Sculptor Emily Young

My favourite retreat in St. James’s at the moment is the Southwood Garden next to St. James’s Church, Piccadilly, because Emily Young’s sculptures are there, until January 2018.  The garden is always deep shady green and restful, but now it is framed by silent stone heads with flowing hair, and they look as old as eternity and, in their striated …

Harland Miller

Fill giant white walls with bright colours and big words on painted book covers and I’m hooked.  Like most people, I’ve probably come across Harland Miller’s work in the past but paid more attention to the faux Penguin book titles than the artist’s name.  But then Miller has also liked to style himself as “International Lonely Guy” and that man …

Richard and Maria Cosway

 The story of the London public’s initial exposures to art is a crazy, odd one that I’m still exploring, and on this exploration I’ve come across an intriguing artistic couple, Richard Cosway (1742-1821) and Maria Cosway (1760-1838).  Richard Cosway was Britain’s first and one-and-only superstar celebrity miniaturist.  He was considered an overdressed “Macaroni”, and could be often sighted in a …

Retail Love

Last Friday I was in Jermyn Street earlier than usual because, rather than arriving in time   for the late afternoon tours of the street I have recently started giving, I had an appointment to take a tour with the archivist of Fortnum and Mason, Dr. Andrea Tanner.  I wound up learning more than I expected from this tour, not just …

St. James’s Hotel

One of my ridiculously fond hopes is that, some day in the distant future, I will be able to walk down Jermyn Street and know the history of every address, going back to the seventeenth century.  Just to stand before a space, regardless of whether a particular old building is still there, and know that in that space so-and-so sang …

This Tour Guide Can’t Stop Researching

I am really delighted and excited at present, and a little overwhelmed, because this odd street tour of mine is becoming ever so surely a grand passion.  I just feel it.  I’ve given three tours now of Jermyn Street, each one so different, and none of them allowing time to say all that I’ve learned, each one throwing up new …

Fire and Dance

I have a lot to learn about devising drama and, even more, devising dance.  But I took a little step in that direction yesterday, when I sat down for a fabulous chat with Laura Farnworth, dramaturg for The Print Room’s upcoming production where dance realizes the qualities of fire.  It’s called Ignis, the latin word for fire, and here it is the …

Jermyn Street History

I have this idea — not original, not new, but still, an idea that feels so deeply my own that I can’t shake it and have to act on it.  Yet I’ve had the idea for over eight months and am only now getting around to clearing the decks and saying to myself, “It matters enough to you to do …

A new Christmas

It’s Christmas eve, and nothing’s on, yet somehow everything’s on, in that, in the momentary pause between scheduled theatrical productions and deadlines for funding applications, there is time to consider why in the world I am doing what I’m doing and should I do more.  There is, moreover, time to think about my first Christmas in twenty years outside the …

Fundraising and Doubts and Certainties

It’s mid-week and I make it a rule only to blog on weekends but I missed last weekend due to an excess of … well, nothing important.  And so now, when I’d rather dwell on something arty and warm, I find myself feeling, no, trying not to feel, frustrated about having to recruit for the Newton Circle Project when I’m not certain …