Wednesday…with Artist Sophie Abbott

June 22, 2016

Filed Under : Art - Brighton - colour - Summer

Photo 15-06-2016, 12 53 01Last week I worked with artist Sophie Abbott on a photography project going live next month, and visited her at her Brighton studio…Sophie likes to paint spontaneously which was completely obvious in her willingness to throw paint at her studio wall, and basically just have a free and very messy play around with colours and textures…

( We moved her beautiful paintings out of the way first…)Photo 15-06-2016, 11 10 28 (1)Photo 15-06-2016, 13 15 45Photo 15-06-2016, 13 13 30Photo 15-06-2016, 10 56 38Photo 15-06-2016, 13 15 52Photo 15-06-2016, 10 56 46Then started the wall painting…
Photo 15-06-2016, 11 29 22Photo 15-06-2016, 11 29 25Photo 15-06-2016, 11 31 28Photo 15-06-2016, 11 31 33Photo 15-06-2016, 11 31 36Photo 15-06-2016, 11 35 31Photo 15-06-2016, 11 38 17Photo 15-06-2016, 11 39 09 (1)Photo 15-06-2016, 11 39 09Photo 15-06-2016, 11 50 22Photo 15-06-2016, 11 55 03 (1)Photo 15-06-2016, 11 55 10Photo 15-06-2016, 12 15 42Photo 15-06-2016, 12 47 50 (1)Photo 15-06-2016, 12 53 01 (1)Photo 15-06-2016, 12 51 47 the aftermath…Photo 15-06-2016, 13 18 38…with fantastic detailsPhoto 15-06-2016, 13 17 29Photo 15-06-2016, 13 17 01Photo 15-06-2016, 13 16 43The morning’s work basically left me yearning for a big white wall of my own… to paint on!Photo 15-06-2016, 12 59 47 (1)

You can see and read about Sophies work here on here website at www.sophieabbott.net and on her instagram account @sophiecabbott and you can also see the Steller Story version of this post here 

Monday…Weekly Snaps

June 20, 2016

Filed Under : Arrangements - Art - Brighton - colour - London - The Shed - Weekly Snaps

Photo 15-06-2016, 13 16 43Photo 14-06-2016, 15 13 06 Photo 14-06-2016, 17 55 33 Photo 15-06-2016, 07 20 43 Photo 12-06-2016, 15 57 57‘Papers’ Festival at The Barbican with @theworldwidetribePhoto 12-06-2016, 13 25 38 Photo 13-06-2016, 14 37 18 Photo 15-06-2016, 08 53 41 Photo 13-06-2016, 14 22 50 Photo 16-06-2016, 12 44 47 Photo 15-06-2016, 12 59 47 artist Sophie Abbott in her Brighton studio

…and my Dad in 1986 ( Sophie and him share a birthday! )Photo 19-06-2016, 09 45 10Photo 16-06-2016, 18 37 25 Photo 17-06-2016, 07 34 31 Photo 17-06-2016, 10 34 08 Photo 17-06-2016, 16 02 26 Lauren Pennycott with her work at Chelsea College of ArtPhoto 17-06-2016, 15 52 59 Work below by Connie Harrison at Chelsea College of ArtPhoto 17-06-2016, 16 32 08 Work below by Jane Yang at Chelsea College of ArtPhoto 17-06-2016, 16 28 57 work below by Dongeun Alice Lee at Chelsea College of ArtPhoto 17-06-2016, 16 24 44 work below by Rachel Egan at Chelsea College of ArtPhoto 17-06-2016, 16 15 11Photo 17-06-2016, 16 39 48 Photo 18-06-2016, 17 49 12 Photo 18-06-2016, 17 48 38 Photo 18-06-2016, 17 48 05 Photo 18-06-2016, 17 47 52 Photo 18-06-2016, 10 35 06 Photo 18-06-2016, 10 31 33 Photo 18-06-2016, 10 36 35 Photo 18-06-2016, 10 39 18 Photo 18-06-2016, 10 48 03 Photo 18-06-2016, 12 39 57 Photo 18-06-2016, 16 58 13 Photo 20-06-2016, 14 59 04 Photo 19-06-2016, 07 01 57 (1) Photo 19-06-2016, 22 27 45See the Steller Story version here

Tuesday…with St James’s ( Part 3 )

June 7, 2016

Filed Under : collaborations - London - trips

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I thought that I’d visit just a few more places for this last blog post, but then each place I visited in St James basically deserved more space than just within a blog post. A blog post would only give a flavour of some of the really fantastic businesses and buildings in the area and I am genuinely so pleased to have been able to discover an alternative part of central London with a very distinct character.

