There is a lot to say about Rochdale. Economically it is one of the most deprived areas in the UK, but culturally Rochdale is anything but. Byron, the legendary romantic poet, owed his title – Baron Byron of Rochdale – to the town. Gracie Fields, one of the most internationally famous actresses and singers of… Continue reading Concrete Feathers and Porcelain Tacks – The Photographers’ Gallery
There is a story – I’m not sure how true it is – that Tony Wilson – the famous Mancunian music impresario behind Joy Division and New Order, wanted to fly a film crew over Manchester in a helicopter at dusk to ascertain if the city looked as sexy as Los Angeles in the moonlight.… Continue reading Does Manchester look as good as Los Angeles on film?
As anyone with an interest in early to mid 20th century Italian art will know, the Estorick Collection in Islington’s leafy Canonbury Square is a treasure trove. From the musical swirls that flow from the fingers of a shadowy pianist in Luigi Russolo’s Music, to the piercing eyes of a woman in a multi-coloured hat… Continue reading Bice Lazzari: Modernist Pioneer – The Estorick Collection Reclaims an Unsung Female Hero
In 2010, Bill Fay was considered to be – within the narrow confines of the UK’s folk-rock scene – a reclusive musical enigma of almost Salingeresque stature. In the early 1970s he recorded two albums and, after being promptly dropped by his label, he disappeared into obscurity in north London. The two records that he… Continue reading Looking Back On My Interview With Bill Fay
In 2020, I founded my own small publishing label, Folly. So far, Folly has published six short story books, each featuring original words and artwork. Hundreds of books have been given out free to people all around the world who have requested copies on Instagram. Here are a selection of some of the pictures that… Continue reading The Best of Folly
With our modern eloquence, our technology and our brash and inventive culture, contemporary artists have developed individual ways of expressing hopes, beliefs, doubts and fears through art. Yet magically, when arts and crafts are brought together from across the world — from cultures and nations completely separate from one-another — unlikely bonds emerge, suggesting a… Continue reading Tantra Song – The Mystical Modernity of Paintings from Rajasthan
Those Kray twins were right bloody bastards weren’t they? With all that filching, cly faking, dewskitching and dollyshop demandering. Should have gone into scrap metal like their old dad instead of always being a few sour moves away from a pair of silver derbies. Ronnie and Reggie were both born in Hoxton, London, which today… Continue reading Factual Nonsense – The Art and Death of Joshua Compston
Go to the City of London on a Sunday afternoon and you will find emptiness. Street after street of emptiness. Nobody comes to the City, London’s financial district, on a Sunday. The irony of this is that the City IS London. The boundries of the City are the same that marked the Roman settlement of… Continue reading How did London become the first metropolis to disappear?
In Keizo Kitajima’s new collection, USSR 1991, there is a picture of a blonde girl with dark eyes standing on the side of the River Neva in St. Petersburg. Her clothes look surprisingly modern despite the 21 years that have passed between the images being taken and their publication. Only the caption gives it away:… Continue reading USSR 1991 – A Conversation with Keizo Kitajima
A woman with milky white irises stares blankly towards the camera. A human hand protruding from her mouth, like the tail of a calf trapped in the jaws of an anaconda. An old woman sits by a barred window, in a rocking chair, two golden coins resting in her eye sockets. Her fee for the… Continue reading Thinking Nollywood – Icons In A Wasteland