I went to an art exhibition last week at yer actual Royal Academy (as we refer to it in yer actual East End). It is called 'Souls Grown Deep Like the Rivers: Black Artists from the American South', it runs until mid-June, and it is well worth going to if you get the chance.
I originally found out about the exhibition because it features work by Lonnie Holley whose music and recent gig I was raving about here back in March. Mr Holley is just one of over 30 different artists whose work is featured. I have put a selection of my photos up over on Flickr if anyone is interested.
The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures (a lot of which use what I believe is called in the trade 'found materials'), quilts and some things that are hard to categorise. There were a lot of really good pieces, but the one that stood out most for me was Thornton Dial's 'Blue Skies: The Birds that Didn't Learn How to Fly', with its obvious allusions to the sad history of the South.
In other culture news, I have been to a couple of gigs in the last two weeks - Lankum at the Barbican Hall and Spare Snare at The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington (formerly The Drop of Andrew Weatherall fame). Many thanks to JC for alerting me to the fact that the Snare were touring, I would never have found out otherwise.
Both were excellent, although for Lankum we were up in the balcony and a long way from the action. The same could not be said of Spare Snare. I was right down the front and very nearly lost my beer while avoiding the flailing arms of Jan Burnett. The stage literally could not hold him, partly because of his natural exuberance but mainly because its about the size of a doorstep and not designed for six people.
Both Lankum and Spare Snare have excellent new albums out - 'False Lankum' and 'The Brutal' respectively. Before you click on the links to go and buy the albums on Bandcamp, here is an oldie but goodie from each of them plus a suitably restrained video from Lonnie Holley.
"Hunting The Wren" - Lankum
"Bugs" - Spare Snare