hello & welcome back to ✨WHAT I SAW LAST WEEK!✨ – my blog on the white pube blog where i blog about culture and life and stuff on this blog, all the time, bloggin baby!!!!

i’m squishing 2 weeks together bc last week just turned into actual soup for me – idk how or why, the entire week just up and disappeared. i think, honestly, i am just knackered. not burned out necessarily, i just think the way i have energy moves in waves. sometimes i have energy and focus to spare, coming out my eyeballs i’m ready to laser in on a task. othertimes the idea of being sat at my desk for an hour or so feels impossible, like the last thing i’d ever want to do or even be able to do. i get this empty tank restlessness where my brain just flips over and over and i can’t DO anything. i guess our writing schedule of week on/week off suits that pattern quite well, to the point where i cna’t tell what came first – the pattern or the schedule. like maybe this is j what 9 years of writing will do to your brain, it’s ingrained like a circadian rhythm.

but if i am personally and professionally operating on a low energetc battery, what always works is refilling the tank. i’m a critic bby! i gotta scoop cultural fuel back in to the brain tank, via my eyeballs. so i went to see loadsa shows (loadsa-ish) and honestly, i’m very glad and pleased that i did! i do actually feel recharged! sometimes i forget that seeing art and then thinking about what i’ve seen is literally my job, so when i get to a corner, i can just turn back round and go back out into the world to find a new route where there’s no dead end!

i will say as well – WISLW feels like it has evolved into a culture diary for all the bits of culture around or outside of exhibitions. which is fine, it’s the culture and, etc bit too. i like that, it’s neat and good (for me at least, maybe not for u) – but the only reason it has evolved into that is bc: in 2022 i was a gal about town, critic on the move. i think i’d save every friday and i’d go see 3/4 shows, almost every week, religiously. and i’d document what i found on IG stories, more for myself and my own memory but people would chip in and message and i’d chat to them about what i was seeing while i was seeing it – which was fucking LOVELY, such a nice way to go about looking at art. we’d all be visiting the gallery together, and some people wanted a more longlasting document of what i was seeing n thinking, so i shifted that all stuff over here to the blog n WISLW. But then we started writing the book and all my time and brain energy disappeared. i didn’t really go see art, i didn’t read other people’s books. i was just working 7 days a week bc even if i wasn’t writing or producing things, my brain was still turned on (even if that was at times, counter productive.) i honestly don’t know where i’ve been for the past year n a bit, it’s all a blur. i know that we wrote a book (pre-order our book, Poor Artists pls pls pls) and that’s all i’ve got to show for it bc other than that i was a recluse. but this year i’ve read so many books, like 1/2 a week. i’m tearing thru them, i just want STORIES! i am ready for the tank to be refilled. but somehow the break from exhibitions has felt more meaningful. i go and see one or two things here or there but – you’ll be able to track it j on previous entries here on WISLW. it’s nowhere near what i was getting through back in 2022. not for lack of exhibition content out in the world, in london. there’s so much of that. i just think that my brain-break from galleries felt like more of an obstacle, like a barrier i was happier keeping up. sometimes i feel like maybe one day i will grow completely tired of art, and this year i kept waiting for the penny to drop, bc i had no desire to go out and see any art. like, maybe the temporary palette cleanse would turn into a permanent refusal. but then, about 2 weeks ago, that want returned and i found myself wanting to see what everyone was up to in london. maybe it’s just that it’s hotter, more sun, like more vitamin D. maybe that’s also the energy. i don’t know! i am keen to not question it too much in case it all falls apart. i will take it all at face value and focus on the end i can actually grasp: recluse era (semi-) over! here’s the stuff i actually went to see, finally.

rasheed araeen @ the showroom

this was only open for a week at the beginning of the month, but i popped up on the bus after work to have a look in because – honestly i’m a rasheed araeen fan! apparently back in the 80s, the showroom commissioned this work: Arctic circle 1982-88. it’s ‘used wine, beer and other alcohol bottles arranged in a geometrically precise 10foot circle on the gallery floor’. and that is basically what it is – it’s funny. i knew that this was all there was in the gallery, i’d already seen it online. and it’s strange coming all that way to see something you’ve already seen in pictures. esp when it’s like there’s just the one thing there! it’s almost as if you’re just there to check it’s real. i think sometimes being a critic is like being a tourist. i drift in and out, if only to judge the vibe of things IRL with my own two eyeballs, like i can’t trust a screen. but i don’t mind it bc in my honest opinion, a screen isn’t enough sometimes (almost all the time). this work did feel different IRL, being able to peer down over it, not just see the cross section of it through the backlit mediated glance. when you’re in the room with something, you can kinda feel it in the room with you – it’s mass or body. esp with something that’s sculptural or installation adjacent. i think that’s also why i q like rasheed araeen’s work – bc it is very quiet, it translates well to screen but IRL you can actually get so quiet within yourself that you can hear the work breathe. it is easy to contemplate, ponder over. i find myself thinking about the art as object and ambient item, like it’s vibrating and communicating with me in some mystical way because it’s so clean and unornamented. there’s such a direct line from it to me. this was a nice thing to go see as i try and become a person who goes to see things again.

