my IKEA wine rack

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For this Michelangelo commission I had great fun yesterday trying to convey the sound of metal ladders being pulled up from the damned as pictured in The Last Judgment and that of angels’ long-stemmed trumpets knocking the heads of the elect. I found the right sound for this latter action by bouncing the bowl of a ladle against the top of my IKEA wine rack…

Attrib. from “Attrib. and other stories” by Eley Williams. The Angel isn’t not Michelangelo at all, but I imagine the sound of trumpets knocking would be quite golden so I decided this angel might be a better fit.

Joan Miro Fondacion

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Faced with one last day in Barcelona, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend it inside an art gallery.

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It felt like what I’d do in London and therefore maybe a waste of time in Barcelona where I was meant to be doing something different.

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But in the end, the fact that tickets for the Sagrada Família were sold out freed up the time and a trip to Montjuic meant I could follow up on the numerous recommendations to take in the Joan Miro Fondacion.

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I’d never been a huge Miro fan, but seeing his works in the flesh was a revelation.

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The variety, the fact that he changed tack from painting to textiles to sculpture and back again, constantly innovating was impressive, and the works themselves are housed in a fittingly distinctive building.

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The fondacion also has temporary exhibitions and when I was there it was one on Lee Miller and Surrealism, a pleasant reminder of my Farley Farm visit years ago.

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All photos Nov 2018.

Meera Sethi

Foreign Returned is a term used to describe Indian expats who’ve returned to India. Artist Meera Sethi created a series of portraits drawing on Mughal miniatures and their iconography  to portray some of the foreign Returned – each one holding a visual clue about the multiple identies they spanned.

Moat interesting of all to me was that Meera chose to record these portraits using both the subjects’ legal names (“good names”) and their anglicised abbreviations.

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from top to bottom, Sudhar/Sue; Parminder/Paul; K Swaminatham/Sam; Mariam/Mary. All images via MeeraSethi.com where Meera’s newer projects are also on show and can be bought for very good prices – the Auntie series is going to be a particular hit, I imagine. Meera is also on Instagram @meerasethi

Blue rays

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Baltic herring market in Helsinki as shot for FARE magazine; irises by Ohara Koson; photo by @poshpedlar

At this time of year I always think of Wilfred Owen’s poems, that we studied in school, and that refer to the air growing bluer as dusk falls.

Miss Maidie and Elsie

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Miss Maidie and Elsie Scott. Painted in the First World War when the sisters befriended Wilfred Owen, this portrait is so redolent of the Edwardian Era.

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For the first time I’m in two minds about Remembrance Day. Events in America and across Europe show the importance of not forgetting history, and with this year as the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One and next year as the 80th anniversary of the start of World War Two, the next two years are important ones to recall. But my fear is that we’re more comfortable as a society in focusing on a carefully-glossed version of the past than in looking at more recent, veterans and social conflicts.