Night and Fog Are My Days
Roskilde Viking Ship Musem
It’s very unlikely I or anyone else will be travelling much this summer (I’ve not been more than a mile away from home for months now), so I thought I’d sort out and post some old travel photos. Here’s Roskilde from 2015. I posted photos of Copenhagen and Malmö at the time (you can see them here and here), but I forgot to do these ones.
Caecilius est in Horto
If you study Latin in the UK, there’s a very good chance you will use the Cambridge Latin books from the 1970s. Although they’re forty years old, they’re still in print (and also on the Apple Store), and have a special place in people’s hearts.
Costume Through the Centuries – 1963
Scanning more vintage books – this time a history of costume book that my mum won as a school prize in the 60s. The illustrations are lovely, but the pages are yellowed and stained, so I did some clean up in Photoshop.
Alternative London 1969/70
I found this book in a charity shop. It’s a practical guide to alternative living in London from 1969/70 covering a wide range of topics from rent laws, to sexuality, drugs and communes to join. This is the first edition, there were yearly updates throughout the 70s.
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.
On my way back from the Tyrol, I stayed in Munich en route to the airport, and visited the Dachau concentration camp museum- it was the first Nazi concentration camp and served as a template for many of the others…
British Museum Sketches
Here’s some more old sketchbook pages I scanned, this time from the British Museum.
My university library had a massive stack of printing industry annuals from the 1890s through to the 20s. I always enjoyed looking through them because the illustrations and articles they chose to showcase new printing technologies were often really odd, and were good to photocopy for collages and zines. Next to them on the shelf was a strange little book called Professor Knatschke. It’s a comedy book written and illustrated in 1912 by Alsatian satirist Jean-Jacques Waltz, aka Hansi, about a clueless German professor and his daughter’s trip to Paris, mocking both the French and the Germans (but mostly the Germans) in a more innocent pre-WW1 pre-Nazi era. I always really liked the illustrations (and Elsa K’s obsession with making gifts embroidered with “inspiring” mottoes) , and now it’s available free online as a copyright-free ebook.
Recently I went to the Malevich exhibition at the Tate Modern. I was vaguely aware of him as an avant-garde Russian artist (turns out more Polish-Ukrainian) and his black square paintings which caused such a fuss, but I didn’t know much else about him. I’m glad I went to the exhibition.
Red Lead & Choleric Humours
In the days when I worked at Hampton Court I got to go to quite a few of their special events. They had a roster of actors who could portray the various monarchs who had lived at the palace (and two Henry VIIIs) and would do special days with re-enactments based on various time periods or themes. On one of the days they had a day based on science in the time of Charles II. I found some photos when I was tidying up the computer the other day.
Birmingham Pen Museum
While I was in Birmingham, I visited the Pen Museum. Because I gave a small donation, one of the kind volunteers essentially gave me a personal guided tour.
I’m fascinated by the history of the Cold War. Both the political side, and the social history of people’s everyday lives. I’ve always been extra fascinated by the former DDR, both because I can speak the language and because they tried so hard to be a “model” Iron Curtain society. You read about people being “internal emigrés”. Being a good comrade and worker on the surface, but internally escaping to their own world via drink or just plain daydreaming. I suppose that’s what I’d do in the situation. I have a lot of thoughts on the subject, but I’m currently writing a zine about the trip this summer, so I’ll save them for there.
Starkes Viertel- photos of Dresden Neustadt in the 70s and 80s
When I was in Dresden, I bought a photography book by a local photographer. Günter Starke lived in Dresden Neustadt, the area just across the river from the historical centre, in the 70s and 80s, and took a lot of photos. Despite the name, Neustadt is full of old buildings that escaped bombing during the war (it’s only new compared to the baroque city centre), and in the communist days, the local council concentrated on building blocks of flats and housing estates to house families.
Earlier today I met up with my friend Chloe on her way up to Glasgow, and we went to the Souzou exhibition with her old flatmates. When she went to catch the train, I decided to fit in a visit to the Petrie Museum round the corner in UCL too, which I hadn’t been to for a long time. (I tried to say hi to Jeremy too, but his box was closed).
The Embarkation at Dover (1520s)
Here’s some photos of a painting I like. It shows Henry VIII setting sail for the Field of the Cloth of Gold for his swank-off with Francis I. The pictures aren’t the greatest, a tripod and polariser would improve them greatly, but you can still see all the details.
