Andre Thomkins

When I was in Liecht­en­stein, I went to the Modern Art museum there. I was really impressed with the qual­ity of the museum, espe­cially in such a small coun­try. They had a special exhib­i­tion about Swiss artist André Thomkins (whose estate had donated his works to the museum). I hadn’t come across him before, but I really enjoyed what I saw (and his large array of German puns), espe­cially the short film where he was talk­ing and demon­strat­ing how he made marbled paint­ings by float­ing lacquer on top of water, some­thing he star­ted exper­i­ment­ing with after wash­ing a brush he’d been paint­ing furniture with.



In other old photos I’ve dug out recently, here’s some photos of Liecht­en­stein from last summer. I’m currently writ­ing a zine about that trip, so I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here.

Liecht­en­stein is a very weird place. It’s one of the smal­lest coun­tries in Europe, and is essen­tially a small Swiss town that is a separ­ate coun­try by histor­ic­al acci­dent, and now stays a separ­ate coun­try because they have a nice income from being a corpor­ate tax haven. The entire coun­try has one high school. I was work­ing at a school just across the border in Austria, and there were a fair few students from Liecht­en­stein at the school. The capit­al Vaduz has a small parlia­ment build­ing, an impress­ive castle, a small museum like that of any small town, a really big and impress­ive modern art museum, a big post office that does a roar­ing trade in souven­ir stamps and a town square with some expens­ive cafes and assor­ted useful shops. There’s, Schaan, a suburb­an town where most people live, a couple of other villages and a big super­mar­ket, some lovely moun­tains and that’s the whole coun­try really. I saw pretty much most of it in an after­noon, which you can’t say for most coun­tries.

Travels Without My Aunt

I’ve spent most of the past month trav­el­ling around Germany and Austria teach­ing. It’s for an extra-curricular school programme. You do activ­it­ies to boost the children’s speak­ing confid­ence in English, work on creat­ive projects, and put on a show for the parents with present­a­tions of the projects, and drama writ­ten by the students. You don’t need to speak German to do the job, and you never speak German in the classroom, but of course it comes in useful to under­stand if the kids are being naughty, and in your time outside the classroom.

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