Thursday, March 18

Erasing The Evidence

There was an incident back in January, the evidence in the form of a big discoloured splash on the wall has remained to taunt me long after the yellow and purple bruises on my nose faded. My time at the Pop Flat in London is coming to an end and I must leave my room in the condition that I found it - this morning I wielded a brush loaded with white paint.

I’ll be sorry to go, Half a Pop Group went away for a month during my time here. Since they’ve been back the house has been full of the new tunes they made up during their trip, the Child has not yet been emptied of the helium produced by the excitement of her adventures so we have all been testing the songs loudly for singalongandanceability.

I am also less likely to wake and find myself engulfed in flames these days. My housemate Felicity has a habit of starting to make her supper then wandering off to gaze at the patterns on her bedroom floor - the Child has a sharp young nose and is very good at banging on Felicity’s door and yelling


Malick Sidibé

On my table is the evidence of a photographic exhibition I visited a couple of days ago in West London; Malick Sidibé is well known for his photographs taken at clubs and parties in Mali during the 50s and 60s. This show is a selection of studio portraits from the 70s that Sidibé has reprinted with additional handwritten titles which give an extra, often comical, dimension to the images.

It seems that the entire population of the country piled into Sidibés studio to have their photograph taken in their grooviest clothes against a backdrop of stripey African cloth, the men flaunting their fashionable slim-fit shirts (the collars, the collars!) and their wider than wide flares (pantalon aux pattes d'éléphant), the women combining traditional ‘wax’ fabric head and body wraps with chic sunglasses and western-style tops, this is a portrait of a nation at a particular time in their history. Every subject, gazes intensely, proudly out of the frame, even the dribbley-faced child clutching an oversized comb has a dignified solemnity about her.

There is so much to love about this show, superb photography, great printing - and these are the best fashion images I have ever seen.

Lichfield Studios, London W10 from 11 March-16 April


  1. You're leaving the pop flat already?

    I saw pictures from that exhibition in the Guardian (or the Observer) magazine a week or so ago and have torn them out to stick in my journal, it looks great.

  2. I loved my bell-bottom pants!

  3. Eryl - It's a shame, but my next batch of work it away from London.

    It was that article that prompted me to check the show out.

    xl - Do you not still wear them - and your platforms?

  4. That house sounded like a good place to be. Where are you off to, Lulu? Are you to be working for someone nice?

  5. I suspect XL is wearing his ankh as we speak.

    I smell patchouli.

  6. Ah yes, I well remember Andy Kershaw's musical reports from Mali and got the feeling then that it was quite a fun country to be in!

  7. That exhibition looks fantastic Lulu, wish I could have gone to it with you

  8. Synchy - some more work with the nice dolphin-dancing girls and then a little job abroad!!

    MJ - a flower power child - that's how I see xl!

    Gadj - I loved AK's reports, he might have been the one to turn me on to west african music.

    Nursey - it's totally your sort of thing

  9. Sidibé's photos are wonderful and the folks are in high fashion.

    Where will you go after the Pop apartment, back to Bristol? Good luck with the changes.

  10. Where are you moving on to? Do you have somewhere lined up?

  11. You are leaving that overspilling source of inspiration? What a shame.

  12. Poor stain. It's entire life was marred and reviled.

  13. Oh God - I have to leave this place in the same state as I left it too... Better start painting now ;-) Mind you, Skippy enjoys renovating houses with me so I may wait until he's got a bit more time!

  14. Hope your next port of call's as jolly as the half a pop group flat.

    I've definitely got the calves for those trousers!

  15. poor old felicity. the Child sounds already a resonsible adult...looking forward to your next batch of tales about your new home...

  16. Dedene & Frenchie - I'll be mainly in Bristol but working hither and thither

    Met Mum You are leaving that overspilling source of inspiration? What a shame.
    It's sad but we always knew it was a temporary arrangement

    Mr Red Poor stain my instinct was to turn it into a sea monster but the Child said it would give her nightmares

    Ange - I hope you don't have to leave yours soon!

    Kevin - those trouses are built to cover a multitude of sins aren't they?

    Screamish - It is Felicity we need to b most concerned for ... but that's another story

  17. Rice on fire? I may remember to yell the same thing at M. DeFarge. And love the photos, very stylish. I shall show them to M. DeFarge and give him something to which he can aspire.

  18. Mme Def - rice on fire is quite an achievement isn't it?


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