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4 posts from July 2010

23 July 2010

Bower Bird Beauty

Take a look at this month's (July) National Geographic - an entire feature on the brilliant Bower Bird - and a gallery of treasure-rich "bowers" photographed by Tim Laman and created by the male of the species to attract picky girls. Basically the boy with the coolest crib gets lucky - and not a boys toy in sight. Human boys take note.


The Bower Bird is the only bird known to paint as well as decorate.

19 July 2010

Sins of the Flesh - a sneak peek at Vivienne Westwood's new HQ

Vivienne Westwood's new HQ in London's Battersea has just been completed and, lucky me, I got to have a sneak preview. 

Designed by my mate Steve Jensen of Anarchitect - designer of many well-loved bars and music venues, as well as such eccentricities as flying sausage machines - and the rubberised furniture that featured on Channel 4's Big Brother a few years ago - this project is a well formed balance between masculine and feminine represented by the decisive structure and the flesh pink paint colour applied inside and out, though I can't help thinking that had Viv had the vision to spend just a bit more cash this could have made as much of a cultural statement as her clothes, as it really ought to have done. 

Inside feels a tad Mayfair shag-pad circa 1984 where the colour of flesh meets rather nasty brass ironmongery (not the designer's choice) and where you wonder whether irony is lurking in the shadows...and whether he will eventually come out.

11 July 2010

Wallander Wonders

Listening to Book Club on Radio Four last week James Naughtie interviewed Swedish novelist Henning Mankell  (www.henningmankell.com) and it reminded me of the incredibly handsome films the BBC/Yellow Bird have made of Mr Mankell's books, featuring his troubled but tenacious detective Wallander. 

Yes, yes. Branagh is brilliant - all unshaven and surviving on reindeer burgers - but what is truly stunning is the production design, for which the designer won a BAFTA.

Look out for distinctive white, circular light switches (why is there such a limited choice in UK? Or the US?), all those dirty greens, browns and yellows I love, Swedish furniture and lighting classics and, much to the Producers' delight no doubt, lots of Volvo product placement.

Never will you see a more beautiful police station. Wallander, I've been a very bad girl, and I really need to be taken in for questioning.

02 July 2010

"The Creative Compass" at The Royal Geographical Society

Another wonderful exhibition on right now is this one, ending Tuesday 10th August, at the RGS. This is also free! (http://www.rgs.org/WhatsOn/Exhibitions/Exhibition.htm) 

And a visit may even inspire you to join, the lecture series alone making this small investment extremely worthwhile, geography and "earth sciences" being the new rock and roll.

Exhibits are the work of artists Susan Stockwell and Agnes Poitevin-Navarre inspired by the Society's collections. I particularly enjoyed "Fellow Artists/Fellow Muses", featuring artists' hair locks.