So in this post I will share some of my photos from visits to Paxton & Whitfield, Tricker’s Shoes, The London Library, Dover Street Market, The ICA and Fortnum’s Gallery Restaurant for a lunch, but I have also put up individual stories on the Steller app ( which is brilliant by the way if you don’t already have it ) so you can see an clutch of concentrated images for each place which I’ll put a link to as and when I mention them in this post…Photo 28-05-2016, 20 01 17Firstly I’ll start with lunch at Fortnum and Mason’s which was really wonderful and rather unique as there was a Northern Irish menu being served. Northern Ireland isn’t a place I immediately consider when I’m eating out, so I used the opportunity to try a Northern Irish eel and bacon salad to start, an Irish rump steak for my main course and then Varlhona chocolate mousse with raspberries as a complete pudding treat. I adore eating out and can’t bear it if the waiting staff don’t seem to want to be there, but we had a really brilliant waitress called Maja who was a complete joy and made the whole experience even more special, especially when she brought me a bag of goodies which included a tin of their Royal Blend tea!Photo 17-05-2016, 12 36 13Photo 17-05-2016, 12 57 20 Photo 17-05-2016, 13 25 08 (1) Photo 17-05-2016, 14 10 13

Next up was The London Library  which I have to say absolutely exceeded my expectations and now I’m trying to convince myself that gym membership should be forfeited ( and added to! ) for London Library membership!

I was given a tour by Alisdair, ( who was very patient with my photo taking and question asking ) and he explained that the library has always functioned without funding and is run independently utilising memberships, donations and legacies.

The London Library has existed since 1841 and was founded by Thomas Carlyle, and now houses over a million books with over 17 miles of bookstacks, as well as having reading and study rooms ( you can find out more on their website here )

I’ve put together a Steller Story here so you can see all the photos and get a real sense of the atmosphere, which is the element I was really taken with; some parts like The Bookstacks, spread over 4 floors, almost felt like the backstage of a theatre and the steel floored stacks form part of one of the first steel framed buildings in London…and apparently if the books there were taken away, the building would rise 6 inches!

Photo 18-03-2016, 13 42 57Photo 17-05-2016, 15 02 29 Photo 17-05-2016, 15 17 48 Photo 17-05-2016, 23 45 33 Photo 17-05-2016, 15 51 24 Photo 17-05-2016, 15 58 40

When I was about 6 I was asked at school what I wanted to be when I grew up, and my answer was a librarian; I wanted to stamp books and be very important… however I think I’d overlooked the element of silence which I always found difficult!

The following week I visited 2 places which had been at the top of my list since starting this project…Paxton and Whitfield cheesemongers and Tricker’s Shoes.

Firstly I adore cheese… even though I’ve been trying to cut down over the last few months due to my trousers suddenly not fitting during last summer, and secondly I adore brogues, so these trips were always going to be a treat and they certainly didn’t disappoint.Photo 13-05-2016, 16 34 30I started at Paxtons, which was great because after the visit, it meant I could have one of their pork pies in St James’ Square for lunch!Photo 12-05-2016, 11 00 00Paxton and Whitfield was established in 1797 and has been in it’s current spot in Jermyn St since 1896.

I met Hero Hirsh; cheesemonger and  manager, who gave me a ‘tour’ of their 150 artisan cheeses, two thirds of which are from the UK and 25% of which are French with others from Spain, Holland, Italy, Switzerland and one cheese from Norway; ‘Geitost’. we drove around Norway for a family holiday when I was 8 and I remember the vast arrays of cheese at breakfast in each hotel. We loved trying all of them, but geitost remained in my taste memory as one of the few cheeses I didn’t like…it was like it had tricked me; it wasn’t a cheese, it was surely fudge, or something sweet anyway, and after nearly 35 years I was offered it again…all the memories came flooding back; the family shock at the discovery there was a cheese we didn’t like, the strange, sweet taste of this boiled whey goat’s cheese and although I still felt exactly the same about the taste, I LOVED the fact that it was in the shop, and that it has apparently been a good seller for years!Photo 12-05-2016, 11 44 12I also learned that a double Gloucester is ‘double’ because it has a combination of cow’s milk from the morning milking as well as the evening milking. A single would just be from the evening…seems so simple but I’d never really thought about it before…Photo 13-05-2016, 16 39 45Photo 12-05-2016, 12 07 49 (1) Photo 12-05-2016, 12 23 15It’s a truly wonderful experience to visit this shop, particularly if you’re into cheese, and I guarantee you won’t leave without a small selection…and maybe even a pork pie in the park!IMG_9864

You can read more about their heritage here on their website and see more of my photos from the visit here on Steller.Photo 12-05-2016, 12 58 50I then visited Tricker’s, knowing that It was an inevitability that I would be desperate to save up for a pair of their shoes the moment I caught a whiff of a leather brogue. And of course that happened, but I hadn’t anticipated how welcoming Eamon and Clive in the shop would be; making it almost impossible to leave.

