Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Southendd would become a dull grey town trying to throw off the trappings of the lively East End holiday destination and become a second rate business centre. Much of it has gone now but still have fond memories of the Garon's arcade, Garon's cinema (so many cinemas!) Keddies department store, Peter Pan's Playground, The Golden Hind, the waxworks with rats on wires, Woolworths and British Home Stores etc. etc. Not to mention all the junk shops and arcades. In 1967 the old art school was bulldozed to make way for a roundabout and road system and new block was built nearby which soon became redundant.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Biennale. Previous years have been more exciting but still some interesting work on show in various venues spread widely around the city. First we trekked over to the huge Cain's brewery complex, an old red brick Victorian edifice to the South- through some of the bleakest industrial streets and grim housing estates. Amongst all this decay are pockets of trendiness like the eatery we popped into to find a snack. All on offer were plastic containers of expensive salads with two prawns or a soup made of bacon and black pudding - yuk! It was packed out with hip young things - gawd nose where they came from as the grey dismal streets outside were empty! Anyway, I digress, the Cain's brewery was a shambles and the art on show was 6th form and foundation level at best. Some interesting videos by Ramin Haerizadeh and Co. raised the standard a little. Hazel borrowed a tablet to follow a virtual dog guide around the exhibition that vanished after metamorphing into a bunch of daffs ( or was it onions?) . Then to the nearby Blade factory and a terrible racket by Mark Leckey based on his youth around Liverpool and the music scene back in the 80's - we stuck 5 mins of the video and sound system and left to find some lunch. Which we found in the Bluecoat, and very nice it was too. We sat outside in the gardens and listened to a busker warbling plaintively in the next street, singing a song of unrequited art. Then around the Bluecoat and the patchy Young Contemporaries. Some amusing video works but most of the painting s and sculptures left me cold. Lastly the FACT gallery and some intriguing work by the American Krzysztof Wodiczko - work about homelessness, machines and gadgets to aid homeless people in their survival and communication.