Friday, January 15, 2016

Lumiere London festival of light

Lumiere London, a free festival of light in London, 14-17 Jan 2016. There are large lights across London. My photos don't do it justice -

Off Piccadilly Circus were the Luminéoles by Porté par le vent, huge floating dream-like creatures, each one controlled by one person.

Eléphantastic was really good, a hologram elephant under the arches high on a building in Regent St. This extraordinary animated projection brings the sounds of the jungle to Central London as he trumpets his way through the Regent Street area.

Piccadilly Circus -

The Garden of Light at Leicester Sq was particularly good. Giant illuminated plants, and even the real trees were tastefully lit.

 Behind is the cinema showing the premier of The Revenant -

Shakespeare's statue -

Trafalgar Sq didn't seem to have anything when I was there, although lights were scheduled. Also I missed the dogs in nearby Coutts, this picture from the lumiere page

It was a bitterly cold evening and although I was wrapped up well, I didn't stay too long, so I missed many more of the lights that are at various locations around central London.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Capitol Cinema / pub in Forest Hill

Following on from the comments posted by Law Siak Hong on my blog about David Bowie and the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, here is a blog about another old cinema in south London. It is actually a pub nowadays and one I have visited many times.

The Capitol on London Road in Forest Hill opened as a cinema in 1929. The first screening was 'Man, Woman and Sin'. The cinema was renamed the ABC in 1968 and the last picture show was in October 1973. There were plans to convert and even demolish the building. However, The Capitol opened as a bingo hall in February 1978, this lasted until  the December 1996. It opened as the JD Wetherspoon pub in 2001. Wetherspoon have taken over a few old buildings around the country to convert into their pubs.

The Art Deco building is quite elaborate but it is the inside that is rather stunning. As you enter the lobby, there is a hatched area on the right that was probably the old ticket office.

Steps lead up to the upper stalls which is now occupied with tables and chairs, and banquette booths against the walls. There are old photos on the walls.  The kitchen and toilets are located in this area.

Steps lead down into the main bar area which would have been the lower stalls. The bar is at the back, this would have been the old stage or screen area. Above the bar is an elaborate 'frieze' of what looks like little boy angels and Neptune. There is a proscenium arch over the bar. On each side of the bar are decorative arches. The room is filled with tables and chairs and more of the leather banquettes and there are a few game machines.

Running along the front of the upper circle is a series of heads of Ceres, a Roman goddess of agriculture, grain crops and fertility.

There are old pictures on the walls of the local area scenes from old movies. Quite a fascinating place!!

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

David Bowie, from Brixton & Beckenham

Music legend David Bowie died 10 Jan 2016. He was a real icon of British music and I grew up listening to his music, especially in the 1970s. "The Laughing Gnome", re-released in 1973 is a particular favourite, even though it was a novelty song, as it has memories for me.

David Bowie was born in Brixton and later lived in Beckenham. Both these places are just a few miles from where I lived with my parents. The media was absolutely full with the news of his death and there were many scenes on TV of the memorials to him, plus the all night party outside the Ritzy on the night of the 11th. So on 12th I went to see for myself.

Firstly I went to Brixton -

There were a lot of flower sellers-
Also a cancer charity had a few people who were collecting money, I found that a bit intrusive as they were asking people for donations. I then went to the Ritzy Cinema, aka Ritzy Picturehouse. This is one of south London's oldest picture palaces having opened in 1911. It has been renovated and is now the UK's largest independent specialist cinema with five screens.

Then I went on to Beckenham -

This building used to be The Three Tuns pub, where David Bowie used to perform before he was famous. The pub closed some time ago and is currently a restaurant

RIP David Bowie.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Project Tobong from Java

 Ketroprak Tobong Kelana Bakti Budaya is one of the last remaining nomadic theatre troupes in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia. The troupe normally perform traditional musical dramas using their tobong or stage. However for the tobong project, they photographed at outdoor locations. Described as performing to the camera in Java, the photo project was done with theatrical portraits of the performers in real life scences in and around Yogya. I recognised a few of these places, having been to Yogka a couple of times.

The project was led by British artist Helen Marshall and Indonesian artist Risang Yuwono. A series of exhibitions started in 2011 in Jakarta then in Yogyakarta, then the following years went to Delhi, Kuala Lumpur and had several events in London and other places in UK. In Oct 2015 it started a 6 month display at the Horniman Museum at Forest Hill, southeast London.

The stories upon which the photos are based come from Javanese history and the performers wear costumes similar to those worn by legendary figures from centuries ago.

These first few photos are taken in Yogyka. This one was at the railway station, note the sacks of cement in the train carriage

A performer and a street worker in front of one of the many street murals/graffiti

A petrol station

Peformers ineracting with air con

a tug of war at a building site

A performer who has lost his arms, at a disused cultural building

In a field with props of a wheelbarrow and mirror

Above and below on Parangtritis beach and dunes
This is a photo I took of Parangtritis Beach in 1991 -

Padi fields with rice sacks

An abandoned building

Yogyakarta airport