We have lunch at the Heliopolis branch of MacDonalds. A scratch built version of the burger chain that was recently threatened with legal action by McD's - obviously a serious threat to the food giant.
But I can see why, as it's actually really good. I have a prime steak sandwhich with salad and a freshly pressed tropical fruit drink, more than my five a day.
NB there are no fat people in Sao Paulo.
At the weekend I admonished a mountain biker who was urinating onto the wood stack I was in the process of moving, he explained that he thought it belonged to the National Trust.
He finally apologised and considered that that ended the matter, that no further discussion could be enterd into, (apology accepted or not). It seems to be a new fad to apologise quickly and then with the magic word 'the wrong is gone'. Politicians and public servants seem keen on the approach. So I would like to apologise in advance, I'm sorry', and that's an end of it.
Just organizing for a visit from Californian academic Avery Gordon and found this interesting interview touching on the hypocrisies of the environmental movement as well as some of the high minded and historical precedents and ideals. Avery Gordon interview
Thanks to Mat for reminding us of Oscar Wilde's words, 'Its easy to be good in the country'. Although I think Oscar meant good as in not be naughty because there is nothing naughty to do, and I think Mat meant because there is no-one to get naughty with, but what it really means is there is no competition and whatever you do looks good.
Despite going back to work on Monday, I haven't made it in to the office yet. Someone dumped a load of snow on the Lake District and it's stopped working. If you are trying to phone us, try an email instead, looks like homeworking for a few more days yet...
Just in from David Gaffney:
You might like to listen to this programme about Chinese artist Li Yuan-Chia who lived in Cumbria for a time and set up a gallery.
When Taiwan's first abstract artist settled in a Cumbrian farmhouse, his life changed. Deriving inspiration from landscape and local people, he encouraged new British artists and anticipated the success of contemporary Chinese visual art.
Li Yuan Chia was one of the first significant Chinese abstract artists of the 20th century. This programme, presented by Sally Lai, the director of Manchester's Chinese Arts Centre, examines his career from the place he spent the last 28 years of his life: a stone farmhouse, built next to Hadrian's Wall in Cumbria.
Listen to the programme here
Born in China in 1929, Li was educated in Taiwan. He worked and exhibited in Italy before moving toLondon in 1963. Here, Li's reputation was established with monochrome paintings and scrolls marked with a tiny, isolated dot.
But Li came to dislike the fashionable metropolitan art world of the mid-1960s. In 1968 he met Cumbrian painter Winifred Nicholson, who pursuaded Li to move away from the busy capital to a far more remote location, near her own home. With his own hands Li then set about converting a farm building, the Banks, at Brampton, where he built a gallery, library, theatre, printing press, children's art room and photographic darkroom, and opened it to the public. It became a popular attraction for local people, art afficianados and tourists walking Hadrian's Wall.
Over the next ten years over 300 artists exhibited at the Banks, which was also the base from which Li's organisation, the LYC Foundation, was able to commission work by young British artists, some of whom became very successful later, including sculptors and land artists Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash and Bill Woodrow.
Li's own work moved into abstract sculpture, using magnets, gold leaf, plastic discs suspended on plastic thread and additional text. The landscape also affected him, and he began to explore photography and environmental art. Always, he wrote poetry.
But after Arts Council funding became increasingly limited, (Is this right? That can't be right, DG) the LYC Foundation had to struggle to survive. Li continued to produce art, which became increasingly contemplative. He fell ill with cancer and died in 1994. Art historians now acknowledge Li Yuan Chia as having paved the way for the current expansion of Chinese contemporary art. But his former home in Cumbria is derelict.
architecturally and politically - Happy Christmas y'all
Today we shot a lively discussion at the Lawson Park TV studio, on naughty German artist Jonathan Meese's work and idealogy...
Pictured left to right is GA's Alistair Hudson, critic and Meese-o-phile Robert Eikmeyer, academic and writer Charlie Gere and academic John Byrne.
The final film will be up and online in early 2010.
Liking this on Youtube...
Angus Farquhar of NVA in Glasgow recently invited Karen & Adam to share an inspirational but very wet (just like home then) tour of the unique St Peter's seminary just outside Glasgow. abandoned now but a rare example thereabouts of an architectural icon of the 1970's and now justly listed. NVA are bravely engaging in the battle to reclaim the building and surrounding landscape from the jaws of Nature - the grounds include an immense range of historic buildings from the 15th / 16th century onwards, and a landscape to match.
website design & build by theusefularts.org.