Archive for October, 2016

Friday 21st October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 21, 2016 by bishshat


Inspired by Compton Verney’s nationally designated Chinese bronze collection, contemporary visual artist Aowen Jin will host an exciting interactive art event for this year’s Museums at Night festival, looking into the cultural and social impact of early Chinese civilisation on our modern lives.

In this spectacular installation, Aowen will cover the floors of our newly restored ‘Capability’ Brown chapel with UV reactive and glow in the dark rice – wonder at the significance of the grains of rice and explore them with UV torches. You’ll also have the opportunity to perform your own ritual with her magical glowing rice in our beautiful Adam hall.

Spectacular interactive art installation in the chapel.
Make your own rice-based artworks in Adam Hall.
Bronze handling demonstrations with Compton Verney’s China expert Morgan Jones.
Inspirational talks and a Q&A with a renowned poet, an award-winning BBC radio producer and journalist, an emerging artist and Aowen herself. A great opportunity to find out more about the creative industries and how to start and grow a creative career, and ask questions.
Soap Box: listen to how MA students from The School of Art & Design at Coventry University reflect on The Ritual and see how they created new and innovative works with the specially treated rice.
Unique late-night access to Compton Verney’s stunning collection of ancient Chinese bronze.


I worked all afternoon alongside Aowen Jin today It was quite an experience. She was great fun and I found her a real tonic to be with but I was worn out by the time I got home as she is a pocket sized whirl wind. She was super super excited by the free mayonnaise.

Aowen Jin was born in Luoyang, Henan in China. She moved to the United Kingdom as a student when she was 18, and initially studied Law & Economics at Durham University. After rediscovering a passion for art she switched to studying Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London.
During her degree she was commissioned to produce painting works for British Prime Minister Tony Blair and for Queen Elizabeth II’s 80th Birthday, and was named by both Dazed & Confused magazine and The Times Magazine as one of the UK’s top emerging artists.
Aowen was part of Goldsmith’s graduate exhibition at Free Range Shows in 2006, titled ‘Textile Collective’.


Today marks 211 years since the Battle of Trafalgar – the day when Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson successfully halted Napoleon Bonaparte’s quest to conquer Europe.

The battle, held on 21 October 1805, not only stopped Napoleon but also cemented the British Royal Navy as ruler over the high seas, a status that has given Britain status as a global power for more than a century.

While the Battle of Trafalgar was a victory for Britain, the day also saw the death of a British hero on his ship HMS Victory.


It seems strange to me that on this anniversary a flotilla of Russian warships is sailing down the English Channel to and appears to me is an provocative display of military force with tensions between Britain and Vladimir Putin at breaking point. The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov  sailed through the North Sea and then into the English Channel. At the same time, two other Russian corvettes, which are travelling north towards the UK from the direction of Portugal, are also set to be watched by the Navy.


Thursday 20th October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 20, 2016 by bishshat


Country Dreamer


I’d like to walk in a field with you,
take my hat and my boots off too.
I’d like to lie in a field with you.
Would you like to do it too, may?
Would you like to do it too?
I’d like to stand in a stream with you,
roll my trousers up and not feel blue.
I’d like to wash in a stream with you.
Would you like to do it too?
You and I, country dreamer,
when there’s nothing else to do;
Me oh my, country dreamer,
make a country dream come true.
I’d like to climb up a hill with you,
stand on top and admire the view.
I’d like to roll down a hill with you.
Would you like to do it too, may?
Would you like to do it too?
I’d like to climb up a hill with you,
take my hat and my boots off too.
I’d like to lie in a field with you.
Would you like to do it too, may?
Would you like to do it too?



In December 1941, two agents from the Czechoslovak government-in-exile, Jozef Gabčík (Cillian Murphy) and Jan Kubiš (Jamie Dornan) are parachuted into their occupied homeland. Jozef is badly injured when he crashes through a tree upon landing, but both men set out to find their contact in Czechoslovakia. They are discovered shortly after by two resistance fighters who turn out to be traitors; one is shot by Jozef but the other man escapes. Stealing their truck, the agents head for Prague.

When they seek out their contact, they are directed to Dr. Eduard (Sean Mahon), who stitches Jozef’s foot, and arranges for the agents to meet other members of the resistance, led by “Uncle” Jan Zelenka-Hajský (Toby Jones). The agents reveal that they are to execute “Operation Anthropoid,” an assassination of Reinhard Heydrich (Detlef Bothe), the main architect of the Final Solution, and the head of Nazi forces in German–occupied Czechoslovakia.


With limited intelligence and little equipment in a city under lock-down, Jozef and Jan must find a way to assassinate Heydrich, an operation that, they hope, will change the face of Europe. With the help of two young women, Marie Kovárníková (Charlotte Le Bon) and Lenka Fafková (Anna Geislerová) along with other plotters, the agents plan to ambush Heydrich as he arrives at his headquarters by car. When the agents learn that Heydrich is about to be transferred, the plan goes into effect with the duo bolstered by the addition of other agents who have been parachuted into Czechoslovakia and the remaining resistance fighters in Prague.


On 27 May 1942, the attack is carried out but nearly botched when Jozef’s Sten submachine gun jams, but Heydrich is severely wounded when Jan throws a bomb that shatters his limousine, followed by Jozef’s fusillade of gunfire. Immediately after, the assassins go on the run, and Nazi forces round up thousands of Czech citizens and carry out a terrible reprisal. When Heydrich dies, the combined group of seven parachutists are pursued to their refuge at the Orthodox Cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Prague. Resistance fighter Karel Čurda (Jiří Šimek) turned on the agents and revealed where they were hiding. Hundreds of Nazi troops storm the cathedral and all the agents are killed in a fierce battle.


Reprisals continued with the village of Lidice destroyed with all the males 16 years old and older shot, children gassed to death and women sent to camps. Another Czech village, Ležáky, was also destroyed and its inhabitants were murdered because a radio transmitter was found there. Ultimately, a total of 15,000 Czechs were killed in the aftermath of the “Heydrich Terror”. The assassination of SS-Obergruppenführer Heydrich was the only successful government-organised assassination of a top-ranking Nazi in the Second World War.


Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich was a high-ranking German Nazi official during World War II, and one of the main architects of the Holocaust. He was SS-Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei (Senior Group Leader and Chief of Police) as well as chief of the Reich Main Security Office (including the Gestapo, Kripo, and SD). He was also Stellvertretender Reichsprotektor (Deputy/Acting Reich-Protector) of Bohemia and Moravia, in what is now the Czech Republic. Heydrich served as president of the International Criminal Police Commission (ICPC; later known as Interpol) and chaired the January 1942 Wannsee Conference, which formalised plans for the Final Solution to the Jewish Question—the deportation and genocide of all Jews in German-occupied Europe.

