hello & welcome back to ✨WHAT I SAW LAST WEEK!✨ – my lil culture diary but public and also online and very un-spellchecked :)

last week i was soooo bamboozled at the prospect of a 4day weekend. i should’ve just booked a cheap lil citybreak n got out of london to somewhere proper random, bc staying in london feels like work. ykwim? too close to being at work, too similar n familiar. i don’t have the organisational capacity for last minute travel tho, and i remembered that holidays exist far too late in the day. maybe i WILL go on holiday eventually! i dream of an all inclusive in spain or portugal, footlong blue drink, chlorine and saltwater beach sun smell and a lilo that’s shaped like a great big strawberry. maybe i would read bad paperbacks by the pool. maybe i’d get day drunk n have to do my evening makeup with a wobbly hand. ugh, inject it.

anyway, i wound up in london and not that sad about it bc the weather was lovely. i also! saw some actual art last week – can u believe it??? no more chit chat about lip balm and telly, time to get down to some proper art critic BUSINESSSSSSSSS

starting off with actually not an exhibition

went for dinner on drummond street!!! i think it’s the uk’s oldest strip of indian restaurants? i think diwana bhel poori house is actually the oldest indian restaurant in the uk, officially. n drummond street has the original flagship ambala – prestigious. i prefer gupta’s. but i think u actually can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants down drummond street. i think the actual restaurants and the street’s existence is vaguely threatened by the coming of hs2?? which is really sad. i hope it doesn’t disappear bc quite frankly the dishoomification of london’s central-and-central-adjacent indian restaurants is irritating. sick of kricket’s indian deliveroo supremacy. sick of indian fast casual street food adjacent everywhere. sick of Β£15 mini thalis. i want a fuckin old skl curry house buffet! it’s nostalgic, it’s perfect, the portion sizes are always decently massive. very pleasing. always run by bengali uncles, god bless them.

i took my white boyfriend and – god bless this man. everytime we go to a nice good actually decent indian restaurant he goes ‘oh, it’s just like the ones up north!!’ – every time we go to one that’s dishoom adjacent n i’m about to complain, he goes ‘oh, this is sooooo london. this is just what indian restaurants are like in london’ which is literally factually incorrect. but he did say ‘JUST LIKE THE ONES UP NORTH’ on drummond street – which is a kind of very high praise. we went to ravi shankar but, like you literally can’t have a bad dinner on drummond street. it’s impossible!!! i love it!

new contemps

ey i haven’t been to see a new contemps since like, before the pandemic maybe? the last one i saw was in slg, i think – it’s been a while! n i do like the round up listicle-isation of it. even if it’s very very sly of them to be charging literally poor students a whopping submission fee when they’re literally sponsored by bloomberg – very fucking cheeky icl. like, just ask bloomberg for the money!!! but, submission fees aside, it’s just nice to see so many bits of art in one go. degree show but tidy. nice to meet some new names and hope i run into them at another exhibition in another time place and circumstance. so i finally managed to pop by, on a rando thursday w some Friends Of TWP jamie & luisa! n glad i did bc here are my favourite bits!

daniel rey – what a lovely way to present a viewer with a screen!!! idk, screen on wall feels affronting after seeing this. this one’s not even just plonked on floor, it’s laid up all comfy on its lil cushioned bed. this is very sweet, very cosy, unassuming, doesn’t seek me out but waits for me to come to it! the image on screen is like a long slow moving image(? i think?) work of a group of people embracing on the same big blue cushion. so screen is a proxy for body! lovely – LOVELY!

luke anthony rooney – i didn’t get a pic of the whole work, just this detail, which is very annoying !!! i’m bad at my job, i know. but this was a collage painting blown up massive. i think it was mostly digitally printed, backed up and stretched onto canvas. and then there were these plush satin-y embroidered in bits, LIKE the two cigarettes in the case. there were also some painted nails where the nail beds were embroidered in, it was such a nice little way to fuck about and play around with surface, texture, gloss and sheen. digital printing on fabric can feel a bit flat compared to painting on fabric. printing takes away all the levels and texture, and this is like… FUCKING with that flatness – which, we know i love, i love fucking around with flatness. it’s so beautiful!!!