i did some crits at chelsea!

w the second year students, j before a big mid-term show in the studio and – it was lovely for me bc i love a good crit n also love chatting to artists, being nosy n hearing what people are up to! honestly hope the students got somethign out of it bc I DID!

my favourite thing i saw was this lil drawing pair by one of the students in my crit group, Danae Ortega Berrocal. it’s sooo cool, flippant, off the cuff n silly but also deadly serious. it’s an approach to making work and working that i really respect. travelling far n fast! love it!!!!!

3 shows i have actually saved writing about for (i think) elephant

sam bakewell @ corvi-mora // urara tsuchiya, angel pocket @ union pacific // to supplement the fragment, group show @ public gallery.

i did a whole day where i bounced around and popped into things, which was actually lovely! to be a critic on da go again! i should’ve taken lil ig story clips, seen if anyone was online to chat through this day out. but i also kinda j wanted a silent day, exhibition day trip as silent retreat. i whizzed round n then sat in a pub for an hour, reading my book n waiting for my bf to finish work so we could hold hands n have dinner. i’m also gna hold on to my thoughts about these exhibitions for a tiny bit bc i have written about what i thought of these 3 very specifically chosen shows for a column for elephant. i think. if they’ll have it! let’s see. if not, i can always plop it down here. but i rly liked all 3 of these, alone and in relation to each other.

i especially liked the urara tsuchiya show at union pacific bc i’ve been thinking lots about polly pockets recently. i tried to find the ones i had as a kid of ebay, just to see if i could re-buy them? but they’re a bit expenny, which is a double blow bc: i can’t re-buy them but i also don’t have them to sell and make a lil bit of ££ as a polly pocket resale side hustle. but – those polly pocket worlds have been at the front of my mind, maybe especially since my lovely bf got me that sylvanian families house. i am j really enjoying having access to tiny play space! that’s a thought for another day – i’ll post the column if it comes out n air my other thoughts in full, but until then here r da pics :)

^^ sam bakewell

^^urara tsuchiya

adam farah-saad

emma cc cook

nils alix-tabeling

meitao qu

^^ @ public

n then also on at greengrassi, right next to corvi-mora, at the same time were these weird hollow objects by i think vincent fecteau? i’m not too sure bc the website won’t load – so i don’t wana chat about this too much in case i’m wrong lmao but here’s wat they looked like

james fuller, the cart before the horse @ south parade

london has (in recent years) seen a WELL DOCUMENTED boom of ~bby galleries~ – post pandemic baby boom but make it ART. it’s well documented and interviewed, n i don’t understand the wider commercial winds of the art market that makes this whole thing possible, feasible or viable. i’m j glad to be seeing new things, glad to be chatting to people in rooms about art they’re interested in enough to show it to me. someone else will have to write the deep dive (someone else probably has/is) bc i do find myself wondering what the baby gallery baby boom says about the wider arts/economic landscape. someone write in w answers!!! but there are a few (a lot) of the post-lockdown baby galleries that i still haven’t visited (don’t, i can’t believe i’m THIS bad at my job) so i am on a mission to slowly tick them all off. popped into south parade _– FINALLY, for the FIRST TIME!!! n this show got me bc: horse. i saw the name as a potential candidate for my horses in art instagram account lmaooo

the work was actually very serious actual art, and only tangentially related to horses. but good, fine! these sculptural things, all concertina-ed up like coffee filters – they were made from electroplated foils. apparently the artist makes them himself, and the foil basically grows in a tank. a solution with metal particles washes over adn over and accumulates into a kind of metal skin and this tiny ultra smaller than razor thin material is then bent and presses into a shape to look like these coffee filters, a tenth of a milimeter thick. they’ve been blobbed up together so they look like yawning flowers or something fruit-like, bodily, biological and organic. which is nice bc the metal has literally grown, so it matches. then pressed in, in concentric circles round the metal, there’s this weird jarring poetry. apparently the artist is interested in the language of patent applications, mines through old ones for resonant phrases like: a rotating body, impregnated surfaces performing human capital management, an adaptive deception system, radiance grafted to a common ancestor these are all snippets from patent applications, all stitched together to make a kind of surreal, dada-ist found poetry, appliqued on to each other like patches to a jean jacket.