Heinrich Himmler (second from right) with Reinhard Heydrich (third from right) and Benito Mussolini (second from left) at a meeting of the police chiefs of Germany, Yugoslavia, Albania, and Portugal, circa 1938

Many historians regard him as the darkest figure within the Nazi elite; Adolf Hitler described him as “the man with the iron heart”. He was the founding head of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), an intelligence organisation charged with seeking out and neutralising resistance to the Nazi Party via arrests, deportations, and murders. He helped organise Kristallnacht, a series of co-ordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on 9–10 November 1938. The attacks, carried out by SA stormtroopers and civilians, presaged the Holocaust. Upon his arrival in Prague, Heydrich sought to eliminate opposition to the Nazi occupation by suppressing Czech culture and deporting and executing members of the Czech resistance. He was directly responsible for the Einsatzgruppen, the special task forces which travelled in the wake of the German armies and murdered over two million people, including 1.3 million Jews, by mass shooting and gassing.

Heydrich was critically wounded in Prague on 27 May 1942 by a British Special Operations Executive-trained team of Czech and Slovak soldiers who had been sent by the Czechoslovak government-in-exile to kill him in Operation Anthropoid. He died from his injuries a week later. Intelligence falsely linked the assassins to the villages of Lidice and Ležáky. Lidice was razed to the ground; all men and boys over the age of 16 were shot, and all but a handful of its women and children were deported and killed in Nazi concentration camps.

Wednesday 19th October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 19, 2016 by bishshat


Tuesday 18th October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 18, 2016 by bishshat


Bayer 0 Spurs 0

Spurs withstood Bayer Leverkusen’s second-half assault to secure a 0-0 draw and hold on for valuable point in the Champions League. Mauricio Pochettino’s side started the better of the two sides at the BayArena, going close through Dele Alli, Vincent Janssen and Erik Lamela in the first half.


But Leverkusen, who are 10th in the Bundesliga, responded strongly after the break and they should have gone ahead minutes after the restart but Hugo Lloris produced a spectacular save to deny former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez. Roger Schmidt’s side continued to pile the pressure on Spurs, who needed Lloris to keep out Charles Aranguiz and Admir Mehmedi, but Pochettino’s side held on for a valuable draw to stay second in the group behind Monaco, who drew 1-1 with CSKA Moscow.

Monday 17th October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 17, 2016 by bishshat


Sunday 16th October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 16, 2016 by bishshat


Seahawks 26 Atlanta 24

The Hawks have a lot in common with Spurs both these teams have a bird as their mascot and both have some blue in their kit and hell they sure do know how to give the fan a ride. They never do anything easy. They do stuff in style and they leave you frustrated and absolutely worn out at the end of a game but I love them both win or loose.

The Seahawks had all kinds of drama on Sunday against the Falcons. But what you might consider chaos is just another day for Seattle, which was able to pull together and rally for a 26-24 victory over Atlanta.
Wild surrounded the Seahawks Sunday and crazy stood at every turn. And if you’re looking for a way to describe it, you just need one word. Normal. After nearly breaking apart, Seahawks come back to edge Falcons
“We like chaos,” linebacker Bobby Wagner said with a smile.
Chaos has become synonymous with the Pete Carroll-era Seahawks and Sunday only confirmed that. Storylines circle all NFL teams, but they seem particularly potent with this one.
The controversial personalities and unexpected pitfalls are every bit as striking as the perpetual success. On the surface, that 26-24 win over Atlanta looked like the definition of weird — but for the Seahawks, it was pretty much routine.

“We’ve been through some struggles together, we’ve been through some obstacles we’ve had to overcome,” Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin said. “And that’s why when we find ourselves in these tough situations, we find a way to get it done.”
It should be noted that the Seahawks don’t always find a way to get it done. Last year, those struggles Baldwin described came in the way of fourth-quarter giveaways and stretches of offensive ineptitude.
But more often than not, the Seahawks do figure out how to win in the stormiest of circumstances. And that’s probably because it’s the only reality they know.
The chief talking point from Sunday’s game surfaced when Richard Sherman threw down his helmet after busted coverage allowed a Falcons touchdown in the third quarter. He proceeded to tear into defensive coordinator Kris Richard and safety Kelcie McCray, and seemed inconsolable for most of the second half.
Regardless, it was Sherman who tipped the pass that led to Earl Thomas’ interception with 3:48 left in the game. The next biggest talking point likely would have been the 29-yard field goal Steven Hauschka missed in the fourth quarter and the extra point that got blocked. The field goal would have cut the deficit to four points, and the extra point would have tied the score with 4:43 to play.
But less than three minutes later, it was Hauschka who drilled a 44-yarder that ended up being the game-winner. Hardly a chip shot given the previous events.
“That’s the character of our team. They bring in guys who are resilient,” said Seahawks right tackle Garry Gilliam. “It’s not about how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get back up.”

Good or bad, the chaos is everywhere with this team. There was Kam Chancellor’s holdout, Percy Harvin’s departure and all things Marshawn Lynch. There was Sherman’s rant after the NFC championship game, last year’s 2-4 start and, of course, the devastating Super Bowl loss.
These guys are vocal on issues ranging from the collective bargaining agreement, to the presidential election, to police brutality — meaning there’s never really going to be a quiet day. But the day things quiet down is the day these guys aren’t really the Seahawks anymore.
“We’re emotional. It’s an emotional team, emotional guys, and we ride that emotion,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “That’s what these guys are like. I am, too.”
There are going to be moments when chaos gets the best of this team. In fact, for a stretch on Sunday, it looked as though Sherman’s outburst had a detrimental effect on the defense.
There are going to be games that inexplicably slip out of this team’s grasp. It happened regularly last year much to fans’ shock and chagrin.
Most of the time, though, Seattle is going to use chaos as an ally — that crazy friend who drives you nuts but always comes through in the end. You hear a lot of coaches emphasize the importance of a team “blocking out the noise.”
The Seahawks? No way. They embrace the noise.

Saturday 15th October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 15, 2016 by bishshat


WBA 1 Spurs 1

Dele Alli rescued a deserved point as we drew 1-1 at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
It looked like we might have been ‘Pulis-ed’ again as the Baggies soaked up what we had to throw at them and then scored from a set-piece just eight minutes from time – Nacer Chadli, who else, the scorer.

But we dug in to find an equaliser in the 89th minute. Substitute Heung-Min Son weaved a path down the left, Vincent Janssen’s shot was blocked, Christian Eriksen tried his luck and the ball eventually landed at the feet of Alli, who poked low into the corner.
We had 20 efforts at goal but were denied time and again by home custodian Ben Foster. The pick of his saves thwarted Eriksen, who pulled the strings throughout. The first was low down to his right to touch the Dane’s 25-yarder away and then came a full-stretch tip over to keep out a free-kick bound for the top corner in the final one of five added minutes.
We lost defender Toby Alderweireld to injury midway through the second period but our unbeaten record in the Premier League remains intact after eight games and now it’s full steam ahead to Bayer Leverkusen for our UEFA Champions League clash on Tuesday!