emma sheehy – i wana buy this !! i wish i had money to buy this! the drawing or image itself is so odd and interesting. like weird medieval guy characters but rounded? like where the wild things are? animal and old, atavistic but cartooned. it’s so compelling, i find them really satisfying to look at, they really reward me because as i think about the image i pull new amusements and delights out of it. fucking LOVE that. the little daisy studs, the way the figures are like.. popping out, carved out of the plane of the flat background support. it’s like a cave painting but also a beautiful rare painting, something deeply old and brand new about it all. and then i also have questions about the actual format or shape the image comes along in, that i am rewarded in asking about – is this a sculpture as well? at first i thought this was furniture-adjacent, like a carved stool. but i don’t think it is, even though it speaks in that colour pallette and i also think this is actually painted on carved wood. i just – i love this! this was my favourite thing in the show bc its so small, low down, weird and bizarre and unexplainable and it just fucks with me!!!!!!! good! i love it!!!!!!!

here it is against the wall for scale and with Georg Wilson’s lovely paintings behind, INSTALL SHOT! i loved this, my fav work, in context against the room bc emma’s work rly matches georg’s – something about the bodily lumpiness of all the proportions and heft.

jame st findlay – you must believe me when i tell u i am OBSESSED with jame’s work – i saw their show at luca’s gallery last year, met them at nanny cam – this ye olde vintage twp screening we did with films made by people who hadn’t been to art school. i love their work, weird surreal, funny but in a chronic drone noise way. like… idk, i think channel 4 would call them offbeat. i missed their fuckinnn!!! i missed their show at glasshouse and i’m so annoyed at myself bc it’s WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE of our hot desk office!!!!!! so was glad to catch them at camden art – bc there was this scene or bit of dialogue where jame/the character jame’s playing is a business suit person and they’re in an uber and the driver asks them why they have a great big line down their face, so they go (paraphrasing) ‘well i work in an office over this motorway that divides the city in half and i just think that must be affecting me biologically, on a cellular level so this is like a metaphor for that’ and it made me crease and then it made me uncrinkle, sit up straight and think long and hard about how that wasn’t funny at all, it was actually really wise and true. chronic drone noise! immediate hit, long afterburn. wowowowowoowow jame i love u!

abi palmer – the coolest!! abi palmer is so cool, it’s almost unbelievable or unreal but it’s NOT unreal, it’s COMPLETELY REAL! abi palmer is literally THAT COOL! the film abi’s showing is one of the invents the weather ones – i caught it before when it streamed in televised (on my laptop) drops, accompanied by live talk shows with talk show guests (including gdlp) – i thought it was so funny and clever, art as magic trick! not necessarily like magic-magic like ooo magical or omg ye olde MAGICK, but magic trick. a skill a craft, a spectacular event. abi palmer is an artist as old skl illusionist, showman, i’m getting a message from the beyond is this ur card? like THAT. in this film abi literally invents the weather for her cats (Cha-U-Kao and Lola Lola). she pulls the elements inside and paints rainwater onto cardboard, tries to simulate the smell of the world after rain and in doing so, touches on something kinda elemental and phenomenological or fundamental, ontological??? about the weather itself. what is weather’s literal component parts? it’s so clever, it’s actually genius. i love it, i’m going to recommend you actually watch them all (you can watch them on youtube: heat, light, fog, rain)

zayd menk – ey listen, i read a review of this new contemps that spoke about this work as the Main Attraction adn i can fully see why. it’s big, it’s spectacular. there’s something about presenting viewers with an image of themselves that feels showmanlike or spectacular in and of itself, forget about the sprawling control panel of it all or the whole bit where you imagine how long this must’ve taken to make or install, gluign each lil bt of circuitboard to the backing. but – i was obsessed! with finding where the camera was! bc when i did find it, it was covered, adn one of the friends i was with went ‘oh, it must be infrared’…. OF COURSE! cool! a nice lil nod to the viewer and to the sleight of hand in the trick. lovely!

