Standing in the dank, fume-ridden disused road tunnel in an untrendy, forgotten corner of south London, little did I realise I was witnessing the start of a new art phenomenon. It was 2008 and the Cans Festival was taking shape.
Street art is controversial, challenging and dichotomous, but is also a way of life; a sort of unique persona; 'religion.' It is organically intertwined with the urban environment and its aesthetics, though unconventional, is truly original.
Like many people gathered at the St Pancras Hotel last week for the inaugural Folio Prize awards, I was delighted when Lavinia Greenlaw, chair of the Jury, announced George Saunders as the winner.
Last month, I finally joined the swelling ranks of the independently published. I'd thought about it long and hard, but in the end it was a pretty easy decision to make. I was tired of greedy, clueless, often unethical publishers telling me what to do and how I should do it.
The Poetry Storehouse has an excellent idea - to do for poetry what has worked so well for software, by making some of it "open source". They are gathering text and audio recordings of poetry, released by the author under a Creative Commons license.
I've been making paintings on hand-made paper for a few years now, I love the feel and look of them, not for the faint-hearted, a few crinkles can scare a canvas traditionalist off, I'm dead proud of them. One collector in LA said his framer had never seen anything like them, which I think is a bit of a compliment...
Readers of my very first blog will remember I couldn't have been more excited when preparing for my inaugural trip across the Atlantic Ocean back in the early stages of 2012. There I sat, carving out the words of my long-anticipated adieu to the green and pleasant land of my birth, to live my very own American dream...
This new generation of image-obsessed males seems derived purely from previous, slightly hipper, forms of narcissism, in a churning spiral of self-adoration. These boys have been weaned on the teat of naff celebrity as a means to an end. Poor pumped-up lambs with lifetime debt.
Sometimes I think I may be turning into my grandmother. I remember very well how, having flagged down a taxi, she would think nothing of rejecting it if the driver neglected to jump out and open the door for her.
In the warmish sun of Spring I headed along the Thames and into the Richard Deacon exhibition at Tate Britain. Posters showing wicker-like curving structures have been scattered across the city for a few weeks and I have been looking forward to exploring the exhibition further.
In this tercentenary of the Hanoverian accession to the throne, the V&A has brought together an extraordinary body of work to celebrate that era's most influential designer and architect - William Kent. Kent is not a man that is spoken about widely but his influence continues to be profound. This fascinating and evocative exhibition goes a long way to redressing that imbalance.
How does one think up a load of dance music? Which comes first, the dancing chicken or the musical egg? Many people have asked me whether you need to see the dance in your mind's eye, and to some degree, I found that yes, you have to- not the way a choreographer would of course, but as a musician who understands rhythm at least...
THE INFIDEL was an IMPOSSIBLY difficult film to get financed. It was the hardest I have ever worked on, as literally every studio, financier, and sales agent in town passed on it at least once, and several of them, just to be sure, did so multiple times. The reasons given were various and inconsistent, but lurking behind them all we detected the same issue: a vague but powerful fear of a broad comedy about Muslims and Jews.
On Friday we were invited, by a Masterpiece prodigal son, Vanderven, to their annual dinner at the private club 'Groote Societeit" at the corner of the Vrijtof in central Maastricht. Floris and his wife Nynke are great hosts in the Dutch tradition.
With the weather starting to feel like a 'street art weather', there has been some proper creative energy flowing on the streets. Leading off this week's review is RUN's impressive new wall in London.
If I talk about assessments to students, here is what I say. Writing an essay is your way of writing about a topic that interests you. Of making new discoveries. And of having your say. It is a chance to be creative and to push yourself.