Friday 14th October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 14, 2016 by bishshat

The Balance

The Moody Blues

After he had journeyed,
And his feet were sore,
And he was tired,
He came upon an orange grove
And he rested
And he lay in the cool,
And while he rested, he took to himself an orange and tasted it,
And it was good.
And he felt the earth to his spine,
And he asked, and he saw the tree above him, and the stars,
And the veins in the leaf,
And the light, and the balance.
And he saw magnificent perfection,
Whereon he thought of himself in balance,
And he knew he was.
Just open your eyes,
And realize, the way it’s always been.
Just open your mind
And you will find
The way it’s always been.
Just open your heart
And that’s a start.
And he thought of those he angered,
For he was not a violent man,
And he thought of those he hurt
For he was not a cruel man
And he thought of those he frightened
For he was not an evil man,
And he understood.
He understood himself.
Upon this he saw that when he was of anger or knew hurt or felt fear,
It was because he was not understanding,
And he learned, compassion.
And with his eye of compassion.
He saw his enemies like unto himself,
And he learned love.
Then, he was answered.
Just open your eyes,
And realize, the way it’s always been.
Just open your mind
And you will find
The way it’s always been.
Just open your heart
And that’s a start.


Picasso On Paper

Sat 15 October – Sun 11 December, 11.00am – 5.00pm

This exhibition brings fresh attention to Pablo Picasso’s brilliantly inventive career as a printmaker. More than 70 works from Dusseldorf’s Museum Kunstpalast reveal Picasso’s remarkable ability to explore different media and creative techniques, offering a glimpse into the artist’s intimate and passionate domestic relationships. Picasso regarded printmaking as every inch an important art form as painting. So much so that he created over 2000 prints during his lifetime. He received no formal training in the craft, but acquired great skill on his own volition and under the tutelage of others.

This show – with works dating from the 1920s to the 1960s – traces Picasso experiments with technique and subject matter in various media, including etching, lithography, aquatint and linocut. Taking the visitor on a journey through four decades of his work, thematically grouped to give a greater understanding of his relationships with several subjects – including family, bullfighting and mythology. Picasso on Paper is complemented by eight ceramics that he created in association with the Madoura pottery near Antibes in Provence.



I had a whizz around the Picasso and Victoria exhibitions today at Compton Verney.
I know quite a lot about Picasso and Queen Victoria so I was quite keen to see what the learning team would be doing with the visitors and the schools.
It all looks pretty interesting and I think the kids will get something out of it as they always do at half term and when they come with schools.

Regarding Picasso his ego must have been massive. I bet he was horrid to be around if you were on the receiving end of his having had enough of you.
As I always said I bet you never bumped into him in the local bread shop.
He was able to conjure up a wonder about everything he did and makes sure the big money people wanted whatever it was that he produced at any time during his long life. He had a special way of promoting himself. I admit in the art world he was a master of line and a master of change and adaptation also even his experimentation was completed with a flair that could not be matched.
He must have had an amazing charisma as his relationships with many women prove.

I have often looked at Picasso’s paintings of his wife and lovers and thought that he was getting away with murder. But now I have studied him and know he could paint as his earlier works proved I guess he was getting away with murder because he knew he could.

I liked the link between Picasso’s La Tauromaquia and how he must have been inspired by Goya. Before Goya Antonio Camicero had also done a series on the fighting of bulls.

Antonio Carnicero (1748–1814) was a Spanish painter of the Neoclassical style. In addition to his paintings, over the course of his career he also produced prints and engravings as well as creating theatrical decorations.

Carnicero was born in Salamanca on 10 January 1748. His father, the sculptor Alejandro Carnicero, went to the court of Madrid in 1749 to fulfill a commission for a series of sculptures in the royal palace. Antonio’s brothers Gregorio and Isidro were also artists. After initial training from his father, Carnicero entered the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in 1758. At age 12, he was awarded a scholarship to accompany his brother Isidro to Rome so they could further their study of painting. In 1766 he returned to Madrid, where he began to paint for civil and religious institutions as well as private clients.

In 1775, Carnicero collaborated with Joseph del Castillo in the execution of tapestry cartoons for the royal household. He also worked as a theatrical decorator for performances at the Teatro de la Cruz and the Teatro del Principe. Between 1780 and 1782, he provided illustrations for a project of the Royal Spanish Academy to prepare a deluxe printing of Don Quixote, edited by Joaquín Ibarra, that became a milestone edition of the Spanish literary classic.

His ability as an artist and painter gained a growing reputation with a colorful series Costumes of Spain and the Indies (1777), portraits of illustrious Spanish personages (1788), and a series of etchings on bullfighting (1790).

In 1796, Carnicero was named chamber painter for King Charles IV of Spain. This came after several previous failed attempts to secure a court appointment (in 1788, 1792 and 1793). From that point on, he worked mainly as a portraitist of the royal family and leading ministers at court, such as painting a young Manuel Godoy or Pedro Rodríguez de Campomanes.

He taught drawing to the children of the royal family, especially the future Ferdinand VII, then Prince of Asturias. On account of his relationship with the Prince, Carnicero drew suspicion of being involved in the El Escorial Conspiracy of 1807 to dethrone Charles IV. As a result, Carnicero was arrested on 7 November and detained for over ten days before being released.

As Spain came under Napoleonic rule, beginning in 1809 Carnicero, like Francisco Goya, was required to work for Joseph Bonaparte to maintain his position as court painter. After the restoration of the Bourbons, Carnicero was put on trial for removal from his office on the grounds that he had served the foreign king. An appeal to reinstate him came too late when Carnicero died in Madrid on 21 August 1814, just days before an amnesty was proclaimed by Ferdinand VII. Having said this I think bull fighting is barbaric and should be swept away like fox hunting.


If you are a Picasso fan the exhibition is a must.

Pablo Picasso, who was born on October 25, 1881, died on April 8, 1973, aged 91. The artist had a complicated relationship with women. This article by Mark Hudson was first published in 2009 to mark the National Gallery exhibition ‘Picasso: Challenging the Past’.

“Women are machines for suffering,” Picasso told his mistress Françoise Gilot in 1943. Indeed, as they embarked on their nine-year affair, the 61-year-old artist warned the 21-year-old student: “For me there are only two kinds of women, goddesses and doormats”.

From Rembrandt and Goya to Bonnard and Stanley Spencer, male artists have drawn obsessively and immensely productively on the faces and bodies of their wives and lovers. But no one used and abused his women quite like the greatest artist of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso.

