Quince, Chilli and Chocolate

I’m lucky enough to have a couple of heaving Quince trees and a Nigel Slater obsession. Below is my modified NS recipe for poached Quince … I have added the chocolate, chilli and creme fraiche (basically making a very elaborate school pudding!) …

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La Friche!

On Saturday morning I visited La Friche de la Belle de Mai: part skatepark, studio space, music venue, library and gallery.  Below is a bit of architectural appreciation –20140416-131854.jpg20140416-131908.jpg20140416-131922.jpg20140416-131939.jpgThey had an exhibition of work by Asco, a group of LA based Mexican artists in the 1970s. From the little I could understand of the mission statement, Asco used often humorous, theatrical stunts (resulting in photographs and films) to highlight the injustices and excess in their community. I was totally taken with Skyscraper Skin, below.

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I also like a series of photographs called First Love Object – showcasing bizarre creations.

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20140416-133302.jpgThe print workshop/space L’atelier du Dernier Cri also had a couple of wall worthy gems.20140416-133603.jpg

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Nice 2014

I am in the glorious Côte d’Azur in the slightly less wonderful driving rain.20140103-202908.jpgIt’s my first time in Nice and despite waking around in a permanent rain cloud I am totally in love with the place. The buildings are a warm jumbly mess, it has trams and LOTS of bicycles, it’s by the sea and apparently Nice is second only to Paris for the amount of museums and art galleries it has.20140103-204747.jpgI spent most of yesterday sheltering from the rain in the Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (MAMEC), a hulking concrete and glass building with some interesting interior shapes and spaces. If I ever manage to own my own house, I’m having a neon blue lit hand rail! The amazing wooden sculpture is by Arne Quinze.20140103-221252.jpg20140103-221424.jpg20140103-221433.jpg20140103-221441.jpgThe museum has a large collection of Yves Klien, Jean Tinguley and Niki de Saint Phalle. I loved this photograph of the last two together in the Sixties.20140103-210917.jpgMy favorite piece was by an artist I had never heard of called Jacques Villegie. Below: Boulevard Saint-Martin by Jacques Villegie.20140103-203833.jpgEssentially a bit of oversized collage!20140103-210036.jpgMAMEC has large glass eye shaped passageways leading from one part of the hexagonal building to the other…20140103-204104.jpgand an incredible roof garden/walkway, dotted with sculptures and massive palms and ferns.20140103-204225.jpgYesterday I also went to the Musee des Beaux-Arts.20140103-211113.jpg20140103-211844.jpg20140103-211905.jpgAs well as a version of Rodin’s Kiss, I loved the room dedicated to Raoul Dufy. After a fair amount of culture I wandered all around the city’s old quarter, up to the ruins of a chateau in the Parc de la Colline and ended up following my favorite kind of sign to Nice’s port.20140103-213012.jpg20140103-212739.jpg

Bath Time

ChandelierI’m back in the UK and on Friday went to the see the Laura Ashley exhibition at Bath’s Fashion Museum.  If I could have stolen anything it would definitely have been one of these mini dresses.miniLA2 LA4 KaftanAbove: My favourite dress of the exhibition, a more or less totally shapeless kaftan made in a LA fabric inspired by a traditional Provencal motif, the cicada.  I was also quitetaken with the girl in the background! Her hair was the most amazing colour and literally glowing!  Below: Doors to Manual and a couple of other Bath time treats –

DoorsPainting –
paintingStairway to heaven –
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Picasso!

I am currently sweltering 39 degrees worth of dry Provence heat so can only apologise if this post is a little light on words.  In brief – Yesterday was my birthday! and to celebrate I went to see the Picasso Ceramiste et la Mediterranee exhibition in Aubagne, near Marseille which was on as part of the Marseille-Provence European Capital of Culture.Picasso Below are a few of my drawings of what is without doubt one of my favourite all time exhibitions.  I could go back every day till it finishes in Octobre and still see something fun and new.  I loved his minimal use of colour, just black, greys, white and blues on terracotta and I am really loved how consistantly bizarre and unique he was.  As one lady who was standing beside me exclaimed Quelle Imagination! 1facefish2For the Capital of Culture celebrations Aubagne was also home to the mobile Centre Pompidou that was sadly closed.  The stickers all over town were enough to keep me happy though.
PompAfter Aubagne Mr Hope and I headed to Aix where once again wilted in the heat and spent the afternoon people watching, but not before being greatly cheered by the market.
Sun sun sun

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Michael Landy’s magical machines – Saint’s Alive at The National Gallery.CogsWheelsCranksWhiskNuts and Bolts