Sunday, October 21, 2012

Samuel Smiths Old Brewery Bitter

Adjourning to The Angel pub (St Giles Street near Tottenham Court Road) with my niece Kate, after the TUC march yesterday (A Future That Works), was delighted to discover it is a Samuel Smiths pub with special Samuel Smith pumps.

Unfortunately my camera battery was dead so I didn't take a pic. This photo is copyright of Beerlens.

Also a pleasant surprise was that some old friends from Deptford were in the pub. They had also been on the march. Moyni said they come here cos the beer's cheap, and I was reminded that recently a nerdy beer fanatic had told me that Samuel Smiths pubs only serve Samuel Smith's products. The price of the beer is set by the brewery at an affordable rate.

Their website says that no branded or media advertised products are stocked and their pubs have no music or TVs. It was a fitting place to end a day of protest against capitalism, and the beer was very good, but now I will have to find out why they have chosen the Willow Pattern to decorate their pumps!

Shadow players Tim Noble & Sue Webster + March Against Austerity

© Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Blain | Southern 
In Willow, David Richard Quinter observes, "Thanks to whaling, one of the greatest revolutions in human history occurred at the end of the 18th century...whale-derived spermaceti oil came into general use, providing candles which burned with a clear, steady flame – giving us still our measure of 'candle-power'. It was not until 1784 that the public was able to extend day into night even more efficiently with the marketing by Aime Argand of a lamp utilizing a burner, wick and a chimney...If the nature and duration of work thereby changed, so did recreation, the arts and their performance and completion – and with bright light sources emerged the opposite: substantial, if not natural, shadows. At that point the silhouette hobby and its practitioner arose in Europe..."

"Sitting on a dresser shelf and viewed by whale oil- or candle-light...a row of Willow Pattern plates would appear much like a row of silhouettes..."

Yesterday, I caught Tim Noble & Sue Webster's show Nihilistic Optimistic at Blain | Southern in Hanover Square, on the way back from the TUC march. This is their first major solo show in London since 2006.

"Featuring six large-scale works, the show builds upon the artists' sustained investigation into self-portraiture, further deconstructing the relationship between materiality and form, which has been so intrinsic to their practice.

"The exhibition's dualistic title, Nihilistic Optimistic, responds to the oppositional forces present within these works, and indeed within the artists themselves; the show is at once constructive and destructive, hopeful and despairing. Light and shadow, form and absence, figuration and abstraction all inform one another and exist in a constant state of tension."

There was a kind of deliberate choice not to use such recognisable objects any more, and to start fracturing things up - splintering things. So the mind has to wander in a different way, like you’re giving and taking, and it’s as much about the gaps and holes in between.” Tim Noble

Meanwhile, here are some pictures from the March Against Austerity...

This is Independent journalist and commentator, Owen Jones, new star of the left. 

This yellow RMT SAYS NO! banner was adapted (with permission) from artwork I did for a local campaign against Academy Schools (DEPTFORD SAYS NO!), which was in turn borrowed from Shepard Fairey's SAY YES, who took that from Alexander Rodchennko's Everything old is new again.