Despite this week’s rain and a wind so gusty that I almost thought I was going to be blown away like the queue of nannies in Mary Poppins, it seems that spring has finally arrived – much to the relief of everyone, including this lovely dog. Happily sunbathing on a lounger atop a houseboat moored on the Grand Union Canal at Ladbroke Grove, he sat up to watch me go by – and posed rather beautifully when I got my camera out!
Cute, aren’t they? This magnificent seven live along the Grand Union Canal at Ladbroke Grove in west London, and are being beautifully looked after by mum and dad. In fact, when I passed them this evening, they were sat on the grass, all trying to wriggle under mum’s wing at once to keep warm! I couldn’t help but smile at the sight of these seven little signs that spring has finally arrived…
A few photos from the Sunday of this year’s Notting Hill Carnival.
It’s events like this that make me believe that there is a good future for British music. Organised under the auspices of the Octavia Foundation, the recent Hip-Hop History event in west London was, first and foremost, a great idea. For a music geek like myself, the idea of having an evening devoted to the history of a genre as fascinating and eclectic as hip-hop was an intriguing prospect in and of itself. Add to that discussions and performances featuring some of this country’s most interesting established and up-and-coming MCs and I’m so there…
The evening started with a trip back in time with local boy Kevin Davis, who was part of Ladbroke Grove’s earliest hip-hop crew, thirty-odd years ago. Explaining that hip-hop in the UK goes back a lot further than many people would think, Davis discussed the tight-knit connections between the London and New York scenes of the time and talked about the parties his crew put on in the west London area.
(Incidentally, I was interested to learn from Davis’ fascinating talk that the dancer and actor Danny John-Jules (better known to most of you as the Cat in the cult TV comedy Red Dwarf) was also a hip-hop DJ on the west London scene in the 1980s and owned the UK’s first set of Technics 1200s – the decks of choice for every DJ worth their salt these days!)
Happy New Year! And as a special New Year’s treat, here’s another photo of some of the fascinating and excellent underground art displayed under the Westway in London’s Ladbroke Grove last month by the Mutate Britain team.
Bringing us street art, grafitti art, kinetic sculptures, modern mosaics, poster art, paintings and photography from 130 different artists all working in different mediums and with different approaches, the One Foot In The Grove Winter Exhibition was far more fun, entertaining and thought-provoking than any normal art exhibition has any right to be (despite the freezing cold!), and featured some art you won’t see anywhere else.
Like this guy, for example. He’s a great example of the inventive and witty art on display at Mutate – and proof that traffic cones can be put to more creative uses than just being worn as hats by pissed-up students…
This cute little fella is a… well, I’m not entirely sure what he is, but he’s definitely rather sweet, and he looks like he might be an environmentally friendly, low-maintenance type of pet too, seeing as he’s made of 100% recycled materials.
He’d certainly be cheap to feed, seeing as his diet seems to consist solely of old drinks cans, and he probably wouldn’t need very much in the way of exercise. The perfect pet in many ways!
I want one….
And if you want more information about Mutate and some great images of their art, check out the Mutate Britain blog.
Originally uploaded by slow_fade
Sadly, yesterday was the final day of the brilliant One Foot In The Grove art event in West London. If you weren’t able to make it down to Ladbroke Grove to check out Mutate’s memorable Winter Exhibition, fret not, for – as promised – I bring you some exclusive images of all this amazing renegade art
This image shows the far wall of the gallery room, which was used to showcase unusual, witty and though-provoking poster art, sculpture, photography and other objets d’art. However, despite initial appearances, this is not a conventional art gallery.
There are no bored-looking security guards ensconced on plastic chairs, just ready and waiting to give you a good telling-off if you get a millimetre too close to the artworks. There’s no insistence on a pretentious dimly-lit hush being necessary for appreciating the art all around you. There’s no expensive catalogue, badly-written in incomprehensible arty-farty language, which leaves you even more mystified as to what it’s all about than you were in the first place.
Instead, this is about the art, and about the people who make and who love the art. This is about democratising art, making it open to anyone and everyone, of any age and any background. This is about making art fun, making it an experience, about completely breaking all the conventional rules of art and art appreciation.
This is about real art, and real artists. This is about taking art back to the people at long last. This is a very different sort of gallery.
Watch out for more Snapshots from Mutate Britain over the festive season!
If you want more information about Mutate and some great images, check out the Mutate Britain blog.
Originally uploaded by slow_fade
Here’s a sneak peek at what’s going on under the Westway in London’s Ladbroke Grove right now. Readers with long(ish) memories will recall that I posted some photos of the One Foot In The Grove art event back in October, when it was first on. And now it’s back, with some exciting new art, in the run-up to Christmas.
As before, the exhibition is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 20th December (there’s also a Wednesday night opening between 6-10pm on 16th December). Kids are welcome too – and they seem to love it just as much as the grown-ups do! Wrap up warm, bring the family or your mates and check out the most original and interesting art exhibition in London. You’ll love it, even if you think you don’t like art, I promise…
You’ll find amazing art, great tunes, art and other goodies to buy, food and a licensed bar (serving some lovely hot rum punch) – one of the few in London where you can still smoke! – at:
3-6 Acklam Road (under the Westway)
London W10 5YU
Nearest tube: Ladbroke Grove
And keep an eye out here for more of my photos!
UPDATE: One Foot In The Grove will also be open this weekend – October 30th and 31st and November 1st – come down and check out the new art that has recently been added!
In a small corner of west London, just round the corner from Ladbroke Grove tube station and under the Westway flyover, a group of renegade artists have put together one of the most fun, original and thought-provoking art events I have been to in a very long time.
If you find yourself in the area later today (18th October), or Friday, Saturday and Sunday of next week (23rd-25th October), and if you’re into street art, mad sculpture, graffiti, poster art, witty and original paintings and photography, fascinatingly insane installations, projections, film, good food, good tunes, friendly people, and a licensed bar, then make an effort to head down to Acklam Road, W10 and see what the good folks of MuTATE BRITAIN are up to.
Believe me, it’ll be worth it.
MuTATE BRITAIN’s new event One Foot In The Grove is open from 2pm to 10pm on Friday, 1pm to 10pm on Saturday, and 12pm to 9pm on Sunday, and is in the open air, quite literally under the Westway. Compared to the expensive exhibitions in the galleries up in town, entrance to this is a veritable bargain – only £1 before 6pm and £2-3 after then.
I very much recommend you take an afternoon to check it out before the final day!
In the meantime and if you can’t wait to see it all, you can check out this selection of exclusive photos, snapped by yours truly on a late Friday afternoon visit. If you’re inspired by all this amazing and diverse art, or you’re just simply curious, and you want to know more about what’s really going on under the Westway right now, then check out the links below for all the details.
Meanwhile, have a look at all this….