Posts from March 2021

remember me

March 31, 2021

I’m familiar with almost every memorial tree, bench and park in the Annex, and a fair few beyond our borders. Anyone who walks with me regularly knows that reading the commemorative plaques is a bit of an obsession. How do you distill a person into a sentence or two, capture their spirit in a stanza, their life’s legacy in a rhyming couplet? “Jay Macpherson enriched our world,” says a commemorative plaque for the poet in a parkette at the corner of Dupont and Avenue Road. “And mountains for David were made to see over,” are the words written on David William Priddle’s commemorative bench on Willcocks Street. “In loving memory of Barbara Ann Ward, from her devoted husband of 57 years.” “Michael J. Walker read here.” Some of my favourites are in the Philosopher’s Walk. Gordon Bruce Cummings “walked this path in happiness.” Pablo Neruda’s Soneto de la Noche appears with a dedication from his family. Leo Zakuta, “much loved professor and tennis player. Iconoclast. Gentleman.” I think it’s a beautiful tradition, and a lovely way for a person to live on. These people are on my daily walks, and I feel I know them. “You were the sunshine of our lives, and always will be,” reads Samya Maiko Al-Kholani’s bench beside Robarts Library. Very often, it’s the simplest ones that move me the most. “Daddy.”

Around and around

March 30, 2021

VIVIAN SUTER mixes paint with mud, rainwater and fish glue.

NANCY & BURT‘s Yunomi style teacup.

How to make hot cross buns.

CELIA BERNARDO‘s floral spring frocks.

Peonies as big as fried eggs.

GEORG ÓSKAR infuses his paintings with humour and childlike enthusiasm.

“If I can give one piece of wisdom to my children, ‘it’s just be your biggest fan,'” actor, MARTIN SHORT says on Off Camera with photographer, SAM JONES.

GARY CALTON chronicles his solitary walks around the North York Moors.

prints charming

March 30, 2021

There is a beautiful simplicity to Renee Gouin‘s work. “I’m inspired by the process of reduction, paring down objects to the essential form,” says the artist of her printmaking process. In stories, I find myself as drawn to what isn’t in the image as to what is; our imagination fills in the negative space. The channels series is tender and playful, and I love all the details in women in clothes 3. The print below is a favourite; who doesn’t need red shoes?


March 26, 2021

It’s not just because I love cheese, but Inès Mélia‘s ceramic Brie, Munster & Comté candlesticks are divine. “As I couldn’t paint during lockdown, the idea came to me to use day to day items like the cheese in my fridge to create these ephemeral sculptures,” says the Paris-based artist, DJ and fashion muse. I’d like half a dozen of them to light up at a future fondue party. Pong.

love always wins

March 25, 2021

British-Nigerian artist, Yinka Ilori is known for his bold colours and playful patterns. His large scale installations and murals lift London’s sprits. Most recently, Ilori’s ventured into homewares, with a collection of technicolour trays, tablecloths, mugs and cushions that bring joy to the home. I have my eye on this cheerful rug –– they look like pineapples –– and I think we could all hang a Better Days Are Coming I Promise plate on our wall.


March 24, 2021

Bari Ziperstein‘s is an artist who is constantly stretching the possibilities of her material. Clay is versatile to begin with, and Ziperstein embraces that. “The transformation of clay and testing its technical limits informs so much of my practice,” says Ziperstein, whose large scale, colour rich vessels stand out in any room. Just look at this acid yellow cubist planter and this giant Yves Klein vase. And what of all the whimsical, wacky vessels below? Her work is bold, irreverent and highly original. “… it’s about creating a new ceramic silhouette with unexpected processes that excites me.”

pandemic pools

March 24, 2021

Once in a while, I’d get to my local pool, cozzie and goggles in hand, only to find that it was closed for maintenance. I was so routined to my thrice weekly swims, that the notification of closure would skip my mind. It was frustrating at times, like tuning in to a television show that’s been cancelled for the week. There was something about seeing the pool empty of water that made me feel sad. Up in Forest Hill, where we walk often, there are so many residential pools that sit empty all winter. Last year, I remember watching one being filled, and feeling genuine glee at the sight. Pools are containers for water, for life; without water, they’re just cavernous holes. Back in December, photographer, David Levene, visited and photographed some of his favourite swimming venues around London. “‘I love swimming,” says Levene, who took to swimming in open water when the pools all shut. “I’m not fanatic or die-hard, but it is impossible for me to ignore the correlation that exists in my life between swimming and general levels of positivity and wellbeing. I find it hypnotic, meditative, and I’ll tend to have my best ideas and inspirations just after emerging from a pool.” For all you who’ve spent a lot of time at a local pool, and who miss your regular swims, Levene’s images may resonate with you. This image here –– quiet, sterile and still –– reminds me very much of what my local pool looked like on maintenance weeks, and what I imagine it looks like today.

round and around we go

March 24, 2021

Have you ever seen a more fabulous kitchen? Villa Bagnan, Biarritz.

A restoration studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. Photograph by Andrew Moore.

Elizabeth Lo follows three street dogs and the Syrian refugees they befriend in her Istanbul-based film, Stray.

The loveliest wedding cake.

Ali Macgraw in Love Story.

Tana Grisaille’s leafy wallpapers.

The surreal and vibrant world of painter, Ophelia Redpath.

Ingrid Bergman in Stromboli by Roberto Rosselini.


March 23, 2021

On Saturday, we sat outside in the sunshine and marvelled at the majesty of Spring. It’s neither beautiful nor bountiful out there, but with every snowdrop, every crocus, every chirp of a bird, comes a tiny sense of triumph. We survived another Winter. And beneath the leaves and dirt and debris, lies the promise of perennials. Of bare feet. Of drinks at dusk. Of bicycle bells. Of possibility. This winter has flown by. Was it the mild January? Or was it that we sledded through February? We did so little, and yet the days trotted on. And maybe that’s just it. Keep it simple. Relish in the small stuff. A beautiful Winter sky. A fresh fall of snow. And Winter finds a way of turning into Spring.

less is more

March 19, 2021

What amazes me about Hildeo Sawada, is how much emotion he’s able to imbue into a piece of wood. His human figures are devoid of detail –– no facial features, hair or arms –– and yet there’s such poise, grace and pathos to each one. I love the Impressionistic looseness of his carving; each one begs to be held. Loved, even. Quiet, restrained –– beautiful.

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