A Storm on the High Seas: Review of Peter Grimes at Grange Park Opera

After the fanfare that surrounded Benjamin Britten’s 2013 centenary and the accolades David Alden’s Peter Grimes generated in its ENO incarnation, transporting this sea-ravaged epic deep into the heartland of Hampshire’s countryside for opening night of The Grange seemed a tall order. In truth, the Grange Park Opera’s rose-strewn lawns and delicate, neo-classical architecture are worlds away…

In Pictures: Maltby Market & Secret Salon Swing Dancing

Just down from The Shard, off Tanner Street in Bermondsey is The Ropewalk Market on Maltby Street, an alley way bordered by antique shops brimming with vintage delights and, on the weekends, packed to the rafters with food stalls, small scale booze producers and weekend foodies. I was meeting a photography group called Click London…

Song for the Day: Sing Sing Sing

This song is exactly what you need for a Monday morning. It’s almost impossible to listen to this without feeling like foxtrotting your way around the kitchen or swing dancing your way through the crowds on the tube. It’s a running song, a dancing song and a working song all rolled into one. Typing to…

Nude: Models and Life Drawing

There’s nothing better than drawing people with no clothes on. The best practise – and practice – for an amateur artist (and probably for a professional as well) is life drawing. It’s a rare opportunity to draw something that’s alive and right in front of you, and yet conveniently still. Reclining Nude, 2007 Drawing nudes…

Song for the Day: Solange Knowles and the Sapeurs

There’s a great photo piece in The Guardian today about the well dressed Sapeurs of Congo, Africa – members of the Society for the Advancement of Elegant People. Image: AfricaFeed — The Sapeurs of Congo: Open Gutters and Gucci Loafers It put Solange Knowles’ video for Losing You straight into my mind as she filmed it with some…

The Art of Erik Johansson: “I don’t capture moments, I capture ideas”

Last month I featured the work of surreal photographer and artist Jee Young Lee (whose exhibition, coincidently, opened Friday 7 February at the OPIOM Gallery in Opio, France) and her immersive, dream scape images and now I’ve been bowled over by the strange and subversive world of Swedish photographer Erik Johansson. Like Lee, Berlin-based Johansson plunges…

2014 in Books: February

February is packed to the rafters with literary fodder. Lynne Truss is back for the first time in 10 years with her new novel Cat Out of Hell. If you liked Child 44 by Rob Smith, he’s got The Farm coming out just before Valentine’s Day this month, and, if that wasn’t enough, Paul Theroux’s son, the…

Flower Girls by Elżbieta Wodala

Duszek / Brownie – fragment Duszek / Brownie Occasionally, when sifting through twitter updates, you’ll stumble across a gem – something so beautiful and magical it grabs your attention utterly and completely. When I was very little I firmly believed that fairies lived in flowers. I would crouch, perfectly still in my parent’s garden in…

Song for the day: Happy

The weather might be getting biblical outside my London window but I’m feeling uncharacteristically, almost moronically happy, and this song encapsulates that addictive feeling. I defy you to listen to this and not start jigging about like a dad at a wedding…or this:   Five Reasons To Be Happy This Weekend It’s Burn’s Night tonight….