Going, Going, Gone

We may have mentioned it a million times already but, hey, this is a web-log after all! Not much in the way of idle chit-chat this week, just the hard graft and residual doubts* of imminent relocation.

* Actually, this is a crass understatement, we're both completely incapacitated and Edward —a born Londoner— is queazy green with fear.


So Long, Stuff

Janette Beckman original photograph
This week we began dismantling our lives in the promise of reconstructing them elsewhere afresh. Obviously this starts with a radical de-clutter on that latterday Bonfire of the Vanities, eBay. A Maclamp gave good return alongside an old Routemaster destination blind, but David Hicks books got a huge consumer thumbs-down.

Public Information Poster 1956

Of all the lots though, I was especially sorry to say so long to a cache of posters (mostly travel & tourism from the 1960s but also this WVS public information number from 1956), a totally 80s Janette Beckman photographic print I found on the street, and a heap of wonderfully pretentious art books we'll realistically never read.

Hamilton, Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors...

• Janette Beckman, Rosemarie, LA 1981

• The Women’s Voluntary Service was set up in 1938 to augment the work of the ARP. This campaign dates from the early years of the Cold War and was instigated ‘to inform one in five of the women between the ages of 16 and 70 in Great Britain of the simple things they could do to protect their homes and families in the event of nuclear attack – should it ever come.’ [Source: District Nursing Archive]

• Richard Hamilton's typographic version of Marcel Duchamp's The Green Box (1934), 1975 (3rd edition of 2500)


Couch Potato

white noise

Don't tell the Tories, but I'd pay my TV licence for radio content alone. A bonus then, that Adam Curtis's All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace has been showing these past three weeks on BBC2. If there's an equally compelling counter-thesis, it couldn't be put together with the same abstract, awkward elegance.
bang+olufsen vintage remote
Neither did the series culminate in one catch-all, cosy conclusion, it simply finished... with everything still in chaos and the viewer all-at-sea. Luckily there's local hero Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle too, which has been like some acerbic kind of antidote; I can pat myself on the back and laugh at the same time.


Bawden Abroad

Edward Bawden block print from Motif 9

Here's some mid/late-period Edward Bawden. Stylistically, they're bolder and more decorative than the studies popularised today. Also altered by the intervening years is their subject, Portugal. The target of violent gangs, visiting Brits were this week urged vigilance.

Edward Bawden linocut from Motif 9

Motif 9 (1962, Shenval Press) is one of so many wonderful books I nabbed from Griffith & Partners on Great Ormond Street. For years I'd tweak my cycle route to take in their curb-side curios. The owners disavowed the internet age as a torment of listings, trips to the post office and 'customer service'. Now it's an espresso bar.

Edward Bawden block print from Motif 9