Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Coals to Newcastle

I'm back from a few days in Switzerland, where I'd been working at the vast Art Basel fair, and where business seems to suggest that the economic uncertainty of the past few years never happened. The park at Claramatte (above) is just around the corner from the exhibition halls, and filled with families and children that make me miss home in London.

Heading home, I'm going through security at the airport before I realise, too late, that I haven't transferred my penknife from my hand luggage into my suitcase. They pick it up on the scan, as they should, and then they take it from me, also as they should.

But I'd had that knife for years, a gift from Ms S. The irony is, of course, that it is Swiss customs that take from me my dear old Swiss army knife. As if they didn't have enough.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Online at BBC Your Paintings

The first 63,000 paintings from the nation's public collections have just gone online on the BBC Your Paintings website (see update below). My painting, which found its way into the Hampshire County Council Contemporary Art Collection some time after I sold it at my degree show in 1988, is among them. You can see it here.

It's still being called An Island Near the Shore on the Your Paintings website for now, a name given to it, I expect, by the mysterious A Smitt, who was credited with the work for too long. I'm hoping that it will soon return to the title I originally gave it, after due consideration and contemplation: Untitled.

I gather that the painting hung for many years in the main reception area of Hampshire County Council in Trafalgar House, Winchester, until the building closed last year, and is now in Hampshire House, Eastleigh, which is used for Children's Services staff and public meetings. I'd quite like to pop in and pay it a visit sometime. I bet A Smitt never did that.

Update: it has now been captioned correctly and BBC Your Paintings has become Art UK. Still no news of A Smitt though.