Sunday, 28 November 2010

Going Japanese - part one

I'm in Japan this week - part work and part art project. Wandering around Tokyo today, we came across an avenue of very old Ginkgo trees just before they lose their striking yellow leaves. The leaves are unique among seed plants, being fan-shaped with veins radiating out into the leaf blade, sometimes bifurcating (splitting) but never anastomosing to form a network.

The art clubs were out in force

The experienced and .... the not so experienced ...

Christmas is also on its way with most shops playing some strange selection of jazz or easy listening carols. My favourite so far was a flute and sax heavy version of Last Christmas.

There is no graffiti and little litter - so to find a subversive artist at work on a light on one of the walkways was exciting.

Despite the hype the metro is fast, clean and easy to navigate out of rushhour - most passengers sleep between stops and I haven't worked out yet how they wake up at their stop.

Some sleepers also combine it with the face mask look.

Perhaps the thing that surprises you most is the smell of cigarette smoke in the restaurants - a fllashback to the 80's. Good also to see sex still being used to sell the product - this poster seen on one of the many automated street dispensers.

We were whisked back to reality when we witnessed the emptying of the stub bins ...

More Japanese images when we go to Kobe and Kyoto later this week.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Building an installation

Had great fun balancing pieces of wood onto delicate pipettes

Built a DNA double helix out of old rope and long plastic pipettes

And fixed it to the ground with various other laboratory finds

Added in a reindeer hide and old typewriter for good measure

Finally, when it was all getting too much, took a hammer to a set of drawers ..

By the end of the week it was all a bit of a blur.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

DNA laboratory trip

My boating friend is also a genetic scientist - it is rocket science - and asked me if I'd like to help him clear out an old DNA lab .
Entrance to the lab ...

Some very exciting kit

and some strange signs

A car load of goodies later, I shipped it all in to college and started on building an installation. Here are some images from the first week.

More next week ...

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Boating on the river

More boating this weekend - here are some images
Girls up front as we cruise through Richmond upon Thames

We all admired this boat

Amazing autumnal colours
Duck and dive.