The Reading Rooms

The Reading RoomsSea air, art and reading.  Margate, UK.  November 2016.


START – Saatchi Gallery, London

Hexagon I - Ensemble
Showcasing young galleries and new artists from around the world, START continues the collaboration between The Saatchi Gallery, Parallel Contemporary Art and Prudential, who together aim to support emerging artists from Asia and elsewhere, giving them a global platform here in London.  A celebration of diversity and creativity around the world.  June 2014.

Featured: A Hidden Order, Hexagon I – Ensemble, exploring the relationship between traditional Islamic art and Western contemporary musical composition.  Sama Mara and Lee Westwood,

Istanbul footfall

Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul - IstiklalWith a population of 14 million, Istanbul is the largest urban agglomeration in Europe, second largest in the Middle East, and fifth largest city in the world.  Transcontinental, astraddle the shimmering yet hard-working Bosphorus – whilst the commercial and historical centre lies in Europe, a third of its population lives across the strait in Asia.  3 million place a foot on the main Beyoğlu artery – İstiklal (Independence) Avenue – on any given day: equivalent to more than a fifth of the population.

For a view looking back, into the history and conflicting dynamics of a nation with Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman roots, which is secular by State as well as diverse by religion and culture, try Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul, Memories and the City.  For the view ahead, try the Istanbul Modern, whose curation illustrates the nation’s multi-faceted influences through the lens of recent artistic movements, through to Contemporary interpretations of the challenges faced as Turkey evolves, pivotal between East and West.

The city’s also pretty handy if you’re experiencing Asia withdrawal symptoms, which can be rectified simply by hopping on a ferry.  May 2014.

Sydney – The long way home

You will what you imagineSydney HarbourSydney Harbour SwimmingSydney HarbourSydney Harbour

Sydney Opera HousePaddington Houses

Sydney Opera HouseSwimming under the Harbour Bridge itself; the Bondi to Coogee cliff walk; the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, for the 19th Biennale of Sydney (theme: I’m not sure); and the wrought iron balconies and faded shutters of Paddington.  A buzzing city of contrasts – of open air and sky scrapers, anthropology in evidence and art that questions the future, of city bars and beach walks, of nature and steel.  March 2014.