Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lost Weekend - Almost!

Bronzino strikes again (The National Gallery - London)Bronzino at The National Gallery - London
The week's nearly up and I've written nothing on last weekend. Culture type time, particularly as a failed phone meant I couldn't contact anyone.

  • Roar - A small South Bank exhibition of work by Scottish design students. Little that caught my eye except for a clever cover of Radiohead's 'Nude' by one James Houston (I think) using a Spectrum ZX, a dot matrix printer, a scanner and an old telly. Loved it, but it must have gotten nasty for the girl at the door; even great songs get annoying when repeated ad nauseum.
  • The Walworth Farce - I had to go to London to see an Irish play. Enda Walsh's latest and more on this anon.
  • Giraffe - Rushed meal (starter and main course in under thirty minutes) as I was rushing to the play, but a plus for me as it included chilli only days after stomach trouble. And I survived!
  • The National Gallery - Believe it or not, in all my trips to London I have always managed to miss this. Not this time and thank God for that. Fabulous! You go into the 1500 -1700 wing and are greeted by Da Vinci's 'Madonna of the Rocks'! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!! In the Raphael room, sure, I could appreciate him, but I was more taken by the two unfinished Michaelangelos. Then there was the Del Sartos. And then Bronzino! I love Bronzino! The sharp colour, the live eyes, the stylisation. (And the Monty Python foot.) Then on to the Rembrandts and isn't that portrait of his mistress, Hendrickje Stoffels, incredible? On to the 1700s - 1900s. Sorry, not too keen on your Constables and Gainsboroughs, though yes, Mr Hogarth, 'The Little Shrimp Girl' is wonderful. And then Seurat, a wonderful red Degas, and okay Van Gogh's 'Sunflowers' (one of four canvases; I must have seen them all at this stage). I prefered his chair and 'Two Crabs'. There was also what some might see as a nondescript Monet, a winter scene of a river, that just sent shivers down my spine. I brought me into winter, a good winter. A fabulous stuff!
  • BFI - A strange exhibit by Michel Gondry and Peter Bismuth involved a revolving projector painting the blank walls of a large room with what appeared to be a sunny apartment (where Gondry's 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' was playing on television). As you watched, however, you noticed the furniture, the views from the windows, the very architecture begin to change too quick for a mere set change. Unless of course, the set was a miniature one.... One thing that amazed me was how long I stayed watching this transformation. It was addictive.
  • Tate Modern - I didn't get there this time!
  • St Martin in the Fields - Schubert, Beethoven and Mozart. More on this later.
  • Pint of ale in the Sherlock Holmes.
  • Nice French meal in Soho.
  • Nice pizza walking home in Balham.
  • Books bought, including volume 4 of 'Back Story'. Thank you, BFI. If only I can get volumes 2 and 3.
  • Nice chips walking home in Balham.
  • Sunshine! And a Sunday morning stroll to Clapham Tube station as the Balham one was flooded.

The flight was delayed by 50 minutes or so. When I got back to Dublin and off the bus I was confronted by blood on the pavement. I queued for bread and milk and when I got home found that my backpack had been opened. Nothing taken. Hmmmm! Let me take you by the hand and lead you down the streets of London....


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