Bayswater Pear – Plea for a Pear Tree

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Your ref: 14/02608/FULL/Anna Mayers

Dear Sirs

37 Newton Road, London W2 5JR

Proposed removal of pear tree

I object to the proposed felling of the pear tree.

This is a mature, beautiful and historically important tree, whose loss would not only greatly harm the visual amenity, character and appearance of the Westbourne Conservation Area but also sadly diminish the country’s cultural stock.

The proposed replacement birch tree would not adequately compensate for this loss, as a birch tree is not on a par with this historically significant pear tree.

Yours faithfully

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Plea For a Tree

Development Planning
City of Westminster
Westminster City Hall
64 Victoria Street

Plea for a Tree f improf 255x365 Plea For a TreeI object to the application for the removal of the Pear Tree in the back garden of 37 Newton Road, W2 5JR.
I love this Pear Tree; every morning I look at it from out of the window to see how it is. It hurts me to see it mistreated (in the past couple of years some savage “pruning” has been inflicted on it – inept tree surgery – which to put right and repair the damage caused by the previous cutting back has removed the south-facing leaf canopy to expose the moss and lichen on the main branches and trunk to the full force of the sun for the first time in decades).
To think of this venerable tree being wantonly cut down breaks my heart.
I do not own this tree, it was growing there before I was born and if tended to and cared for could be growing there after I die.
The present owners of the Pear Tree want to kill it now for the sake of the studio/study they mean to build at the bottom of the garden. A house, independent of the main residence, with its door opening onto the next street. The perception some people I have spoken to have is that this is clearly an investment opportunity which maximises the assets that the property can realise. Continue reading

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Identity Parade

Getting to know you

Aldous in Casa Pessoa show f improf 256x341 Identity ParadeFrom the beginning, long before I started making portraits of Fernando Pessoa, critics have been saying that my work looks as though it has been painted by a number of different artists. Although personally I never find a problem with the concept of working in a diversity of idiom, it is generally expected of artists, by critics and public alike, that they should acquire and develop a singular style, without really deviating from it.  So when I discovered Fernando Pessoa, through my friend Zbigniew Kotowicz writing a book about him, I was fascinated to learn the way Pessoa wrote, using his heteronyms. There are two things about this which struck me as significant, firstly the business of becoming a character, like a method actor, who then writes as his new personality dictates. Secondly, how outwardly there’s no change. No matter who he becomes and whichever author he is writing as, Pessoa’s physical appearance, the style of his dress hardly varies; the cut of his suit is always of a man in society, never of an outsider. The few photographs there are of Fernando Pessoa provide little clue to his inner life but they ground the iconography and form the image which remains – reserved, discreet and dapper.  At the time this was the modernist way; to dress in strict bourgeois fashion while producing wild and shocking art. Continue reading

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Warping in Lisbon

Warping on Water, our film about Istanbul is going to Fabrica in Lisbon. I am taking painted stills from the film (dubbed photos) remade specially for show, 31 pictures painted on two continuous rolls of photographic paper, 6 m & 8 m in length.  

photo 7 e1375880650956 f improf 312x233 Warping in Lisbon 

I shall also be showing my motion-painting films; “A Brush with Manhattan”; “Short Stretch of the Thames”; and “Aldous in Istanbul” 

The exhibition opens Wednesday September 4th. and runs until Sept. 28th 

Espaço Expositivo da Fábrica Braço de Prata

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Identity Parade – Film of the exhibition at Casa Fernando Pessoa, Lisbon

For six months, between October 2013 and March 2014, my drawings of the poet came out of the box they live in, pressed together, stored away, to get an airing.  Which they did, flying in style, thanks to the help ‘n’ advice I got from  Flints Theatrical Chandlers. I needed it!  They were very patient.  I wanted to rig 6 m. high columns of drawings diagonally across the middle of the gallery – to make all the use of the space as I could – without drilling into the ceiling.

