My Desert Island Artworks

In an interview a few weeks ago I was asked which five works of art I would chose to own if I was a collector. A work of art from any period in history. It sounded to me like my very own desert island discs hit list, the ultimate fantasy forage, despite the fact Kirsty Young wasn’t sat in front of me.

I am basing this on the radio show and so have chosen 7 works of art to take with me to put on display in my hand built wooden shack gallery space on my desert island. Here are my Desert Island Artworks:

1. Valentin Serov, ‘Ida Rubinstein’, 1910


Without sounding too cheesy, this is the first painting that ever caught me be surprise. Continue reading


Truly Splendid: Sensing Spaces at The Royal Academy


Yesterday I realised it really is worth being friends with The Royal Academy. Last night I spent around three hours wandering through their latest exhibition: Sensing Spaces. Seven leading architects from around the world have designed installations to transform the Royal Academy’s galleries. It is innovative and incredibly refreshing and I already want to go back again.

As you enter the gallery you are at a crossroads. A huge wooden structure enticing you to the left, a metallic arch in front, and a dark silent room to your right. The first room is an introductory room – with two sleek tables topped with interactive iPads explaining who the architects are and what concepts lie behind their installations. But all I want to do is go and explore. Cleverly the RA have made no narrative or set path to follow. This exhibition is more about becoming aware of the spaces around you as you enter them, not about following a story. Continue reading

A Peter Pan of Sorts: Entering Joseph Cornell’s Neverland


Me with Joseph Cornell’s Setting for a Fairytale (far left), 1942

“All children, except one, grow up.” Joseph Cornell did not grow up. In fact he supposedly only entered adolescence when he was in his 60s. He was the living Peter Pan who remained a child for most of his life. Cornell is a fascinating artist. Fascinating through his character, his creativity, his imagination. Fascinating for the imaginary alternate life he created and and nested in through the magical boxes he created.

It was my university lecturer Carol Mavor who introduced me to Cornell as being like Peter Pan. She writes about art through a fairytale tinted lens; so enthusiastic in her research that it’s all engrained in some dark forest in my head. So I’m foraging through my memories of her teaching me and further into the compelling character of Joseph Cornell. Continue reading