Looking at the extraordinary images in a new Picasso exhibition that opens later this month at the National Gallery in London, you feel that Picasso eviscerates his women in the service of his art. Here, alongside images of exquisite tenderness, are women pulled and gouged into tortured shapes, women cut in bits and reconfigured on the canvas. Yet harrowing as these images are, they are nothing beside the real life dramas that led to their creation.

Of the seven most important women in Picasso’s life, two killed themselves and two went mad. Another died of natural causes only four years into their relationship. Yet while Picasso had affairs with dozens, perhaps hundreds of women, and was true to none of them – except possibly the last – each of these seven women shines out as a crucial catalyst in his development as an artist. Each stands for a different period in his career, representing a complementary or opposing ideal that inspired the evolution of a new visual language. Just as they became obsessively involved with him, so he was dependent on them.

Loyal, generous and affectionate when it suited him, Picasso could be astoundingly brutal, to friends, lovers, even complete strangers. Yet he felt real, often anguished passion for each of these women – a passion he explored in tens of thousands of paintings, drawings and prints, in which he attempted to capture not just the way these women looked, but the totality of his feelings towards them. Fernande Olivier, the first great love of the Spanish artist’s life whom he met in 1904, was far from a pushover.

Incorrigibly lazy and promiscuous, but with a lively and independent mind, this statuesque redhead was a popular artist’s model, a kind of “it” girl of the Parisian avant-garde. To the young Picasso, who had arrived in Paris from Barcelona only two years before – and whose experience of women was limited largely to prostitutes and the pious Catholic women who raised him – Olivier must have seemed an intoxicating challenge.

Physically obsessed with her languid, bemused presence, Picasso moved from the poetic romanticism of his Rose Period to a new way of working inspired both by the dynamism of modern Paris and by the enduring values of Mediterranean culture on which he was to draw all his life.

In 1906, Olivier accompanied him to the village of Gosol in the Spanish Pyrenees, where the cubistic traditional architecture and her strong, sensual features were endlessly analysed in a vast body of drawings that led to the most influential painting of the 20th century – Demoiselles d’Avignon. As Picasso worked on this definitive canvas in the suffocating heat of his Montmartre studio, he was consumed with jealousy and anger towards Olivier who had temporarily walked out on him – this emotional violence feeding into a work that blasted the Renaissance idea of fixed perspective out of the window and changed the course of Western art.

When Olivier took up with a minor Italian artist in 1912 in an attempt to pique his jealousy, Picasso began seeing her close friend, Eva Gouel, the most elusive of the seven women. Frail and slender, she appears in only two photographs and her personality remains an enigma.

Picasso’s time with her coincided with the moment of synthetic cubism, in which observational elements were synthesised into semi-abstract compositions, often including collage or text. While Picasso never painted Gouel, he paid homage to her in several of these paintings, by including the words Ma Jolie – my pretty one – which is perhaps the most overtly affectionate artistic gesture he made to any of his women.

While he was apparently devastated by her death from tuberculosis in 1916, this didn’t stop him carrying on a simultaneous affair with one Gaby Depeyre. Picasso’s marriage to the Russian dancer Olga Khokhlova in 1915 coincided with a complete reversal in his artistic direction – from world-changing abstraction to relatively conservative neoclassicism. His portraits of Khokhlova have a restraint and serenity inspired by the 19th-century master Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.

Yet just as Picasso’s artistic restlessness couldn’t be contained for more than a few hours, so the desire of the socially ambitious Khokhlova to tame the now wealthy artist soon began to suffocate him. As their relationship disintegrated and she became increasingly delusional, his depictions of her and women in general grew ever more hateful – tortured masses of teeth, limbs and vaginas.

While Picasso’s sense that he could do what he liked with absolutely anyone increased as his fame and wealth grew, he stayed with Khokhlova out of a residual desire for bourgeois respectability and the deeply ingrained Spanish idea that however unfaithful, a man doesn’t leave his wife.

Picasso kept his relationship with the youthful Marie-Thérèse Walter – just 17 when he met her – secret from Khokhlova for eight years. Blonde, of equable temperament and athletic physique – but completely ignorant of art – Walter was immortalised in images of melting, idyllic eroticism in which we feel her guiltless enjoyment of her own sensuality and the artist’s complete satisfaction in regarding it.

If Walter offered Picasso little on an intellectual level, his next great muse was the one who came closest to challenging him on his own terms – an artist and photographer closely involved with the Surrealists. He first encountered the mesmerising, raven-haired Dora Maar across the tables of the Café aux Deux Magots, stabbing a knife between her fingers till she drew blood.

Picasso asked to keep her bloodstained gloves. When Maar and Walter later met in his studio, the ensuing argument degenerated into an all-out catfight between the two women, an incident Picasso later described as one of his “choicest memories”.

Maar was Picasso’s partner during the period of his greatest political engagement, her inner turmoil standing in for Spain’s agony during the Civil War in Tate’s iconic Crying Woman. She made a photographic record of Picasso’s work on the monumental masterpiece Guernica, and her unmistakable features appear in the banshee-like head swooping into the painting. But in Picasso’s most telling images of Maar, her features are disturbingly reconfigured – growing out of each other in all the wrong places – as though she is literally breaking down in front of us.

When Picasso threw her over for the much younger Françoise Gilot in 1943, Maar suffered a complete mental collapse, followed by nun-like seclusion. “After Picasso,” she famously declared, “only God.” Lest it should be thought that Picasso had things entirely his own way, the case of Gilot is instructive. This young aspiring artist – just 21 when they met – seems to have handled Picasso’s cruelties and perversities with amazing deftness, and was the only woman to leave him entirely voluntarily, with her dignity more or less intact. She bore him two children, with whom they lived a relatively normal family life for nine years.

But was this domestic stability good for Picasso’s art?

While he captured Gilot’s features in a series of radiant drawings and etchings, this was the period of his greatest fame, when his millionaire life on the Cote d’Azur was cut off from external reality, and it was all too easy for the artist to “play Picasso” in art and life. The last of Picasso’s great loves was, on the face of it, the one most in control. Picasso created more than 400 portraits of the demure Jacqueline Roque, who he married in 1961.

The most memorable imbue her sharp features with a watchful, almost classical stillness that harks back to his Blue period paintings of nearly 70 years before. Roque, you feel, was the one who finally got Picasso to behave, and created a tranquil base for his last years. Yet even her story ended in tragedy. In 1986 she killed herself, 13 years after Picasso’s death. Like the other six women, she had collaborated in what is arguably the greatest artistic oeuvre of all time. Whether it was worth the pain, only she would be able to say.

Picasso’s female muses


Fernande Olivier (1881-1966; with Picasso 1904-1911)

After an abusive childhood and a violent teenage marriage, Olivier escaped into Paris’s bohemia, and took up with Picasso during his most revolutionary phase – though she never saw the point of cubism. Picasso failed to suppress her lively memoir Picasso et ses Amis, but paid her a small pension provided the second volume didn’t appear till after his death.


