Saturday, October 31, 2009


I remember a time when bank cashiers were called tellers (is that purely from my early visits to the US?).  Perhaps it was because at that time they would tell you whether they could let you have any money.  It's funny what your memory will do.  I'd got it fixed into my mind that I had a postcard showing Bank (the underground station), it's odd to have a postcard of a tube platform - was it for tourists to send abroad or an alternative reminder for Londoners?  Why wasn't it sent? Why send it? Why buy it? Why keep it? On digging it out and looking at it more closely it's not for Bank at all but a view of Seven Sisters.  Is that the Queen standing in the foreground?

Along with millions of others I've walked the Seven Sisters, thinking it would be a gentle 8-mile stroll (that's what I'd been told) clearly my research was lacking as it turned into something more like 18.  Starting at the edge of a village, at the corner of a field that I would never ever consider mowing because it reached up to the sky and it was a hot, hot day.  Traversing the field took an age.  Walking through one of Brandt's locations, Cuckmere Haven, was delightful though STILL relatively at the beginning of the walk.  I'm a walking weakling, give me the flat any day, boring but flat.  Or my flat.  Instead, my body inches away from the chalky grass up-hills like a downhill skier at Kitzbuhel, bruised face stretched into a smile to hide my horror at what I'd agreed to, being totally unfit.  The sight of the chalk bleeding into the sea made up for a lot, although vertigo had something to do with my needing to crawl so my legs wouldn't fly, of their own accord, over the edge.

Jem Southam makes work at Beachy Head, on the shore.  Setting up his 10x8 camera on the beach and creating beautiful visual documents of the cliff deterioration (does he go by boat, surely not that walk that exfoliates your face followed by a dance with death abseil downwards?).  I like to think I have a wall that cries out for one of Jem's enormous prints, that way I could look at the sea and look at the beach of Beachy Head without going outside, or walking that walk.  It's big enough this wall, even with the piano.  Art and music - well - art is music and vice-versa.  So maybe they'd go very well together.  But that perhaps is for sometime later.

Being 'up north' again means having the tv on to while away another long evening in a motel.  I noticed a very naughty ad-man has encouraged a bank to produce the oddest ad using animated figures that have an uncanny likeness to the Chapman brothers' early work I referred to in an earlier post.  If that's not the case then maybe they just came out of Giuseppe's workshop, either way it's bad news.  Do they realise?  The bankers I mean.  Someone should tell them.

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