then in the back room there were these weird fuzzy mesh paintings of a lemon being squeezed by a pair of plastic legs – it was cool, evasive, uncomfortable. a slightly hairraising image – all of it so far was really hairraising and i can’t quite identify why. maybe it’s bc all the material – mesh & metal– so far was really thin, delicate, so inherently breakable that i felt like i was literally in a room full of eggshells. it was balanced out by a huge beeswax vase with an image of a wonky contraption – a horse powered vehicle where the horse is powering it all from a treadmill at the back. the ultimate sustainable electric vehicle, green energy (horses are environmentally friendlier than petrol, right?) – it felt like it matched the rest of the work but like it was also, vibrationally speaking, at completely the other end of whatever balance was being struck here. not hair raising, but very grounding. i wanted to knock on the side of it to see if it’d make a sound bc i felt like if i did, the sound’d probably be rly calming in like a sound bath kinda way. massive gong, rumbling bass etc.

gal schindler @ ginny on frederick

these were paintings like little patisserie cake items!!! sgraffito scratch marks into the goopy wet paint liquid surface, yoghurty thin and dried milky. something picturebook illustrative sweetness too, in the fresh girly colours and sweet lines, the way all the figures were rounded out like cartoon dolls.

but actually there was this sticky sickly undertone, in the slick gradient blank space-ness of it all. the way the figures just sat there simmering in all that negative space, taken up by a overpowering milkiness that actually felt more like sour cream or double cream gone weird n lumpy, than like full fat greek yoghurt.

something about these paintings made the backs of my teeth hurt.

edward johnston memorial in farringdon station

as we all know i am obsessed with the tube and the fact that actually there is soooo much art down there. over in farringdon station, on the hammersmith city circle line end, there’s a memorial work for edward johnston, the calligrapher that designed the london underground typeface – the font that’s used across all the tfl tube related writing – from the big signs that say UNDERGROUND and the station names, to the posters and all the bits written on there. the memorial was made in 2017 by fraser muggeridge - its a set of massive woodblock letters with the typeface on backwards. i bet if you took a big massive piece of paper you could do a crayon rubbing of the typeface, wouldn’t that be so lovely!!!!!

anna clegg @ soup gallery

also finally made it down to soup, another bby glalery i hadn’t ever visited before. but they’re down in that weird bit of south london between bermondsey, elephant n castle, n camberwell – just off old kent road. i always think that’s where gasworks is, but it’s nOT and i’m always confused by the geography of south london until i’m looking at a map (n then it makes perfect sense). but everytime i see what’s on at soup i’m like ‘WOW i SHOULD GO N AHVE A LOOK AT THAT, THAT LOOKS GREAT’ and i never do bc i’m bad at my job, recluse, having a gallery break, remember? so i broke the seal

anna clegg is a painter and the paintings are like oil paint image versions of like the contents of every ftzcarraldo paperback where it’s a blend of highbrow, whacky weird, memoir true story short story autoficiton, literary masterpiece and impenetrably thick thing that i have no way of getting any purchase into. thoughtful to maybe a point beyond my understanding, but beautiful and small. like lace curtains, i think? there’s somethign in between it and me and – i’m not mad at that, it makes the viewing experience very satisfying, they’re interesting quiet images to look at. there’s a kind of solitude to them all, contemplative in a way that very reserved clever people seem to contemplate. beyond me. they remind me of sotce, that sad new york girl on tik tok and her videos where she’s rearranging plastic deer around a bowl of weetabix. like that, but an image, thoughtful, careful, conservative but not actually stiff, just reserved. lemon wipes. you know what i mean? liek the paintings are all a bit smaller than feels natural, and that shrinkage is ON PURPOSE and has an AFFECT and it’s all austere but not tipping over into bleakness, just empty coffee cups that’ve dried and orange peels.

that description makes complete sense to me, even if i’m aware it’s not a very clear description of the work.

RCA MA sculpture students @ bermondsey project space

while i was in that south london bermuda triangle, i scooched down that long road between white cube and vitrine, n in the middle was bermondsey project space – i popped in on the offchance there was something on in there and THERE WAS! MA sculpture students had a show on in response to sir john soane museum’s collection – they had a week long residency at the museum, which is actually over near lincoln’s inn fields in holborn. i walk past it all the time bc it’s between the lil office i rent and my boyfriend’s work, so we meet in the middle for lunch sometimes (cute!!!). i always think to myself that i should find a better time to wander over and have a look inside, and never do. london has so much stuff i always feel like i’m missing something, so many sidequests to complete! but bc i didn’t rly have much context for what this was all in response to, i just had to kinda engage with it at face value? like, surely if this was in response to a specific niche museum collection, it’d make more sense to put it on show in the actual museum rather than all the way in bermondsey? i mean, maybe it’s meant to be taken at face value n w a bit of distance, maybe the museum was only a starting point - if so, fine. n it stood up on its own at that distance all fine, so – this is more a grumble than a legitimate criticism. but here are the pics of bits :)

