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We don't have red fire hydrants in England, pity. We have red post pillarboxes and red phoneboxes, but neither has the same iconic status as an attractive dog magnet.

My friend Annika got free tickets to an evening of 'avant-garde music and video' at the British Library. Avant-Garde can be cool or downright awful, but this was actually pretty good. Before the concert started, they had some really beautiful manipulated old film footage, with traces of added colour, projected at interesting angles around the huge atrium. Even better, after we got a little tired of the music, the library left the exhibitions open, so we saw two great shows: One was 60 Years of the Folio Society (until 20 Jan) with a large and amazing display of beautiful book covers and illustrations by people like Edward Bawden, Paula Rego, and one of our former tutors, Chris Brown. There was this fabulous Agatha Christie cover that Annika took a photo of, so I'm going to badger her to send it to me. The other exhibition was Breaking the Rules (until 30 March), a display of early avant-garde printing. Great lettering and textures. I recognised some of the Russian books from the exhibition (cool website!) a couple years ago at MOMA in New York.
We also stopped for a glass of champagne at the opening of the Winter Exhibition at the Illustration Cupboard and saw Shirley Hughes and got to talk with Axel Scheffler for awhile. He looked very well put-together, considering he was working to some tight deadlines and has a five-week-old baby. He mostly sells original artwork with Images of Delight.

edit: I just adapted this for this year's Christmas gift tag!


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 17th, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC)
We don't have many red fire hydrants over here either. Most are silver or some white like color. Some are red, but that's mostly for cutesy Americana show in small towns that are all about that. And then some are bright green. At least in Georgia. Yee-haaa!
Nov. 17th, 2007 03:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks for letting me know! I've seen the occasional yellow fire hydrant, but I didn't know they came in white, silver and green as well! It'd be really fun to paint one. A town could have an amazing fire hydrant exhibition, with different artist painting each hydrant.
Nov. 17th, 2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
Holy shinola, that's genuis. The only problem I can see with that is getting the permits (I live in Atlanta, it's a big city with an even bigger bureaucracy) and you'd probably only be able to paint using certain colors, since I imagine the silver and other big bright colors are there to help draw quick attention to the hydrant.

But yeah, that sounds like a lot of fun for a small town even. Then you could have a tour through the area since it wouldn't really be as much fun if they weren't working fire hydrants.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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