These are from some photos I took in Whitstable a few weeks ago, a pretty oyster fishing town in Kent (and sometimes *too* popular with the daahn from londons for the taste of the locals). The roofline of the school took my fancy.
Smooth down the avenue glitters the bicycle
I’ve always had a soft spot for 30s suburbia. These two pictures are a place called Twydall, near where my mum lives. I went along there to buy some wool, and I wasn’t disappointed, the area is full of old ladies. Also, the fact that the wool shop is called World of Woolcraft and is run by what could be the brother of the Comic Book Store Guy made me laugh.
Here are some pictures from the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton. It used to be an almshouse, and is now a museum of furniture and interiors. They have rooms set up showing typical London living rooms in various time periods from the 1600s onwards for families with a medium income, with information about all the objects in the room. They also have a historical garden and restored 18th century almshouse interior, but I didn’t get a chance to see them this time. In the run up to Christmas, they’d arranged each room to show how different winter festivals were celebrated in each era (until the 1800s New Year and Twelfth Night were much bigger than Christmas).
Museum of Childhood (again)
Last week I went to the Museum of Childhood with Melanie and Becca. I’ve been to the place so many times (it’s one of my favourite places in London), and I have a lot of photos on this blog of the various different exhibits (look at the Museum tag), so here’s a few things I noticed for the first time. First up this amazing ride-on ladybird toy.
Museum of 51
I went to see the Museum of 51 exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall a while back, which is about the Festival of Britain. Basically it was a festival in 1951 to celebrate 100 years since the Great Exhibition and cheer people up in grey, rationed post-war London. As well as films, shows, fairs and so on, there were shows of housing and interiors, to show people what they could look forward to after rebuilding and the end of rationing (everything available for sale in WWII was simple and utilitarian and rationed). My dad went to pretty much all the events, seeing as they were mostly around the corner from him in Battersea.
And a shot of Stonehenge looking like there’s no-one there. I took this when I worked as a tour guide for one weekend. I didn’t want to do it again after that. The day out at Stonehenge and Bath was fine. I wandered round Bath for a few hours after doing the brief tour of the town on the schedule, and the staff at Stonehenge made me a cup of tea and gave me biscuits and gave me a free audio guide to listen to. I think it’s funny that the path encourages you to walk round Stonehenge anti-clockwise while listening to a recording about superstitions, magic and myths as it’s traditionally supposed to be highly unlucky. I don’t think I’d pay to go to Stonehenge anyway. Maybe it’s different if you come from another country where they don’t have anything similar.
Here’s some b&w pictures I took in Bath a few winters ago. I finally got the film developed after finding it in a drawer. Pentax ME Super + 28mm lens + Ilford HP5. I’ve been to Bath a lot, both as a Classics student to look at stuff in the Baths, as a tour guide, and visiting my ex’s family, who were from a village not too far away. It’s stopped looking exotic to me.
All the cheesecloth & macrame you can eat
I got this 70stastic book for £1 from a charity shop, mainly because of the pictures. The textual parts are worthy and Blue Peter-ish, with lots of making things out of tea chests and copydex (why doesn’t tea tend to come in chests these days?), guides to home tie-dying, and sentences like “and kitchen foil gives a touch of glamour”.
Blood, oh the blood
I’ve done some risograph prints based on one of my university projects to try to raise some money. The life of a post-graduate student is not a rich one.
The other day I was round my dad’s. It was a sunny day, and I didn’t fancy spending the whole day cooped up indoors. I got my dad to give me a lift up to Kit’s Coty, a strange isolated place nearby, which has the remains of a Neolithic barrow there. The barrow isn’t very evident these days, but the gate into the tomb is still there. There are more houses round there than I’d thought, all detached with big gates and long drives and beware of the dog signs, and on unpaved roads. It was totally quiet and a bit David Lynchish round there.
Tintagel- Moskva 5
My ex-boyfriend’s family used to go to Cornwall every summer, and we used to join them, me usually lugging a whole load of photo stuff on the train down. These were taken at Tintagel.
Pentheus & the Bacchae film- proposal for my next uni project
I wrote this proposal for my next project at uni to send my tutor. I’m doing an MA in Sequential Design. Basically I can do anything I like, as long as it’s based on storytelling in art, and after the term I’ve just finished, you have to set yourself your own projects. So here’s what I’ll be working on after Christmas (subject to any changes suggested by my tutor)
Last week I paid a trip to the British Museum. I had a review of work day at uni for my research project (I’m doing a research/practice based MA in Sequential Design) and I felt like I should do something substantialish on the visual research side.