath the white noise of life’s competing stimulants. Drift denies us the life-defying formulaic narrative of pop culture. Instead it gives us the the dream-like narrative that is a clearer reflection of our reality –  beginnings and ends fade and blend into a fraying yet seamless tapestry. When you drift there is no destination but location is crucial. You may reach states or places that planning and structure will never find. Incremental moments long since greying are as relevant as any occupying rush of the present. Insignificant glimpses of your past appear as bursts of colour; forgotten clips re-appear as fireworks in your mind having gathered no dust in storage. Illumination bleaches your being before it too fades.

Drifting is calmness but drifting can be sadness. At once detached from the self and consumed by it, your insignificance is clearer as the existence of everything ever, both past and present, muddies egotistical belief.

Patrick Keiller’s film ‘London‘ brought this on.

Keiller’s film follows an imaginary protagonist, Robinson, around the capital in the early 90’s. Blurring documentary with fiction, the miserablist London on show here is almost unimaginable to any contemporary inhabitant. 1992, the Tories win again; London seems set for further decline. The invocation of dead French poets lend a mournful context to the city’s hopeless state. IRA bombs wreck the Thatcherite financial utopia – The City – in a flash, whilst socialist dreams of harmony tune out more gradually. Faded grandeur and the charm of decay strike tenderly through the gloom but this is a beautifully pessimistic series of walks through LDN. Recommended.

Keiller held a Q&A session at The Barbican after the screening last week. I really wanted to ask him what his favourite walk through London was. Sadly the director’s ability to answer a question is in tune with his meandering films. Only a few questions were put to him before our time was up and the moment was lost.

So what are your favourite walks in London? Or bus routes? Or cycle rides? Or vantage points ? For me you can’t beat a bridge at night on a bicycle. Let me know yours, I’d like to see for myself.

Drift

Psycho-geography is fascinating me. Psycho-geography was defined in 1955 by Guy Debord, a French situationist and writer, as “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.” You cannot hide from it in London.  The architecture pervades your existence. The depth of history – the thousands of nuances and stories – is always just under the surface.  All the eyes that have seen what you see, it gives you the feeling that perhaps you have only been lent your vision – that what you see is not somehow yours to keep. Yet these moments, your experiences, they are only your own and these are still, somehow, constantly unique. Literary journalism and psycho-geography have a habit of converging. W.G Sebald, a favourite author of mine, and Will Self lurk on the edges of these fields. Sebald’s classic Austerlitz was placed in The Times Top 100 Books of The Decade last weekend. I have issues with some of the choices but not this one for it is a stunning work. East London is the centre for much of Sebald’s meandering – walking is a tenet of the psycho-geographer – as such I think it a must-read for any out-of-towner settling into the E’s.  The books haunting themes of dislocation, memory and faded grandeur combined with Sebald’s ability to reflect the poignant mundaneness of existence, the ecstatic glimpsed through the soporific, just gives me the urge to walk a thousand miles. I had a wonderful experience walking from Manhattan Beach to LAX Airport earlier this year. I felt I learnt more about LA in two hours than any guidebook could have taught me. That I ended up in handcuffs chatting to LAPD’s finest about the merits of Paulo Wanchope whilst surrounded by shotguns in a squad car on the way to the International Departures Terminal is pure anecdote enhancing frippery. Walking put me in touch with the gleamingly-barren-sprawl-cum-4×4-hive that is LA in a way that a yellow cab ride couldn’t ever dream.

Californian psycho-geography links me with Will Self once again. Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate for an hour, yesterday I was gripped by Self for 54mins. This is the man himself defining pscyho-geography for the folk at Google Towers in San Francisco, or you can read his views on Sebald if you prefer…