Monday, 8 August 2011

return to joy

pic by me, charityshopper
Hello. I really didn't mean to be away so long. Are you still there? Or maybe, like the Fifth Dimension installation in 1970s Girvan, one day you just suddenly disappeared. An accident meant I had a cast on for a couple of months. Yes, I was in a kind of spectral dimension. 

This photo is from a recent trip to Edinburgh, where the contradictions of utopian visions and sinister realities, gothic heart and brutalist fringes and the ever-present past create sights that are somehow never quite right but always mesmerising. Here the mixture of ionic columns, cold war numeric font, disintegrating, Victorian shopfront-style sign and a doorway sealed shut got me. The doorway could lead to a secret nuclear bunker or into the tunnels of the sealed up plague city of the vaults. This is Edinburgh. Anything's possible. 

More to come, from the borderlands of the supernatural and popular culture, from London to outer space. For now, liking Derby University's cultural studies MA in horror and transgression and looking forward to Simon Armitage's exploration of the Pendle Witch Child story on BBC4 (Wed 17 Aug). And go and see the Memory Of A Hope group exhibition in Liverpool if you can - 36 artists explore creation, destruction and nostalgia, with the twin pillars of Henri Lefebvre and JG Ballards as the goalposts of imagination.

Reality is never what it seems, and maybe that's the way we like it. It's good to be back. I'm putting the Soundcarriers back on. Loud. Mind how you go.


  1. Hoorah! Glad you're back! Hope that whatever was in the cast has fully recovered.

  2. Oh, thanks loads! It was the left arm - broken wrist. Healing lovely, but mysterious dark hairs on the hand still to disappear. Casts turn you into a mini werewolf, it seems.

  3. Welcome back! I'll put the Soundcarriers on in joint celebration.