Tricker’s was established in 1829 and they have been making shoes in Northampton in the UK ever since. Not only is there evident pride in the shoes themselves but also in the shop in Jermyn Street which has original fittings from 1939; cupboards I can only wish I possessed which would keep a vast collection of handmade, customised or bespoke brogues…what can I say; I LOVED this shop, the shoes ( and the 2 men in the shop! )
You can see more of Tricker’s on their website www.trickers.com and more of my photos here on Steller.Photo 12-05-2016, 13 42 13 (1) Photo 12-05-2016, 14 12 18 (1) Photo 12-05-2016, 13 18 46 (1) Photo 12-05-2016, 14 10 12Photo 12-05-2016, 14 12 36 (1)So from the very traditional, I was about to venture to the very contemporary, although I couldn’t resit the old traditional Chequers Tavern near Mason’s Yard as well as the gent’s hairdressers to the other side of the yard…IMG_9660 IMG_9671 Photo 20-05-2016, 15 45 50Photo 17-05-2016, 16 22 43

I wanted to visit Dover Street Market…I didn’t know much about it at all, but now I feel like I’ve discovered not only a new tea and cake stop in the midst of exciting, and sometimes strange fashion, but it’s  a brilliant place to have a wander around in. It made me feel inspired, just how fashion inspired me when I was in my late teens; discovering Kensington Market and Hyper Hyper in about 1991 ( I was very proud of a pair of white sequined hot pants I bought there… )

You can see the Steller story with a few extra images herePhoto 20-05-2016, 18 08 19Photo 16-04-2016, 13 31 02IMG_9646 IMG_9647 IMG_9648 IMG_9649 IMG_9664 Photo 20-05-2016, 17 04 15IMG_9650Photo 20-05-2016, 17 29 09 Photo 20-05-2016, 17 32 59 Photo 20-05-2016, 17 33 10 Photo 20-05-2016, 17 34 09 Photo 20-05-2016, 17 35 14 Photo 20-05-2016, 17 47 13 Photo 20-05-2016, 17 59 54 Photo 20-05-2016, 18 00 05Photo 20-05-2016, 17 36 36

…and what better other contemporary space to visit, just down the road, is the ICA.

Again I was reminded of my late teens/early 20’s when I performed in a devised physical theatre piece at the ICAbut this time I was going to look at typewriters at the launch of Olivetti: Beyond Form and Function; a small exhibition which I loved. There was also an artist’s film biennial happening there that evening and an exhibition by Guan Xiao. I also love the shop there and came away with 2 great books including ‘Badly Repaired Cars’, as well as some1920’s Dada films for my teenage son who’s always up for a bit of surrealism.
Photo 25-05-2016, 20 05 34 Photo 25-05-2016, 20 07 56 Photo 25-05-2016, 20 10 15 Photo 25-05-2016, 20 11 34Photo 25-05-2016, 20 05 50IMG_0038Photo 25-05-2016, 20 51 08 Photo 28-05-2016, 18 41 00

I have SO enjoyed discovering the St James area of London and I thoroughly recommend that if you fancy a day in town, make it a day trip there, and allow yourself time to wander around exploring and looking… Take away any thoughts of pressure to buy a hand made cashmere dressing gown, because whether you come home with a couture hat from Lock and Co, a bespoke scent from Floris, a hand cut shirt from Budd’s Shirts, or simply a crystalised tangerine piece from Fortnum and Mason ( and maybe some Stinking Bishop cheese from Paxton & Whitfield  ), I guarantee that you’ll feel like you’ve had an experience, rather than just an aimless look into the ordinary high street shops a couple of streets away along with everyone else…this is an area not to be missed and one definitely to be explored!

To finish off, here are a few photos taken around the area…as you can see, there are so many brilliant photo opportunities!
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You can see all my Steller Stories with the hashtag #mystjames here and here you can read Part 1 and Part 2 of My St James’s project .

Monday…with garden growth

June 6, 2016

Filed Under : Arrangements - colour - My Garden

image image A & E table with half eaten dahlia, recovering verbascum seedling, some mystery plant I’ve rooted which my mum gave me, a giant echium seedling and some lily of the valley bulging seed heads…imageThe Campanula has just come out over the last few days as well as the red hot pokers emerging in front of my new irises…image redcurrents in their greens…image hollyhock parent of the few seedlings I’m trying to nurture…image imageI cut back so much of the Virginia creeper, rose bush and ivy this weekend revealing this rose which opened today…image imageI reckon the day lilies will probably open in about a week and a half…
image sage, wallflowers and aquilegia…imageimage

Friday…with Ballet Beauty at the Royal Opera House

June 3, 2016

Filed Under : colour - London - trips

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Last night I was asked to join a small @royaloperahouse instameet backstage at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, trying to capture something of the ballerina’s backstage routine and using the hashtag #BalletBeauty.

