Recent Post -  Patmos Garden From the Archives Desert Island Discs

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

DANCE: Sidi Larbi Cherkaou

DAMN !....I HAVE MISSED Sidi Larbi Cherkaou at Sadler's Wells .....the dancing looks astonishing on Internet clips and his talent burnishes !

Must catch him ASAP.

Friday, 26 April 2013

POETRY: Poems of the Late T'ang

(Li Shang-yin, translated and paraphrased by A C Graham)

The brocade curtains have just rolled back. Behold the Queen of Wei.
Still he piles up the embroidered quilts, Prince O in Yüeh.
Drooping hands disturb, tip over, pendants of carved jade:
Snapping waists compete in the dance, fluttering saffron skirts.
Shih Ch’ung’s candles — but who would clip them?
Hsün Yü’s braziers, where no incense fumes.
I who was given in a dream the brush of many colours
Wish to write on petals a message to the clouds of the morning.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Sunday, 21 April 2013

ARCHITECTURE: Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, Virginia, USA

Without question one of the world's most agreeable houses.

Entrance Hall
South Side of Monticello
Architectural Details

Jefferson's Study
Entrance Door, West Portico 

One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old slave Sally Hemings. JEFFERSON IN PARIS follows Jefferson to France (as the U.S. ambassador to the court of Louis XVI), following the death of his wife his friendships and flirtations with the French, his relationship with his daughters and slaves from home (especially Sally), against the backdrop of the beginning of the French Revolution.

Friday, 19 April 2013


A JS designed kitchen which has not got the 'in your face' brutality of slick stainless steel, nor has it the passive aggression stance of 'the country kitchen'  Note the a large chopping board counter top in the foreground.  Equally handsome is to paint the vertical white supports and the base of the cupboards in green or blue, etc.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

FABRICS: Black and White

JS Jaisilmir in Charcoal from the Passepartout Collection
 [Photo: Courtesy of the Firmdale Hotel group] 

John Stefanidis Fabrics available from:

LondonUK - Tissus d'Helene
Showroom: Chelsea HarbourLondonSW10 0XF
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7352 9977

MiamiUSA - Monica James
Showroom: 40 NE 40th StreetMiamiFL 33137
Phone: + 1 305-576-6222

Los AngelesUSA – Harbinger
Showroom: 752 North La Cienega Blvd,West HollywoodCA 90069
Phone: +1 310 858 6884

Monday, 15 April 2013


Hopeless [1963]
Place de Furstenberg, Paris - in the foreground, a table by the artist Allen Jones and behind, a soft sculpture of a seated figure by Aeppli, on the wall, a blown up 1930's Art Deco motif by Lichtenstein.

[from John Stefanidis Rooms]  

Go see the Lichtenstein retrospective at the Tate Modern ...until May 13, 2013

Saturday, 13 April 2013

BOOKS: The Life of Objects by Susanna Moore

My friend, the writer, Polly Devlin wrote:

...I loved Susanna's book.. she is a master of prose, and there's always a slightly sadistic undertow to her delicacy… she understands the psychic wound.. I thought it an exemplary work…an important social document and  an imaginative work of the highest order...she got the the Irish  girl in  an extraordinary way-- Kate O'Brien wrote a novel in the 50's -- Mary Lavelle -- about a beautiful  Irish  girl - a governess--caught up in events in Spain which had some of the same qualities but  O'brien was Irish to her core (lesbian, which the Irish didn't like, (well, like is not the word, they were incredulous) so her books were banned. Hey ho. But then so were Edna"s…..). Joan Didion once--or maybe more than once--- has said that style is character …and what a character Susanna is-- no-one like her.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

TRAVEL: Italy, Bologna

On the pilgrim's path to Jerusalem, the ancient Santo Stefano complex of churches.  A cock on its column, made of stone and dating back to the 14th century,  is a biblical reference to Saint Peter's denial of Christ. 

Palazzo Bevilacqua, lived in by the same family who built it between 1477 and 1482.



Clockwise: 'Statue of a recumbent woman (Venerina - Little Venus), around 1782; Model of the 'Bien Aime', a third-rate ship, 18th century; Nicolo dell'Abate 'The tarot card game', 1550-1552; Frederick de Wit, 'Nova totjus terrarum orbis tabula', copper engraving, Amsterdam, 1705-1706.

Ceilings in the University

Atlas in Bologna ............................... Atlas in Paris

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

COMMENT: The Elephant Family charity

Made and auctioned for charity, Mark Shand's The Elephant Family, which protects Asian elephants and their habitat.  My elephant called Naveen found a happy home............ but where?

Sunday, 7 April 2013

POETRY: Vers de Société by Philip Larkin

My wife and I have asked a crowd of craps
To come and waste their time and ours: perhaps
You’d care to join us? In a pig’s arse, friend.
Day comes to an end.
The gas fire breathes, the trees are darkly swayed.
And so Dear Warlock-Williams: I’m afraid—

Funny how hard it is to be alone.
I could spend half my evenings, if I wanted,
Holding a glass of washing sherry, canted
Over to catch the drivel of some bitch
Who’s read nothing but Which;
Just think of all the spare time that has flown

Straight into nothingness by being filled
With forks and faces, rather than repaid
Under a lamp, hearing the noise of wind,
And looking out to see the moon thinned
To an air-sharpened blade.
A life, and yet how sternly it’s instilled

All solitude is selfish. No one now
Believes the hermit with his gown and dish
Talking to God (who’s gone too); the big wish
Is to have people nice to you, which means
Doing it back somehow.
Virtue is social. Are, then, these routines

Playing at goodness, like going to church?
Something that bores us, something we don’t do well
(Asking that ass about his fool research)
But try to feel, because, however crudely,
It shows us what should be?
Too subtle, that. Too decent, too. Oh hell,

Only the young can be alone freely.
The time is shorter now for company,
And sitting by a lamp more often brings
Not peace, but other things.
Beyond the light stand failure and remorse
Whispering Dear Warlock-Williams: Why, of course—

Friday, 5 April 2013

BOOKS: Vie rêvée by Thadée Klossowski de Rola

Poetic, amusing - some gossip - the story of a love affair
At present only available in French

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

LIVING BY DESIGN: 1970's Minimalism


Polyurethane columns by Millington-Drake, Post-Modernist painter Malcolm Morley - 'Vermeer's The Artist in his Studio'................. The rough surface walls were painted with brooms in full circular strokes the length of an arm.

Dining Table detail showing painted walls

Monday, 1 April 2013

ART: Frederico Barocci [1528-1612] at The National Gallery, London

This exhibition is a joy to visit.

Barocci is not well known, the underground rooms can be claustrophobic but, with fewer people, it was a pleasure to look at the pictures without feeling you are pushing and shoving! 

The painter, from Urbino, a pupil of Raphael's, painted quiet and beautiful pictures - not an ugly face to be seen.  

 The Entombment [1597-82], the dead Christ being carried in a sheet is a picture of great sadness and sweetness.  

The Madonna of the Cat [1575] shows St. John the Baptist and the baby Jesus as cherubic, adorable and in no way sentimental.  A painter of great sensitivity - his self-portrait is haunting. He paints fabric gloriously while avoiding all dandyism in dress or attitude

A powerful and touching painting of Aeneas fleeing Troy  [1598] carrying his father.

Do go! Until May 19, 2013