Monthly Archives: September 2008

Timon of Athens @ the Globe

Pj and I, with our new roommate Tristan headed to the globe to check out one of shakespeare’s later plays “Timon of Athens.” It was my first time at the globe and I was not disappointed.  Tix were only £5 – we were groundlings.  Which meant we got to stand for the whole thing, which was fantastic.  Like being in a moshpit for theatre.  Also interesting, was that the director and set designer created an ‘aviary’ for the piece.  To facilitate the characters in the play which acted as vultures upon the main character Timon.  It was supposedly inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece “The Birds”.  It wasn’t pj’s favorite, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  Live music as well which is always appreciated.

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The Great Grape Harvest

I always get excited this time year, although it’s an excitement by association only.  Sometime in september (although only nature ever knows the exact moment) my father (recently bearded) gather’s the troups together and the vineyard gets pick.  It’s amazing to me….the countless hours my father and mother spend nurturing these vines.  Pruning, mulching, mowing, spraying.  Granted the view is beautiful.  It’s a lot of hard work that get’s harvested in a single day.  This year the crop was 4.5 tons of chardonnay.  It all gets picked into yellow lugs, boarded on a lorry and transported over to Barboursville Winery in Charlottesville, Virginia.   We just drank a bottle of the 2006 vintage and it was fantastic…an elegant old world style chardonnay.

The American Scene

The British Museum has a fantastic exhibition (The America Scene – Prints from Hopper to Pollock) up for one more week displaying the largest collection of american prints outside of america.  It is an introduction to printmaking in america associated with the WPA and the migration of european artists to america after WWI and WWII.  It was fascinating to see the humble beginnings of artists such as pollock, calder, and  louise bourgeois  – whose mature works I have seen in the Tate modern, and centre pompidou in paris.  It was a wonderful time of revelry in americana.  It also made me miss two friends in the states who taught me so much about both printmaking and americana.  

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Here’s the British Museum’s Description of the Show:

The American Scene features around 150 outstanding prints by 74 leading modern American artists, including George Bellows, Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Louise Bourgeois and Jackson Pollock.

The first half of the 20th century was a period of great change in America, and this exhibition examines American society and culture through the prints produced by some of the most important artists of the time.

The exhibition begins with John Sloan’s Ashcan School etchings of everyday urban experience in the 1900s and concludes with Jackson Pollock and the triumph of abstract expressionism in the 1950s.

Many of the images in the intervening period explore the changing urban landscape of New York, the onset of the Depression, the romanticised visions of the American heartlands by the Regionalists, the response to the rise of Fascism in Europe and America’s entry into the Second World War.

All the works come from the British Museum’s own American print collection, which is the most comprehensive outside the United States covering this period.

Orange’s and Health Insurance

This was installed recently at our local bus stop.  I happened to grab one as it was being dispensed the other morning.  “Sweet, a free orange.”  The sign says, “Help Yourself” – Find out how eating more fruit could help lower the cost of health insurance.”  Now I haven’t visited the website to find out what is behind this.  Health insurance is free in this country, although if you are wealth off you probably pay for some private health insurance to have a higher quality of care.   And if you do…you probably don’t ride the bus…or stop long enough to read the sign.  But I was glad for the fruit.  I’ve been keeping my eyes out to see how many people I spot walking around with a random orange in their hand…so far only 1 other person besides the skinny tall american.  Now, i also wonder how many chemicals are needed to keep fruit fresh in the name of advertising (but I’m sure I’m missing the point).