Eva Gouel (1885-1915; with Picasso 1911-1915)

Born as Marcelle Humbert, she was the girlfriend of fellow artist Louis Marcoussis when Picasso became involved with her in 1911. Little is known of the frail Eva. While Picasso later claimed he knew greater contentment with her than anyone else, he carried on an affair as Eva lay dying of tuberculosis in 1915.


Olga Khokhlova (1891-1954; with Picasso 1917-1935)

Picasso’s Ukrainian first wife, and the mother of his eldest child Paulo, was a dancer with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, and one of the few people of either sex to stand up to the artist. After their separation in 1935, she bombarded him with hate mail. But since Picasso refused to divide his assets with her, as required by French law, they never divorced.


Marie-Thérèse Walter (1909-1977; with Picasso 1927-1936)

Picasso met the blonde 17 year-old outside the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris in 1927, but kept their affair secret for eight years. She gave him a daughter, Maia, in 1935, at about the time she was supplanted in Picasso’s affections by Dora Maar. She hanged herself in 1977.


Dora Maar (1907-1997; with Picasso 1936-1944)

Born Henriette Theodora Markovitch, of Croatian and French descent. A talented artist and photographer, this Surrealist icon – powerfully portrayed by Man Ray – had a tragic air, caused, Picasso believed, by her inability to have children. She ended her days surrounded by dust-encrusted relics of her time with Picasso.


Françoise Gilot (b.1921; with Picasso 1944-1953)

This level-headed law student abandoned her studies in favour of art and began an affair with Picasso at 21. She gave him two children, Claude and Paloma, and recalled their nine-year relationship in the best-selling Life with Picasso. Later married to American vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, she still paints.


Jacqueline Roque (1927-1986; with Picasso 1954-1993)

A sales assistant in the Madoura Pottery Studio in Vallauris, where Picasso created his ceramics, Jacqueline met Picasso in 1954, when she was 27, and became his second wife in 1961. While she quarrelled with his children over the division of his estate, they collaborated in the creation of the Musée Picasso. She shot herself in 1986.

Queen Victoria in Paris

Watercolours from the Royal Collection

Sat 15 October – Sun 11 December, 11.00am – 5.00pm

In August 1855, with the Battle of Waterloo still vivid in the nation’s collective memory, Queen Victoria made a momentous state visit to Paris. It was the first by a British monarch in over 400 years, and was designed to cement the historic alliance between France and Britain in the Crimean War.

This exhibition organised by Royal Collection Trust in collaboration with Compton Verney displays the watercolours that were commissioned as mementos of Queen Victoria’s week in the French capital. The watercolours vividly capture the opulent surroundings and the pomp and pageantry of her visit, and provide a snapshot of art and taste during Victoria’s reign. Generously loaned by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection, half of the works have never been exhibited before, and introduce the remarkable work of little-known French artists to today’s audiences.
In 1854, the centuries-old antipathy between Britain and France came to an end in an alliance against Russia in the Crimean War. After decades of political turmoil, Napoleon III – nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte – was elected President after the revolution of 1848. Four years later he declared the creation of the Second Empire, with himself as Emperor – the sixth change of regime in as many decades. Queen Victoria’s initial distrust of Napoleon III was overturned during a visit to Windsor in April 1855, when he and his wife, Empress Eugénie, captivated the young Queen with their charm and attentiveness. The return visit to Paris, arranged by the Emperor in August the same year, confirmed this new ‘happy alliance’ between France and Britain amid frequent reports from the Crimean front.

The watercolours that make up the exhibition were all presented to or commissioned by Queen Victoria as a souvenir of the visit. Queen Victoria was a passionate collector of watercolours, compiling a sequence of ‘Souvenir Albums’ throughout her marriage to Prince Albert that recorded their lives together through journeys, events and visits. At Christmas 1855, Napoleon III sent an album containing ten watercolours of the Paris visit to the Queen, who was thrilled with the ‘ravishing drawings’.Queen Victoria commissioned a further fifteen watercolours to add to the sequence, including views of her apartments at Saint-Cloud on the outskirts of Paris – a palace that was razed to the ground during Napoleon III’s downfall in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Another album containing nineteen scenes from a spectacular ball at the Hôtel de Ville on 23 August was sent by the Préfet de la Seine, Baron Haussmann, best known for the dramatic remodelling of Paris’s streets that was well underway during Queen Victoria’s visit. Queen Victoria was herself a keen watercolourist, and also on display will be a number of her own drawings made during the Paris tour.

From 17 to 28 August 1855, Queen Victoria was on a state visit to France. She wished to return the visit that Napoléon III had made to her in London in April. The Emperor was an anglophile. He had spent many years in England and wished for a profound and durable reconciliation with Great Britain despite the fact that it had defeated his uncle, Napoléon I. He worked to bring about the first “entente cordiale” and deployed all the seductions of diplomacy. Since 1854, he had been Britain’s ally in the Crimean War. He travelled to Dunkirk to welcome the Queen and accompanied her personally as far as Paris. The Emperor wanted to reserve a splendid reception for her at Versailles on 25 August.

Napoléon III loved Versailles. He had come here for the first time on 11 April 1849 and came back on 5 July for the official opening of the Gare des Chantiers and the Paris-Chartres railway line. In 1853, he took the Empress Eugénie on a visit to the Petit Trianon of Marie-Antoinette whom she adored. A museum in homage to the Queen was opened here for the World Fair of 1867. Along with the habitual pomp of official ceremonies, the Emperor intended to use contemporary innovations: so the Marble Courtyard, the Hall of Mirrors and the Royal Opera House were illuminated by gas. The first photographs were taken in the Hall of Mirrors.

A ball was organised here with 1,200 guests. Four orchestras conducted by Strauss and Dufresne, and surrounded by flowers and potted shrubs, were positioned in the four corners of the room. Hundreds of chandeliers, candelabras and candle-stands were reflected in the mirrors. Great garlands of flowers hung from the vault. The men in tails and the women in crinolines sparkled with gold and diamonds. Napoléon III waltzed with Victoria, and Prince Albert with Eugénie. Then dinner followed in the Royal Opera House. The sovereigns were seated on the right of the royal box. The stalls had been cleared to make room for the tables of the guests. The chandeliers gleamed with hundreds of lights. A fireworks display was held after the dinner. Then a second ball began in the Hall of Mirrors, lasting until 3 am.

The festivities bore fruit: apart from the treaty of alliance for the Crimea, Victoria was to follow Napoléon III to Mexico. A 10-year trade treaty was signed in 1860. The Emperor had revived the diplomatic vocation of the Versailles of Louis XIV. The 20th century was to keep this lesson in mind.


