Mary Sibande Opening

Sue and I went to the opening at the National Gallery last night.  It was an interesting experience.  Really good wines etc and smart waiters.  Incredible and plentiful food, even red velvet cupcakes.

Not sure if all National Gallery Openings are like this but it seemed extravagant when they are supposedly struggling to keep afloat.


The sculpture of the rearing horse is titled “Reign”.  It’s an enormous work that dominates the space as intended.  The horse is cast in resin.  The National Gallery has just bought this work with the assistance of Friends of  the Gallery.

The new work “The Purple Shall Govern” was quite disappointing.  My bad picture doesn’t help much.  Sue Kaplan has a lot of interesting observations that I will not try to repeat but hopefully she will elaborate on this blog, except to mention that an artist who sometimes works similarly is Annette Messager.  I hadn’t heard of her before but did some googling and was very excited by her work.

The Purple shall Govern

Last time I was at the Nat Gal I got into trouble for taking a pic (the rules seem to change all the time) but last night, perhaps because it was an opening, nobody was complaining.  So I grabbed the opportunity to take a shot of the installation below.  A work I just love.  Now I cannot remember the title or the artist!!!!

Natgal 1



There are quite a few lovely etchings on display near this part of the gallery.  Including Deborah Bell, Robert Hodgins and William Kentridge.

The main attraction is actually the Kevin Atkinson retrospective.  It failed to move either Sue or me, except for some interesting etchings with embossings and multiple plates on one page that provided some fresh technical ideas .  The bulk of the work, for us, did not pass the test of time too well.

Would love to hear from other BSR’s if any of you get around to visiting the gallery.

PS. Apologies if the layout is messy.  Not too familiar with the way this site works.




JR – street artist.

JR – Kibera, Kenya rooftops

TED talk about Inside Out project 2011:

TED talk about Inside Out 2012:

Inside Out project:

About William Kentridge.

A documentary on William Kentridge:

Kentridge on his process:

An interview with himself:

Pain and Sympathy:




Thinking with Hands:


Joseph Cornell

I have just finished this biography on Joseph Cornell: Utopia Parkway (imagine such an address!)



This is a link to  the documentary Worlds in a Box (1991 ) about Cornell’s life and work.

A fantastic archive of his papers in the Smithsonian’s  Archives of American Art:

Links to some of his amazing boxes and collages:

These two links are aimed at younger students:

His surreal movies (some of which he made by splicing together strips of old movies, others he made by employing a camera man and sometimes an actress and walking with them directing “scenes”) are not as well-known, but worth watching. Here are two:   (Rose Hobart)  (Nymphlight)