It worked out okay.  With Eimear and Michael working 18-hour days! It happened.  Now it’s come down and the exhibition is a memory I am working on a short, 10 min, film about it.  I’m being helped by a host of people, Julien came to Lisbon to film, Andrew showing me, time and again, what to do, Dave looking at the sound, Sara editing every evening after work for weeks…, months – it takes an unbelievably long time, this film-making lark.

It’s beginning to get there, trying to do a couple of things in the production a bit differently, which I hope, in the end, will work, but really it’s the two audiences for the film who are different – either people who have never heard of Fernando Pessoa and, if they have, who know very little about him, or the people for whom he needs no introduction, but are interested to see what this artist has made of the subject.  Hope to have it done in the next three to four weeks.  Then we’ll see!



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December 2012

Was back in Rome in early December, with students for two days and on my own for another three days, drawing. Filled a couple of sketchbooks (one, long and thin, and the other, big and square) as well as a folded-sheet, which turned out quite well. Happy to say, one of the better ones; the way the drawings relate and interconnect across the page. Partly, because I was using different materials to picture the scenes, the rhythm of textures and spaces (between the drawings) happen to weave an interrupted optical pattern over the surface, which together with the changing near-and-far viewpoints, all chance to strike the intriguing visual balance we like the folded sheets to have. Continue reading

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George Noskov, Russian poet

November 2012

My friend, George Noskov, had five of his short plays performed at Teatro Technis in Camden Town, London. I got a call from the director, George Eugeniou, when the plays were already in rehersal, asking if I would be able to put some drawings up as a little exhibition in the theatre foyer. Possibly some portraits of the poet? Invited over to talk about it; I turned up while the actors were in full swing, and being signalled to go over to sit next to the director on the couch in the middle of the room, I watched a run-through of two of the plays. Then, calling a break the director introduced me to the company as an artist…, who’s kindly going to hang some pictures etc etc .., and a very good friend of Noskov who will now tell you all about him.     Eh!? That woke me. Continue reading

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cows 12 300x203 BullWent to draw livestock in Bucks. A day of big adventure, for some, in that (not so quiet) spot in the country.cows1 150x101 Bull

Stepped off the country bus between Reading and High Wycombe deep in rural England.  I’d been looking vainly out the window of both the train, between London and Reading, and the bus, as it bounced along the narrow lanes, for herds of cows in the fields. Where do you find one when you want one? They appeared to be as rare as hen’s teeth – but, as the bus drew away, there in front of me, across the road in a farmyard, was a herd of “entires” – young fellers with their tackle intactcows 6 150x102 Bull.

I came to be in that spot because I’d mentioned to Stephanie I was looking for a big, ol’ bull to draw and she had done some detective work. Remembering she had read in a newspaper article a reference to a herd of pedigree cattle. She busied herself, pinpointed its location, found out how to get there and packed me off the first fine day that came along. We had to wait weeks and weeks, the weather’s been so bad recently. Continue reading

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Kunstgruppe Cologne

At Salon Schmitz for the hanging of the annual exhibition. Many hands make light work, but there were so many at it, Walter Dahn and his teams of helpers, that I simply stood at  the side and drew them all working.

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Edward Lear

Visited Edward Lear’s world for an exhibition at the Poetry Society to mark his 200th birthday. Discovered what an extraordinary life and wide world he travelled and painted.

I had forgotten how closely my street drawings follow his tradition of topographic art, and also, how innocent his nonsense is …,The Bug with a Fiddle

When asked if I’d contribute to the show by my friend, Andrew Baker, who organised the exhibition with his wife, Linda, I began to sketch ideas, until I’d fished out a book of his, with what I quickly and shame-facedly realised was a false memory of his work.Elvislookalikia Contesta

Lear suffered from terrible depressions and, perhaps because of that, there is no hint of darkness in his nonsense. Stephanie bought an Edwardian edition of his Book of Botanical Nonsense to give me for my birthday and I took it with me to Cologne to work from.DJ Sparrow

Cow knitting jumpers with a penguin

Tortoise Traffic Cop and Halting Hare 1

Tortoise Traffic Cop Halting Hare 2

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