The water colours though are beautiful and very delicate. Because 60% of them have not been seen beyond the album housed in Windsor they are as fresh as if painted yesterday. Lavish is the only word you could use to describe the spectacle that the hierarchy would have witnessed. It took place in the middle of the war in The Crimea and only goes to show how this imaginary world was divided.

I feel it’s about time now in 2016 that this idea of the rich noble and royal attitude to us and them was brought to a real conclusion. An end.


Most people could not afford to own an original piece of artwork by Picasso or Van Gogh, but having a copy of their masterworks wouldn’t be such a bad idea. This is where the idea of a lithograph comes into play. A lithograph is an authorized copy of an original work created by the artist himself or other skilled craftsmen. A lithograph is rarely worth more than the original artwork it reproduces, but if the print quality is excellent and the production numbers are low, it may still have significant value in the art world.

The printing process which creates a lithograph is different from other traditional methods. Most printing presses require the printmaker to etch an image or text into metal plates or physically carve out the image on blocks of wood or other soft material. To create a lithograph, however, no etching is required. The artist uses a set of greasy crayons or pencils to draw a mirrored image of the original artwork onto a smooth stone tablet. This is by far the most time-consuming part of the lithograph process.

After the image has been recreated to the satisfaction of the original artist or other authority, it is ready to be turned into a lithograph. The lithographic process hinges on the principle that oil and water cannot mix. An oil-based variety of ink is applied directly to the plate and immediately bonds with the equally greasy crayon lines. Water is then wiped onto the remaining unpainted areas to discourage the ink from smearing. A sheet of paper, preferably one with a high cotton content, is then placed over the entire plate.

The inked stone or metal plate and the paper are placed in a press and light pressure is used to transfer some of the ink. If the original image were a monochrome pen and ink drawing, this would be the only press run necessary. A color lithograph of an elaborate Van Gogh painting, however, might require several different runs with up to four different color inks — black, red, yellow and blue. The same paper would be placed precisely over the re-inked plates, eventually creating a satisfactory lithograph copy. This same process is used to create color pages in newspapers.

Since the process for creating a lithograph can be just as time-consuming and detailed as an original painting, printing runs are often kept low to preserve value. A signed lithograph may have a set of numbers expressed as a fraction on one corner, such as 12/300. This means that the lithograph was the twelfth one produced in a series limited to three hundred prints. Some famous artists, notably Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, were more than willing to authorize or create numerous lithographs during their lifetimes. Others are not always eager to see their work reproduced on a commercial scale, making it more difficult to find authorized lithographs from them.

There are other ways of duplicating original artwork for the commercial market, so never assume the Monet print in an art store is indeed a lithograph. Ask the proprietor to confirm the printing method used to recreate your favorite piece of artwork. A signed lithograph may have more collectible value, but the print quality itself can be variable. When it comes to buying art, it is most important to buy what you like, regardless of the printing method.

Lithography became popular after about 1820. Its great attraction was that drawing on stone was almost as natural as drawing on paper (compared to the older method of engraving a metal printing plate with sharp tool). Click on the pictures of lithographs at the bottom of this page to have a closer look at some. Here’s how it worked:
1) The artist would draw on a polished stone (usually limestone from a particular quarry in Bavaria) using a special, waxy lithographic crayon, pen or pencil.
2) The artist would roll black ink over the stone.
3) The ink would only stick to the wax, not the stone.
4) The stone would be pressed onto paper to print the image.
5) The artist would then color the print, either by by painting on water colors, or by using other printing stones to apply colored inks to selected parts of the picture (these prints are known as chromolithographs – the Victorians printmakers were superb at this).

Antique lithographs have a soft, natural appearance compared to prints made from metal plate engravings. The characteristic tiny speckles you see under a magnifying glass are due to the printing surface being limestone.

Chromolithography was invented in about 1830 and was the first true multi-color printing technique (previously color had to be hand painted). A printing stone was used for each color so highly colorful prints needed a lot of stones and a great deal of care in aligning them. The Victorians loved this method of printing because of the rich coloring that could be achieved. Have a look at some superb botanical chromolithographs by Jean Linden here.

Hand made lithographs had their heyday in the period from 1820-1900. Before that, engraving was used to make prints. After that, less expensive photomechanical printing techniques became widespread.


Because monotype printing allows considerable freedom in the approach to imagery, this is considered to be a very versatile method. The artist can decide to work positively or negatively, to use waterbased or oil based inks, to incorporate other materials or not.
Working positively means that the artist will put down imagery with brushes or rollers. Working negatively means that ink is removed with hands, rags, cotton swabs or anything pointed.
The directness of painting directly on the plate requires skills of drawing and painting as well as a sure hand and a considerable degree of spontaneity.

Materials and methods To make a monoprint or a monotype all you need is a plate and some ink. Plates can be of any type, as long as they are non porous. Plexiglass or thin sheets of metal such as copper or zinc, seem to work best, but you can also use the following materials

Heavyweight vinyl
Mylar or acetate
Discarded thin litho zinc or aluminium plates
Cardboard sealed with gesso or acrylic spray or glue
Glass (only used when handprinting)

Once you have a plate, just paint directly on it with etching or lithography inks using any kind of brush. After the image is painted, put the plate on a press bed, carefully place previously dampened paper and run your plate and paper through a press using light or moderate pressure.

Depending on the effects you want, you can use a variety of tools for painting the image; not only brushes, but also fingers, toothbrushes, foam brushes, sticks, sponges, feathers and anything that can scratch a plate such as needles, scissors or etching equipment.

Special effects can be achieved dabbing solvents such as mineral spirits or turpentine to your inked plate, allowing the solvent to dissolve the ink so as to create beautiful reticulate marks.

Another method of producing images allows to work negatively from dark to light by wiping off ink from the plate rather than adding it. First use a brayer to roll out a flat area of ink on the plate and then wipe away areas with a rag or cotton swabs and solvent to create lights and tones.
For textural effects, ink can be also removed with brushes, sponges or sticks just like Degas and Matisse used to do.

Another simple but effective method of producing monotypes seems to have been invented by Gauguin. This method, called direct trace drawing, produces a linear monotype that has a unique soft edged quality similar to the tone and line in soft ground etching. All you need to do is evenly ink a plate, place a piece of paper over the inked image area and then draw the image directly on the back of the paper, the lines drawn will be transferred and a reverse image produced. Massing lines together will produce darker areas while hand rubbing will create softer tones; by varying the pencil pressure and using different kinds of widths and hardnesses, different effects are obtained.

