Archive for Themes

Devastation near Faversham – a review of Brian Dillon’s “The Great Explosion” »

July 8th, 2015 | Posted in: Articles General, Heritage & History, Sheppey

Open this book at random and you might imagine it to be another example of the new nature writing. Dillon makes generous concessions to the genre, and not just in his description of the explosive ripples caused by a darting insect known as the pond-skater (helpfully identified as Gerris lacustri). Yet a stricter naturalist may still wonder when he lists so general a creature as “the woodpecker” among the birds to be found at the watery woodside to which he has brought us. Who is this unexpected guide, standing there with his old three-speed bicycle and an equally archaic Rolleiflex camera in his hand? …

The Piano Man – no ordinary scrounger »

May 6th, 2015 | Posted in: Articles General, Found Objects, Sheppey

Shortly after midnight on April 7, 2005, a young blond-haired man wearing a dark suit and white shirt was found wandering, dripping wet and distressed near a beach at Minster on the Isle of Sheppey in North Kent…

“I can’t help it if I’m lucky” »

January 18th, 2013 | Posted in: Art & its applications, Articles General

From “Of Cabbages and Kings”, Journal of King’s English Literary Society” (King’s College London), Issue 6, December 2012.

“Isles of Wonder” – some thoughts on the Little World of the London Olympics »

June 28th, 2012 | Posted in: Articles General, Englishness and British national identity, Heritage & History

Publication of the first images of the set for Danny Boyle’s opening extravaganza for the Olympics prompted me to write this article for Our Kingdom, published on 22 June 2012.

“To Dispel a Great Malady: Robinson in Ruins, the Future of Landscape and the Moving Image »

May 11th, 2012 | Posted in: Articles General, Heritage & History, Politics

This article, co-written with Stephen Daniels, Patrick Keiller, Doreen Massey and Anderew Flintham, describes a collaborative project conducted under the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s “Landscape and Environment” programme. It was published in Tate Papers 17 on 11 May 2012. The main outcome was Keiller’s film “Robinson in Ruins”. For more information see here…

Art historian, wild mushroom hunter, curator, bee-keeper, independent film-maker – a few otherwise lost words about Timothy Neat: »

October 22nd, 2011 | Posted in: Articles General, Englishness and British national identity, Heritage & History, Music

I spent part of last summer writing a long review of Timothy Neat’s two volume biography of Hamish Henderson, the poet and campaigner who made such a profound contribution to the Scottish folk revival in the 1950s and 1960s. The review appears in the London Review of Books, issue dated 3 November 2011.

Emanuel Litvinoff (5 May 1915 – 24 September 2011) »

October 5th, 2011 | Posted in: Articles General, Literature, London

I think it was in 1992 that I first met Emanuel Litvinoff. I had for some time been aware of his marvellous memoir of Jewish Whitechapel, Journey Through a Small Planet (1972), but I had never found a way of including a discussion of it in the book I was writing about East London at […]

How to Hide – a conversation on Resonance FM’s “The Thread” »

March 22nd, 2011 | Posted in: Articles General, Potemkinism and Camouflage

“The Thread” is a series of discussions run by the London Consortium on Resonance 104.4fm. This programme, entitled “How to Hide” and broadcast on 22 March, was presented by James Wilkes and took the form of a conversation with Sophie Nield, Synnove Fredericks and myself – about camouflage and related matters.

On Living in a World of Facades: from Prince Potemkin’s villages to the Berlin Wall, Iraq and the Truman Show »

February 11th, 2011 | Posted in: Articles General, Potemkinism and Camouflage

A public lecture delivered at the Architectural Association in London on 8 February 2011.

“On the Continent the waiters have red hair” – Failures of the Modern ‘Discovery Mission’ »

January 9th, 2011 | Posted in: Articles General, Miscellaneous rigs of the time

Another reflection on the western travellers who crossed the Iron and Bamboo Curtains . . .