Apr 19 2012: Painting Sunsets by Violet Parkhurst (Walter T Foster Publications, 1960s)

Although it’s something of a cliche to claim the general public neither understands nor likes conceptual art, or contemporary art that doesn’t show evidence of traditional skill, seeing such work as a species of charlatanry, I’m not sure the theory stands up when it’s examined in more detail. The guide to painting sunsets seen above … Continue reading

Jan 31 2012: Forty Further Electronics and Armaments Advertisements from Military Technology Magazine (1982)

Following yesterday’s first forty advertising pages from a handful of 1982 issues of Military Technology magazine, featuring a mix of obscure defence contractors and household names in domestic electronics, a similar pattern is seen here, as we encounter Ericsson, General Electric and AEG-Telefunken in somewhat darker than usual manifestations, with Electrolux expecially unsettling in this context, having transformed … Continue reading

Jan 24 2012: Fifteen Monochrome Snapshots from the Nottingham Jazz and Beat Scene (c.1960s)

All I know for sure about this series of images is that the photographs were framed when found (at the Sneinton Cattle market a week or so ago: one or two show fading where the mounts overlapped the images themselves) and all seem to have been part of a wider gathering of pictures relating to … Continue reading

Jan 12 2012: Nine Photographs Showing Clouds, Light and Landscapes Taken Through The Windows of a Moving Train (c.2006)

Writing on trains has been an activity that has led to various pieces of finished work, including one in the Emblems chapbook of 2009, published by Shoestring Press, and this as yet unplaced meditation on the experience of listening to the Ghost Box release As The Crow Flies by The Advisory Circle en route from … Continue reading

Dec 2 2011: Four Tableaux from a Scarecrow Festival at Hickling, Leicestershire (c.2009)

After the recent gallery of images from Wymeswold’s garden and scarecrow festival, these occasionally macabre scarecrow tableux from Hickling in Leicestershire seem a useful footnote to those. They’re not dated, so far as i can tell, but probably come from around 2008 or 2009, and make an interesting contrast with the more restrained Wymeswold efforts. … Continue reading

Nov 30 2011: Scarecrow Festival and Open Gardens at Wymeswold, Leicestershire (June 27 2011)

When Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane compiled their Folk Archive in 2007, the two gathered evidence of all kinds of unofficial activity, most of it largely unrecognised even as legitimate folk culture. True, the surviving Morris Dances and Well Dressings were featured, alongside such uniquely strange customs as the Welsh Mari Llwyd, the Derby Tup and the Padstow May … Continue reading

Nov 28 2011: British Printing and Communication Corporation: A Personal Message from Robert Maxwell (E. Hannibal Flexidisc, 1980s)

A bit of a curiosity here, as clients and businesses within the British Printing and Communications Corporation are sent a flexidisc containing a personal message from their new CEO, Robert Maxwell, on such matters as the redesigned logo and the repositioning of the business for a future that home video recorders, Ceefax and transponders are in the … Continue reading

Oct 8 2011: Art Gallery Under Black Light: Images I – IV (c.1938)

As in the previous two groups of images from the envelope of negatives found a week or so on Nottingham’s Cattle Market, these four show documentary reality in a kind of altered state, where the lights register as darkness and the shadows as light. In the first three negatives here we see people viewing paintings in an … Continue reading

Aug 14 2011: Equality by R.H. Tawney (Halley Stewart Lectures, 1929)

The last time levels of economic and social inequality reached present-day levels was, according to recent statistics, in the 1920s, so it seems worth looking at the Halley Stewart Lectures, delivered by R.H. Tawney, on the eve of the Great Crash of 1929, since  in these we may find reflections on circumstances very close to our present … Continue reading

Aug 13 2011: Born To Fail? by Peter Wedge and Hilary Prosser (National Children’s Bureau, 1973)

Following up yesterday’s post looking at a possible constructive response to the crisis point reached during last week’s riots, it’s now possible (as it wasn’t yesterday, given security questions) to say something about its origins in discussions last night with my partner, who was asked to be part of a group – including senior city councillors, police … Continue reading