Using waterbased inks

Monoprionts can be created also by using water-soluble materials such as watercolors, crayons, watercolor pencils, watercolor felt tip pens or commercially produced monoprint inks (Akua-Kolor, Createx or Green Drop Inks).
Prior to drawing, the plate to be used (usually plexiglass) needs to be finely sanded and the edges bevelled. This will allow color to fix better on the plate and make drawing much easier. Using a sponge or small brayer apply a thin even coat of hand soap to the entire printing surface and allow it to dry. The soap will perform as a releasing agent and allow the colors to lift during printing.
Draw directly onto the surface of the plate with the water-soluble materials, letting the color dry for a few hours prior to printing. The paper to print on should be damp, but not excessively wet unless you want the colors to “run”. When printing, the moisture in the paper will reactivate the drawing materials, allowing for the transfer of the color to the paper. Run the plate through the press with moderate to heavy pressure. This will give you the best impression. Prior to removing the printed image. Check the impression quality by lifting the corner of the print and checking the image. If the impression is not satisfactory, lightly spray/sponge the back of the paper with water and run it through the press again. Repeat this until the image is of acceptable quality.
Collage monoprints
The term collage is not used in its traditional meaning; materials are not glued on the surface but are used on the paper either inked or not inked (only used to produce embossments on paper). Materials often used are cut or torn shapes from textured papers, lace, cloth, thin vinyl sheets, leaves, and even metal grating.

Chine Colle’

This method requires the use of two kinds of paper: one durable which serves as a base of the print and one which is really lightweight such as Japanese papers. The image is printed onto the Japanese paper which is glued on the more durable paper.


Magazine or newspaper images can be easily transferred to a print by the simple but effective frottage method. Any image, whether color or black and white can be used; better results can be obtained with recently printed materials.
To transfer an image onto paper, some thinner* is applied on the back of the image to print. This can be done with a blotter or with a few brushstrokes. This is then placed, image sude up, on top of a previously inked and wiped intaglio plate. The damp printing paper is laid on top and run through an etching press. Transferring an image from a magazine page can be obtained also by hand rubbing.

* The thinner is used to soften the printing ink on the newspaper
and that same ink will be transferred to the damp paper

Combination of techniques

The monotype is a technique used by many artists only as a transition for other work, such as Degas used to do. He first printed a monotype, then developed the image by drawing and painting over it with pastels, pencils, oil paint, watercolors or printing ink. When an image printed too heavily, Degas made a second impression of that same print by placing a new sheet of dampened paper over the just printed monotype. This would take away some of the color and a second lighter impression was the result which was also used to work on with inks, pastels or oils.


Collagraphy  is a printmaking process in which materials are applied to a rigid substrate (such as paperboard or wood). The word is derived from the Greek word koll or kolla, meaning glue, and graph, meaning the activity of drawing.

The plate can be intaglio-inked, inked with a roller or paintbrush, or some combination thereof. Ink or pigment is applied to the resulting collage, and the board is used to print onto paper or another material using either a printing press or various hand tools. The resulting print is termed a collagraph. Substances such as carborundum, acrylic texture mediums, sandpapers, textiles, bubble wrap, string or other fibres, cut card, leaves and grass can all be used in creating the collagraph plate. In some instances, leaves can be used as a source of pigment by rubbing them onto the surface of the plate.

Different tonal effects and vibrant colours can be achieved with the technique due to the depth of relief and differential inking that results from the collagraph plate’s highly textured surface. Collagraphy is a very open printmaking method. Ink may be applied to the upper surfaces of the plate with a brayer for a relief print, or ink may be applied to the entire board and then removed from the upper surfaces but remain in the spaces between objects, resulting in an intaglio print. A combination of both intaglio and relief methods may also be employed. A printing press may or may not be used.


Cortez The Killer

Neil Young

He came dancing across the water
With his galleons and guns
Looking for the new world
In that palace in the sun.

On the shore lay Montezuma
With his coca leaves and pearls
In his halls he often wondered
With the secrets of the worlds.

And his subjects
gathered ’round him
Like the leaves around a tree
In their clothes of many colors
For the angry gods to see.

And the women all were beautiful
And the men stood
straight and strong
They offered life in sacrifice
So that others could go on.

Hate was just a legend
And war was never known
The people worked together
And they lifted many stones.

They carried them
to the flatlands
And they died along the way
But they built up
with their bare hands
What we still can’t do today.

And I know she’s living there
And she loves me to this day
I still can’t remember when
Or how I lost my way.

He came dancing across the water
Cortez, Cortez
What a killer.


IN LIGHT: Illuminating Compton Verney
An autumn light spectacular

To mark the end of the 300th anniversary of landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in 2016 we are bringing his legacy to life through a light ‘spectacular’ this autumn.

Using stunning and ground-breaking technology this new interactive light commission entitled IN LIGHT: Illuminating Capability Brown’s Landscape, will be created by light artist Creatmosphere uniquely for us.


Our listed 18th century mansion, ‘Capability’ Brown Chapel and Bridge will be lit in vibrant ways for people to play and appreciate the magnificent architecture. There is an interactive element, where visitors will also be able to take over the light controls and light up various parts of the house and trees in exciting ways. Finally, an illuminated field of solar jars will be created during on-site workshops and displayed across the lawns. You can create these solar jars artworks, on the themes of water and leaves, using paper and luminescent paint.

Alongside IN-LIGHT there will be a wide range of fun activities such as light drawing, luminous yarn bombing.


Thursday 13th October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 13, 2016 by bishshat


All Along The Watchtower

Bob Dylan

“There must be some way out of here” said the joker to the thief
“There’s too much confusion”, I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.

“No reason to get excited”, the thief he kindly spoke
“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”.

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

Shooting Star

Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of you
You were trying to break into another world
A world I never knew
I always kind of wondered
If you ever made it through
Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of you

Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of me
If I was still the same
If I ever became what you wanted me to be
Did I miss the mark or overstep the line
That only you could see?
Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of me

Listen to the engine, listen to the bell
As the last fire truck from hell
Goes rolling by
All good people are praying
It’s the last temptation, the last account
The last time you might hear the sermon on the mount
The last radio is playing

Seen a shooting star tonight
Slip away
Tomorrow will be
Another day
Guess it’s too late to say the things to you
That you needed to hear me say
Seen a shooting star tonight
Slip away


Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize in Literature

Hannah Ellis-Petersen and Alison Flood

Singer-songwriter takes award for ‘having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition’
For more than six decades he has remained a mythical force in music, his gravelly voice and poetic lyrics musing over war, heartbreak, betrayal, death and moral faithlessness in songs that brought beauty to life’s greatest tragedies.

But Bob Dylan’s place as one of the world’s greatest artistic figures was elevated further on Thursday when he was named the surprise winner of the Nobel prize in literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

After the announcement, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Sara Danius, said it had “not been a difficult decision” and she hoped the academy would not be criticised for its choice.

Live Bob Dylan wins 2016 Nobel prize in literature – live updates and reaction
The American singer songwriter Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel prize for literature
Read more
“We hoped the news would be received with joy, but you never know,” she said, comparing the songs of the American songwriter to the works of Homer and Sappho.

