60s slides: Costiera Amalfitana

Here's some more 60s tourism slides from my grandparents' house (you can see others here). This time from the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy, now a UNESCO site. Again I have posted all 36 images. It looked pretty much the same when I was there about 10 years ago, minus the annoying coach party of loud Texans who kept appearing everywhere you looked and complaining there was no Taco Bell and you had to walk places. Further along the coast in Sorrento I bought a very fancy waffle-knit towel that still serves me well for travelling. The shop assistant seemed very confused that I wasn't buying a whole matching set of them like the majority of their customers. Afraid I could only afford one small one. ... Read More...

Planetary Urbanisation

Yesterday I went to a talk at Well Projects from anthropologist/sound artist Dimitrios Bormpoudakis from the University of Kent as part of A Cut From Sharp Grass, "a visual art exhibition & series of public events developed in response to the increasingly urbanised, networked & technologically integrated landscape of Kent". Here's my sketchbook notes from the talk.... Read More...

60s slides of Herculaneum

When clearing out my grandparents' house a couple of years ago I found seven packets of these 60s tourist slides of various places around the Mediterranean. I've been scanning and restoring them. First up, these from Herculaneum. Herculaneum is a smaller coastal town near Pompeii that was also destroyed by the volcano. It's not as well known, but there are some magnificent villas there in a similar but smaller archaeological park to the one you can visit at Pompeii.... Read More...

Cadbury’s Novelty Cookbook

I got this late 70s/early 80s book from a charity shop a while ago. A lot of families in the UK had it when I was a kid I think. I got it out because I promised to make my friend a really ludicrous birthday cake from inside. The recipes are fine, various flavoured sponge cakes with buttercream icing (albeit with gratuitous Cadbury's product placement in every recipe). It's the choice of cake themes in the book that's a bit odd ...... Read More...

Cambridge Botanical Gardens

I was sorting out old folders on the hard drive and have found a lot of photos from the past couple of years that I never got round to sorting out. Here are some from the Botanical Gardens in Cambridge two years ago. I was working teaching on a summer course there, which was stressful mainly because they hadn't actually hired enough staff to cover all the hours, so we were doing some extreme overtime. So a stroll around the gardens while the students completed their activities was a nice respite.... Read More...

Feral Practice

Earlier this week I went to a free art workshop hosted by Open School East. Open School East is a combination art course/residency and students are required to organise public art workshops. This time environmental artist Fiona MacDonald aka Feral Practice was the visiting artist. There was a talk about ants and fungi and the aim of "meeting  with animal/plant/place through the processes and reflexivity of art", and then we went out into a local park with a woodland area to do some classic sensory/location art activities. Here are my sketchbook pages and some snaps from the day.... Read More...

Diana Wynne Jones conference notes

A couple of weeks ago I went to an academic conference in Bristol focused on the works of Diana Wynne Jones. She is probably best known for writing the book that the Studio Ghibli film Howl's Moving Castle was based on, but she has around thirty other books aimed at a variety of ages. Even the ones aimed at children have a surprising amount of psychological and literary depth, and a willingness to explore very dark issues not usually found in books for that age group, giving her work a huge appeal to adults and academics.... Read More...

Lunatraktors

Last week I went down to Pegwell Bay in between Ramsgate and Sandwich to take some press shots for my friends Carli and Clair- aka the Lunatraktors. They describe their work as "broken folk" and combine folk, ambient vocal overtone work and choreography into it (Carli is also a choreographer and clown by profession). ... Read More...