Author: robertleeming

Tantra Song – The Mystical Modernity of Paintings from Rajasthan

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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 common human struggle for expression. An excellent example of this can be seen in Tantra Song, a new book compiled […]

Factual Nonsense – The Art and Death of Joshua Compston

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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 is sewed together with bordering Shoreditch. Back in those fun filled glamorous days that we collectively term England’s Middle Ages, […]

How did London become the first metropolis to disappear?

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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 Londinium, established nearly 2000 years ago. The City is where London first started to breathe and grow and develop into […]

USSR 1991 – A Conversation with Keizo Kitajima

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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: “Yes, the name St. Petersburg is fine,” 22 year old model Silvia Myznikov says, “but I’m not used to it […]

Thinking Nollywood – Icons In A Wasteland

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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 boatman to ferry her to the underworld. But she doesn’t look dead. A badly burnt body rises from a car […]

Listen to Marylebone!

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I recently moved from the near suburbs to the city centre and the change has been louder than I expected. I used to think the idea that the city never slept was a cliché. That if you went to Piccadilly Circus at 4am on a Monday morning then you would find something approaching emptiness. After two months living in a top floor flat at the upper end of Wimpole Street in Marylebone, I can confirm […]

From Virginia Woolf to Flann O’Brien – A literary patchwork quilt

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Changing from one literary world to another can often be a wrench. Quite a lot of time is devoted to reading a book from cover to cover and when the imaginary world that you have invited and invested yourself into caves in and dies on the last page, it is difficult not to feel bereft, especially if the jump from the old world into the new is particularly jarring. I recently finished reading At Swim-Two-Birds […]

La Valse – Painting Pictures with Music

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Let’s for a moment accept all the clichés of what one generally assumes turn of the century Paris was like: tea at Maxims, ladies with parasols, Art Nouveau and the Moulin Rouge. And now imagine a Parisian concert hall in 1894, packed to the rafters for a premier of a new piece of music by that master of classical impressionism, Claude Debussy. The piece being performed is Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune. It is a beautiful […]