Soufiane Ababri @ barbican curve

so there is a massive push about censorship at barbican, artists are pulling their works from their big group slash survey show, it’s literally unravelling – pardon the pun bc it’s like a fuckin fabric/textile art show. barbican are notoriously Bad at being Not Racist (remember barbican stories?), i know. so… PREFACE.

but i went to see the soufiane ababri show bc someone recommended it to me, i take recommendations very seriously. and it was really good art. barbican, cancelled. soufiane ababri? celebrated (by me) i enjoy when artists fuck with flatness and these were drawings that handled flattened perspective in a kinda cackhanded and yet also very very deft way. there was something about like, the way this toed up against or edged against the decorative, something about craft, lurid and lewd but in a very sweet way because the drawings were so neatly coloured in solid. like, block colour! warped angle flattened vision! the eye is a camera is the artist is the viewer!


nipped into the barbican conservatory bc – & idk what’s going on atm, but i keep getting fucking london hidden gem recommendations on tiktok and it’s like… columbia road. broadway market. camden passage. portobello road. i’ve had enough, stop! i don’t want the twee tourist trap reccomendations, i am a LOCAL! stop telling tourists and transplants about all the cool stuff!!! bc now the barbican conservatory is SO BUSY. ENOUGH!

anyway there’s a ranjani shettar installation in the conservatory, art about plants in and amongst plants. it’s like the only place it’d make sense without being overly decorative or precious, delicate, ornate to the point of opulence. it was lovely! i rly like seeing art in Not A Gallery kinda context. more art in parks! botanical gardens! conservatories and tbh, while ur at it, whack some art in an underpass, under the flyover etc. put art anywhere u can fit it imo. it’s just NICE!

smiley face

i think the internet is killing graffiti, this is too technologically aware it gives me the heebiejeebies. but it’s also kinda like wow to see an emoticon smiley – retro, no? and irl it has affect? i’ve overthought this already, in like 3 sentences i’ve overthought it.

i watched the first 20 mins of mad max and then fell asleep

but i think i got the gist? film club year!!! we move, i’m knocking this one up on mine n my bf’s shared couple’s letterbox’d even at a runtime of 20 conscious minutes. very kinetic, frantic, bluebottle energy of a film. post-societal collapse, ofc we would imagine a stateless and lawless world like this, bc without rules and with power, this is what we think the world would look like. i think that’s vvv interesting. i also think this film is like a kind of ultimate capitalist fantasy rather than a world to fear without rules laws states or institutions. idk. i’m reading this film v politically for someone who only saw the first 20 mins and then fell asleep. but i think the political is RIGHT THERE within it. maybe i should watch it again. no way i’m gna convince my bf to watch it all over again bc he was a hostage audience, trapped watchign a film he’d already seen while i snooze and pretend i’m not snoozing right next to him in front of his eyeballs. poor guy!!!!

i’m bringing back blogging

proper blogging, i’m talkin TUMBLR baby!!!! i have resurrected my chronically dormant tumblr addiction bc honestly, it’s just the best kind of social media. formative!!!! tumblr was FORMATIVE! for me! it wasn’t even like i had it on my phone way back when – and i knew people who did – i j used to scroll DESKTOP (CAN U IMAGINE???) i’m bringing it back!!!! i’m a new old tumblr user!!!! tumblr 4eva!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! blog blog blog blog blog!!! hehehehehe

my point actually is: i’m using it instead of instagram n i will post bits and bobs from my life and my work there instead of on my personal instagram bc i can like,,,, link fun things i’m reading! i can post music and videos and do lil text bits and post links to work! work life hobby, the big soup of it all. follow me on tumblr! if u like! like,,, government name in the url, that’s how u know i mean business. i’m also not telling u what my og tumblr url was bc it’s embarassing.

ok!!!! that’s all for now! love u have a ncie week!!! BYEEE!!!!!