I was so pleased to be able to visit as this sort of thing is a little out of my normal projects; particularly taking pictures of people but I absolutely loved it…

My professional background is in the theatre so I have always been used to dressing rooms, but the backstage world of the ballerina is something I’ve never experienced and hopefully these photos give some sort of essence of the atmosphere and ambience there…

The ballerinas were so patient considering we were invading their usually private space, and if you wanted to have a look at their own Instagram accounts they are: Olivia Cowley @missoliviac , Tierney Heap @tierneyheap , Gemma Pitchley-Gale @gpg8 , Leticia Stock @letistock and Anna-Rose O’Sullivan @annaroseosullivan
Photo 02-06-2016, 18 34 26 ( Gemma Pitchley-Gale )Photo 02-06-2016, 19 06 11( Tierney Heap and Leticia Stock )Photo 02-06-2016, 18 33 36 Photo 02-06-2016, 18 40 14 Photo 02-06-2016, 18 32 12 ( above: Leticia Stock )Photo 02-06-2016, 19 29 19 Photo 02-06-2016, 19 13 56 Photo 02-06-2016, 19 29 25 Photo 02-06-2016, 19 19 56 Photo 02-06-2016, 19 28 43Photo 02-06-2016, 19 03 29 (1)( above: Tierney Heap  )

( below from left; Gemma Pitchley-Gale, Anna-Rose O Sullivan and Leticia Stock )Photo 02-06-2016, 19 18 41Photo 02-06-2016, 18 40 57 ( above and below: Olivia Cowley )Photo 02-06-2016, 18 46 56 Photo 02-06-2016, 18 47 52 Photo 02-06-2016, 19 02 03 Photo 02-06-2016, 18 48 20 Photo 02-06-2016, 18 42 14 Photo 02-06-2016, 19 23 57

Photo 02-06-2016, 18 51 52 (1) Photo 02-06-2016, 19 09 13 Photo 02-06-2016, 19 13 32 Photo 02-06-2016, 19 09 38 (1) ( above: Tierney Heap )

( below: Olivia Cowley )Photo 02-06-2016, 18 47 52 Photo 02-06-2016, 18 36 44 ( above: Anna-Rose O Sullivan )

( below: Olivia Cowley )Photo 02-06-2016, 19 00 52 (1) Photo 02-06-2016, 19 09 40 ( above: Gemma Pitchley-Gale, Tierney Heap and Leticia Stock )

( below: Olivia Cowley, Anna-Rose O Sulliavan and Gemma Pitchley-Gale )Photo 02-06-2016, 19 08 39

I’ve also put together a Steller Story here about the trip and there are more posts on my Instagram and on the hashtag #BalletBeauty

Weekly Snaps…( with uploading hitch )

May 31, 2016

Filed Under : Arrangements - Art - Brighton - colour - Cornwall - cycling - My Home - Open House - Spring - Summer - Weekly Snaps

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I tried so hard to get these ‘Weekly Snaps’ up here on Sunday evening at the same time as my Steller Story, but for some reason my blog is proving a bit of a nightmare re uploading images at the moment, so these images have taken about 2 days to upload after re loading and re loading as they just keep freezing mid import…maybe it’s because I’m away from home or something, but here they are now!

( there are extra images and film on the Steller version of this post if you click on the link above )image image image image image Photo 25-05-2016 Photo 26-05-2016, 17 35 25 Photo 26-05-2016, 18 16 30 Photo 26-05-2016-2 Photo 27-05-2016, 07 24 19 Photo 26-05-2016, 10 38 16 Photo 24-05-2016 Photo 26-05-2016, 11 20 32 Photo 28-05-2016, 15 49 30 Photo 27-05-2016, 18 14 01 Photo 27-05-2016, 16 49 09 Photo 26-05-2016, 16 29 22 Photo 27-05-2016, 18 13 04 Photo 27-05-2016, 16 54 57 imagePhoto 28-05-2016, 10 47 40 Photo 28-05-2016, 19 00 38 Photo 27-05-2016, 10 11 34Photo 28-05-2016, 14 03 14 Photo 28-05-2016, 15 54 05 Photo 28-05-2016, 17 13 18 Photo 28-05-2016, 17 19 01 Photo 28-05-2016, 15 53 46 Photo 29-05-2016, 16 34 36 Photo 29-05-2016, 16 32 00 Photo 28-05-2016, 17 17 31 Photo 28-05-2016, 20 05 10

Work featured from a Brighton Open House in Stanley Rd from www.lostandfoundry.co.uk and www.belladoesbrighton.com