London 3 – And Finally…..!

Rosie says she can’t wait for Part 3 of our sojourn in London – and she doesn’t even know she features in this part!

Three more exhibitions to tell you about. That’ll take some time, won’t it? Not as long as you might think. First of all we saw the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Guide and you know I don’t like lots of portraits together. So that’s that one ticked off!

Then I went to see Vermeer and Music at the National Gallery. I love Dutch Golden Age paintings and Vermeer is my favouritist artist. Top of my bucket list is to see all the Vermeers in the world (with the possible exception of the one that got pinched from the Isabella Garner Museum in Boston). There were five Vermeers – two of the National Gallery’s own collection, one of the Queen’s, one from Kenwood House and the one which was sold recently to an American collector. I knew beforehand that there were no ‘new’ (i.e. unseen by me) Vermeers for me to tick off in my I Spy Vermeer book. What I hadn’t realised, even though I’d read a review of the exhibition, was that with the exception of one Gerard Dou painting which was from the Dulwich Gallery, all the other works that I saw were from the National Gallery’s collection which can normally be seen for free.

Which only leaves the third exhibition to tell you about. Regular readers will know that on these jollies in London we invariably eat in the Crypt of St Martins in the Field. I was looking forward to one of their veggie casseroley meals, but we arrived too late and had to settle for soup and a pudding. Still a good value, tasty meal but not a veggie casseroley thing. Regular readers will also know there is a little gallery in the Crypt which I always visit.

This time there was an exhibition called cARTographics. This what they said on the website:

“Annulus is carrying out an exhibition to challenge, explore and open a dialogue surrounding art related economies both human and fiscal. We propose to do this through cartography. Using the humble post it note via the most complex of technological innovations, the Internet.

“At the core of this exhibition lies the work of eight talented artists who will be showing their own artistic visions of the world map. These artworks will be concealed by post it notes, an iconic symbol of disposable information. This is where the next stage of the exhibition comes to fruition. For £8 a member of the public will be able to participate in this project. They will be invited to remove a post it note from the artwork and take it to one of the eight artists present in the gallery who will then transform it into a piece of in-disposable artwork, which the participant will entitle. It will then be mapped onto a website showing the location of every single buyer, post it note, title and artist. Thus in the act of purchasing, the participant is revealing an artistic interpretation of the process in which they are involved.”

It was a fascinating way of artists selling work. It cost me £10 (including £2 for a click frame) to be able to peel off a post-it-note from one of the art works. Kilwon An, one of the participating artists, then asked me what she wanted me to draw. I suggested her home but, as she lives in a small flat which she said wasn’t very interesting, I then asked if she had a pet. She used to have a cat until it ran away so she drew that.


As part of the project the drawing is photographed and then uploaded to the interweb thingy with the title chosen by the purchaser (that’s me!) I asked whereabouts on the World map it would be uploaded and was told they usually put it where your home is. I asked if, rather than Bolton, could it be uploaded to Varanasi in India. So if you click on this link, and then click on the square in the north-west of India you will see my drawing. (There is a lovely little video on the site giving you a virtual tour of the exhibition space at St Martins in the Field.)

Now, I have a problem! I chose to entitle my drawing “I Am Sparta Puss”. At the end of the project, a set of judges will select the best names and the purchasers of those post-it-notes will win one of the original eight art works. If I win, do I have to hand it over to Rosie Scribblah who is the owner of a cat called Sparta Puss or can I invoke the Picasso Clause “Great artists steal”?

Just to finish off, here are three cartoons I’ve recently come across which I thought you might enjoy. The pie chart is particularly apt:




About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website
This entry was posted in Art, Art Gallery, Artists, Cartoon, exhibition, Marketing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to London 3 – And Finally…..!

  1. I am so envious! I have not been to london for 7 years :-S

    • I’m not sure where you live. Mentally I have you in Wales near Rosie but not sure. We are blessed in the northwest with an excellent train service (every 20 minutes!) from Manchester to London with Virgin. If you book more than two weeks in advance directly on the Virgin site cheap tickets are to be had. Similarly we try to arrange trips around cheap deals at Travelodge or similar budget hotels. The expense usually comes with the ‘extras’ – exhibition catalogues, and original prints from the RA!

  2. paperstew says:

    I think Sparta’s head will explode from all the publicity! Or she will take it in stride and bring Rosie another dead critter. 🙂
    Very interesting show John. Thanks for your wonderful reports!

  3. I had a word with Sparta and she said ‘meh’ so I suppose it’s okay then 😉

  4. I love reading your exploits and find the post it idea fascinating. I had read about the Vermeer exhibition and decided not to go … I too love his paintings and have seen several of the few.

  5. Lou says:

    I’m from London (but have escaped to a country life) so glad I could get my fix of city life / art through you. Have subscribed and look forward to receiving your news to my inbox. x

    • Most blogging is not about London although we try to get down two or three times a year to catch the exhibitions. Today I went to an excellent exhibition – in Bolton! Will let you know about it shortly.

  6. Deniswhiteside says:

    Like it John , thought the last cartoon crayons would’ve had a purple craylet, maybe it’s the milkmans! Check the notes. In the crypt, d’you sink your fangs into juicy rare(very) steak at midnight? We’re off to the capital this month so we might take our cloaks!

  7. Pingback: cARTographies – A Postscript | notes to the milkman

  8. coastalcrone says:

    You always make me want to go back to London as I have not been there since 1995 so I appreciate your posts. I live in Texas. Thanks for the recent visit to my blog.

  9. starrybird says:

    Your blogs always provoke thought and make me smile – definition of a great blog!

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