“We’re really giving it to Bob Dylan as a great poet – that’s the reason we awarded him the prize. He’s a great poet in the great English tradition, stretching from Milton and Blake onwards. And he’s a very interesting traditionalist, in a highly original way. Not just the written tradition, but also the oral one; not just high literature, but also low literature.”

Though Dylan is considered by many to be a musician, not a writer, Danius said the artistic reach of his lyrics and poetry could not be put in a single box. “I came to realise that we still read Homer and Sappho from ancient Greece, and they were writing 2,500 years ago,” she said. “They were meant to be performed, often together with instruments, but they have survived, and survived incredibly well, on the book page. We enjoy [their] poetry, and I think Bob Dylan deserves to be read as a poet.”

Born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1941, Dylan got his first guitar at the age of 14 and performed in rock’n’roll bands in high school. He adopted the name Dylan, after the poet Dylan Thomas, and, drawn to the music of Woody Guthrie, began to perform folk music.

He moved to New York in 1961, and began performing in the clubs and cafes of Greenwich Village. His first album, Bob Dylan, was released in 1962, and he followed it up with a host of albums now regarded as masterpieces, including Blonde on Blonde in 1966, and Blood on the Tracks in 1975.

He is regarded as one of the most influential figures in contemporary popular culture, though his music has always proved divisive. Speaking last year, Dylan said: “Critics have been giving me a hard time since day one.”

His own response to receiving the prize is unknown. He rarely gives interviews, and has a troubled relationship with the fame attached to his decades of popularity. However, he has toured almost non-stop since 1988 and last weekend he played the inaugural Desert Trip festival in California, alongside other giants of the 1960s, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Paul McCartney and Neil Young.

Among the musical, literary and even academic communities, respected figures expressed their delight at Dylan’s Nobel prize. The author Salman Rushdie told the Guardian he was delighted with Dylan’s win and said his lyrics had been “an inspiration to me all my life ever since I first heard a Dylan album at school”.

“The frontiers of literature keep widening, and it’s exciting that the Nobel prize recognises that,” Rushdie said. “I intend to spend the day playing Mr Tambourine Man, Love Minus Zero/No Limit, Like a Rolling Stone, Idiot Wind, Jokerman, Tangled Up in Blue and It’s a Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.”

Musician Jarvis Cocker said Dylan was a “great choice” and highlighted the 1963 track Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright as a personal favourite. “It’s a great break-up song: he’s making light of it but one or two little digs show that he is actually a bit upset,” Cocker said. “I think Dylan’s sense of humour is often overlooked.”

Prof Seamus Perry, chair of the English faculty at Oxford University, compared Dylan’s talent to that of the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, calling the songwriter “representative and yet wholly individual, humane, angry, funny and tender by turn; really, wholly himself, one of the greats”.

The former poet laureate Andrew Motion said the prize was “a wonderful acknowledgement of Dylan’s genius. For 50 and some years he has bent, coaxed, teased and persuaded words into lyric and narrative shapes that are at once extraordinary and inevitable.”

Author Joyce Carol Oates said there should be no question about Dylan’s work being considered literature, praising the academy’s “inspired and original choice”.

“His haunting music and lyrics have always seemed, in the deepest sense, literary,” she said.

The writer Will Self, however, called on Dylan to follow the example of the French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre and turn down the prize.

“My only caveat about the award is that it cheapens Dylan to be associated at all with a prize founded on an explosives and armaments fortune, and more often awarded to a buggins whose turn it is than a world-class creative artist,” Self said. “Really, it’s a bit like when Sartre was awarded the Nobel – he was primarily a philosopher, and had the nous to refuse it. Hopefully Bob will follow his lead.”

Not everyone was overjoyed by the announcement, however. Irvine Welsh, the author of Trainspotting, said that although he was a Dylan fan “this is an ill-conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies”.

The novelist Hari Kunzru was equally sceptical. “This feels like the lamest Nobel win since they gave it to Obama for not being Bush,” he said.

The winner of the prize is chosen by the 18 members of the academy, who look for “the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”, according to Alfred Nobel’s will.

The prize was expected to be announced last week, in the same week as the science medals, and the delay prompted speculation that the panel could not agree on a winner – though this was rebuffed by Danius.

Danius advised those unfamiliar with the work of Dylan to start with the 1966 album Blonde on Blonde. “It’s an extraordinary example of his brilliant way of rhyming, putting together refrains, and his pictorial way of thinking,” she said. When she was young, Danius admitted, she was “not really” a Dylan fan, preferring the works of David Bowie. “Perhaps it’s a question of generation – today I’m a lover of Bob Dylan,” she said.

Major writers believed to have been in the running for the award included the Kenyan Ngugi wa Thiong’o, the American Don DeLillo and the Japanese author Haruki Murakami. At Ladbrokes, where the singer was at 16/1 from 50/1 when betting was suspended, the spokesman Alex Donohue said “a lot of people scoffed when his odds came in to 10/1 from 100/1 in 2011. Looks like there was something blowin’ in the wind after all.”


Mr. Tambourine Man

Bob Dylan

Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.
Though I know that evenin’s empire has returned into sand
Vanished from my hand
Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping
My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming.

Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin’ ship
My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip
My toes too numb to step, wait only for my boot heels
To be wanderin’
I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way
I promise to go under it.

Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

Though you might hear laughin’, spinnin’ swingin’ madly across the sun
It’s not aimed at anyone, it’s just escapin’ on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facin’
And if you hear vague traces of skippin’ reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time, it’s just a ragged clown behind
I wouldn’t pay it any mind, it’s just a shadow you’re
Seein’ that he’s chasing.

Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.


The Times They Are A-Changin

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.


Forever Young

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.


My Back Pages

Crimson flames tied through my ears
Rollin’ high and mighty traps
Pounced with fire on flaming roads
Using ideas as my maps
“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I
Proud ‘neath heated brow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now.

Half-cracked prejudice leaped forth
“Rip down all hate,” I screamed
Lies that life is black and white
Spoke from my skull, I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers
Foundationed deep, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now.

Girls’ faces formed the forward path
From phony jealousy
To memorizing politics
Of ancient history
Flung down by corpse evangelists
Unthought of, thought, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now.

A self-ordained professor’s tongue
Too serious to fool
Spouted out that liberty
Is just equality in school
“Equality,” I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now.

In a soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I’d become my enemy
In the instant that I preach
My existence led by confusion boats
Mutiny from stern to bow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now.

Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats
Too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now.


Masters Of War

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly.

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain.

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion’
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud.

You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins.

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do.

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.

And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand over your grave
‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead.

Wednesday 12th October 2016

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on October 12, 2016 by bishshat