^^ruoxi li


^^ willem hussem, (why the rush, do you know when your work is done)

also on one end of that long road, vitrine! i j think this is such a good idea, for all empty windows to be given the vitrine treatment. not necessarily as mini small exhibition spaces for people to come out n visit specifically, but as ways to make things nicer for people passing by anyway. window displays!!!! already a fiercely visually competetive environment, artists hardly need their lives being made any more complicated – but there are so many empty windows on so many empty high streets, i think there should be more art knocking about in this dead casual way.

albert oehlen @ gagosian lmao

controversial: i think albert oehlen’s paintings are pleasing and satisfying to look at. i went purely out of personal rather than professional interest, bc i am a painting enthusiast.

n yeah, tropical bright chemical colours, summer is here, these are paintings that have been made in the era of the elfbar. pleasing! dyou reckon albert oehlen knows what an elfbar is? in my mind he’s soooooooo 80s, n he smokes silk cut (if he smokes at all). but – most notably mentioning here bc: he’s been at painting the same thing over and over again in slightly different ways, and …

georg baselitz @ white cube

so has georg baselitz. georg baselitz has been painting the same thing over and over, i was in the white cube at the other end of that road in bermondsey convinced i was experiencing a personal and professional kinda groundhog day. n like, i get it. sometimes u j wana work through something using like, a control. reference point that stays the same. all good n groovy n gucci. it just – i can’t believe that has to take up space across a gallery as enormous and cathedral-esque as the white cube. it’s kinda facetious when u think about it. kinda chic. hahahahahhaha, kinda iconic in its silliness.

Picpus & toerag

picked up some lil rando publicaitons on the gallery front desks while i was out n about: one of them (picpus) is very small. it’s only a big single sheet of paper that has been folded up like a broadsheet. it’s issue 32 so it’s been around da block. the other (toerag) is a full on publication, like that’s a full on newspaper baybie!!! n ye it’s only on issue 2 – i’m interested in the way print seems to be coming back, n i am curious about who is funding this all and how. everywhere’s folding except the places that are just starting and that’s fascinating. how!?! i wana chat to them n i wana make friends. hello toerag, hello let’s be mates. i j think all writers should be friends n also all publications should be professionally friends, as organisational bodies. we should all be in cahoots! we should all be in one big whatsapp group chat where we complain and ask each other for ideas and tips. v interested in people who do writing in print – if u have an indie arts mag out in da world n u want to be out frend pls slide into our dms or summink!!! i wana be in an IRL webring! a geocity, a community! professionally speaking!!!

made a bowl in ceramics class!!!!

it was lowkey too thin for me to do anything but scrap it, like, look at the lil spout – i had to whack that in there bc it was soooo thin it was sagging as i took it off the wheel. but i managed to get it off enough to take it outside for this gorgeous lil glam photoshoot lmao. i feel like throwing has finally just clicked for me. i wana get soooo good at this. i can pull up! this one was me just trying to practice bellying out and – even tho it went too thin, it kinda worked n this is a legit bowl shape, i j have to do it smaller or w more clay. like… SUCCESS!!! i have successfully acquired skills!!!!! i’ve also sent loadsa things into the kiln last week to be fired so i should have a bunch on bisquey things to practice glazing on next week and I CAN’T WAIT!!!!! i’m so thrilled with this whole ceramics schtick. i could honestly do it alllll day. i could just make thing after thing after thing on the pot with no aim and no plan, just for the sheer love of making a big lumpy shape. IT’S A BOWL, IT LOOKS LIKE A BOWL!!!! it’s soooo much more fun when you know kinda what you should be doign with it !!!!!

sweet weekends!!!!

it’s summer and it’s hot and sunny and i j had such a nice weekend lounging around in the park, lying in the sun like a big lizard. on sunday i was meant to be doing lil tasks but i ended up hanging out w my bf n he made me a surprise balcony lunch w this lil flatbread halloumi thingy and the salad was soooo nice ( i did pick all the tomatoes out tho lmaoo) and i made APEROLS MYSELF and it was soooo good i had like 4 of them and i was soooo fizzy n steaming as we stomped down the canal. i j think as soon as the sun comes out in london, everything goes magically lovely, automatically i am having a better time. i love london in the summer bc all i wana do is lie down in the sun like a lizard, like a cat and snooze, maybe read my book, maybe stroke someone’s hair or have them stroke mine. i j wana have a calippo n an aperol or a bag of easy peel satsumas (the fancy ones from m&s that r soooo juicy n sweet) n some cucumber slices and stretch ym entire body out so the entire surface area of my self is slurping up dat sun. I LOVE DA SUN!!!!!!! i had such a nice weekend!


anyway, that’s it, that’s all i managed to squeeze in – that’s LOADS tho! i’ve been a busy lil bee, buzzing round london. i’m gna do MORE i am refilling the tank bby!! zoom zoom sskrrrt skrrt :) see u next time byeeee