Thursday, 20 July 2017

{quotable thursdays}

{walking to the AAH launch event on Tuesday}
In the past week I've been at two events that give me hope in the discipline I've dedicated my life to. Last Friday I hosted an event for Open Arts Objects,  a project I'm leading, which provides short films and support materials to support the teaching of Art History in schools. (It was held at the charming Art Workers' Guild)
{presenting at the Art Workers' Guild}

For my presentation I put up on the powerpoint an excerpt from our statement that we wrote during the campaign to save the A-level Art History:

One of Art History’s many strengths is that it is fundamentally interdisciplinary. Through the study of art you can learn about gender relations, philosophy, anthropology, sociology or economics, not to mention its important relationship with history. At a time when everyone is glued to their smartphones, looking at images on twitter, Instagram or Facebook, the ability to understand, and more importantly, to be able to analyse critically the wealth of images that bombard us seems more pressing than ever.

It's been hard work but well worth it, and I would say perseverance is the key... Recently I've been busier than ever and feeling rather stressed. But for the first time in my life, I feel like things are starting to fall into place, and the hard work has paid off.

On Tuesday I was at another event, the launch of the new redesigned Association for Art History (previously the Association of Art Historians). There, once again was a palpable in a discipline that is seeking to widen its horizons by expanding global definitions of art, and doing so by teaching a global art history. An Art History for all, not only for a select few. We are a discipline that is seeking to widen participation in every possible way. 
It's exciting times and I'm happy to be apart of it.

{new horizons!}
If you've got time, why don't you check out our really short films? you might learn a thing or two! and not just about art but about the complexities of our world.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

{quotable thursdays}


Happy Thursday! You know what Thursday means? Friday is tomorrow!
It's been quite a week!
On Monday I went to the Rothschild Headquarters at New Court for a champagne reception. Way up in the Sky Pavilion the views were fabulous and it is a completely different take on London from those heights. It was a fascinating evening filled with enough characters to write a novel with.

 Baron de Rothschild was there as well as a handful of wealthy art collectors, and a Russian oligarch (descendent of Napoleon's niece), and then some academics and historians of collecting thrown in for good measure. The accents were marvellous, or should I say marbellous--yes, full of marbles (!) Following a presentation we sipped on delicious Rothschild wines and ate delicious hors d'oevres...
{the smallest fish & chips I've ever had!}

{love looking down on the gardens & rooftop restaurants}

{the sun was setting as we left}

Then Tuesday I sat in an MA exam board and have been busy since then going through my long to-do list, as well as preparing for the big launch/info event for Open Arts Objects that I'm organsing/hosting tomorrow at the Art Workers' Guild.

So today, a reminder to look up...and never stop! You might just find yourself on top of the world, or in a Sky Pavillion!!!
{look up!}
{the views from the Rothschild headquarters' Sky Pavilion}


Sunday, 9 July 2017

{sisters reunion}

Today I went for a lovely country walk in the perfect English summer sunshine--the birds were singing and as I walked through some farmland and across a bridge over a stream, I came across children who were busy catching crayfish. It brought back memories of my childhood, reading of heroines walking through the English countryside in my favourite novels by Jane Austen, the Brontës, George Elliot...the list goes on. Growing up the youngest of five girls, it's no surprise we liked to think we were the Bennett sisters and would often get dressed up in bonnets & long dresses and pretend we were walking to Meryton.
So it was with great excitement that we decided to have our sisters reunion at my house here in England in April. We didn't receive a proposal from Mr Darcy, but we did enjoy country walks, stately homes, lots of tea, and a masked ball.
I realise these pics are very late--it has been a particularly hectic time with work, finishing up two books on top of lots else, but looking at these pictures brings a big smile to my face & I feel so very fortunate to call these amazing women my sisters!

{Woburn Abbey}

{having tea in the gardens at Woburn Abbey}

{& of course! matching pjs to drink our tea in!}

{& a Sunday roast dinner dressed in our finest!}

{masked ball}

{we are 5!}

So you can see we really had fun! Now I just can't wait for the next reunion!

Thursday, 29 June 2017

{quotable thursdays}

Hello blogworld!
I'm swamped and barely getting through all that needs to get done. I feel like my blogposts are always about being too busy...and I hate that. But this year has been the busiest of my academic life and it doesn't look like it's going to slow down for another few weeks...
but I wanted to take a few seconds today to put up a quote that might inspire others who are feeling like they're drowning in work.
....& so I keep going ahead.
tomorrow I'm giving a presentation to A-level teachers & students at Godolphin, which has amazing architecture...and then off to Masterpiece 2017. If you recall, I went a few years ago... I probably can't afford any of the works for sale, but it'll be fun to browse!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

{quotable thursdays}

It's voting day here, and I've just come back from voting. There is something thrilling putting an x next to a party, knowing you've exercised your democratic right to have a voice. A voice determining  the future of the country you live in and what party you feel matches your values the best.
...and as a woman, I am reminded every time I vote of the many women and men who stood up for our gender to provide us with that right.
{use your vote}
As I walked to the polling station at a local school, I passed the beautiful almshouses of Leighton Buzzard, once placed there by the wealthy to help the poor and the needy.

{almshouses of leighton buzzard. for more pics and the yearly ritual attached to them, see my post on insta}

In the 17th century, when these were built, the poor had to rely on a select few wealthy people who were willing enough to offer some money for philanthropy. In 2017, my hopes are for a society who believes in a government who will protect the weak and the needy.
Whatever party you're voting for, make sure you use your democratic right--go out and vote!

Monday, 29 May 2017

{postcards from Japan}

Happy May Bank Holiday weekend to you!
I realise I have been rather absent from the blog as of late. But this year has been especially busy, not only with travel, but with a lot of publications, and then keeping up with renovations & various things on the house too!
But I'm FINALLY going to catch up at least with my travel to Japan. It was a real whirlwind trip, but exceptional nonetheless.
I managed to fit in a full day of taking in the sights of Tokyo with an old friend and colleague from McGill days, who lives in Tokyo: We went to the Meiji Shrine and walked around the serene park, then in total contrast, we wandered the chaotic and nutty Takeshita street, where brightly coloured outfits are equally matched by colourful food, alongside cat & owl cafes, then came the Shibuya crossing featured in Lost in Translation... and then finally ending the night at a typical chicken spot (yakitori)--who knew chicken could be skewered and bbq'd so many ways?! Then a few days at the conference at Gakushuin University, with my last day spent on a trip to Mt. Takao and an amazing dinner in a bamboo grove complete with Geisha dancing and entertainment at the famous restaurant, Ukai Chikutei! From there, I headed straight to the airport, only to be in the UK two days, before flying off to Chicago. It has been a busy 2017 so far!
Here are the pics to prove it!

{Meiji shrine}

{graduating students dressed up in their finery}

{sake offerings}

{ritual hand washing}

{wishes and aspirations}

{the crazy Takeshita street}

{fabulous Shibuya crossing made famous in western cinema  by the film Lost in Translation}

{wonderful dinner spot}

{preparing our chicken}

{bento box at the conference}

{views from Mt Takao}

{the ascent to Mt Takao}



{fabulous dinner here in the bamboo grove, Ukai Chikutei}

{we had a whole house to ourselves for the dinner; taking off shoes}

{the menu}


simply a wonderful trip!