New recordings, and the Outsider Art Fair Paris 2018

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Outsider Art Fair Paris, 18th-21st October

It is nearly upon us. In just over a week, I shall be getting the train to Paris excited to be practicing iconolatry on such a scale yet again at the Outsider Art Fair. This year, at the new location –

Atelier Richelieu, 60, rue de Richelieu 75002, Paris.

More info here.

Some of my diary-related drawings will be on show with the Galerie Du Marché coming from Lausanne, Switzerland. I am especially pleased to be showing what I can only describe as the most monumental diary drawing to have been channeled through my nib. More on that below. . . No doubt I’ll be on the wall there, in the company of the usual unusual array of non-living artists, as that is where I seem to fit in all this. I can’t complain.

 

Diary, 1st January 2017- 8th May 2018

The photograph above was taken on the day of completion of my largest diary drawing. The format is different to the usual A4 landscape, and the text also follows a different pattern. I had intended to approach this with the idea of filling it daily, like a calendar, allocating specific spaces to each day of the year 2017. The result, however, spills into the following 2018 (8th of May to be precise, the day this photograph was taken, incidentally). The need to do this drawing came to me a few weeks before the end of 2016. My son was to be born late January/early February 2017. I felt to document the weeks leading up to the birth and capture the evolution of each day after until the end of the year. Expecting a whirlwind of developments and no time to process/retain a lot of the on-going nuanced details, this idea seemed like a way to capture these and keep them contained. Unfortunately, due to severe back issues which had me frequenting the osteopath, as well as other unforeseen instances/setbacks, I could not draw every day on this occasion, but did keep a written diary for the days I missed, which I could later include in the drawing. In any case, a somewhat uncanny thing happened. I had created the equivalent of around 5-6 usual A4 size diary drawings in under a year and a half. I am usually creating 2 a year, 3 at a push (there was one A4 diary that took me two and a half years to complete but that’s another story), and that was with the more time I was able to give in the pre-parenting phase of life. I have never been very good at Math. But these contrasting results make little sense to me. Answers on a postcard. With over fifty thousand words in the drawing, the equivalent to the most densely packed of previous A4 diary drawings is more or less reached also.

So yes, this drawing will be shown for the first time at the Outsider Art Fair in Paris.. If you’re able and willing, come to the fair and you can see it.

 

Vestiges & Verse: Notes from the Newfangled Epic book published

Earlier this year, a selection of my drawings were shown in the group exhibition Vestiges & Verse: Notes from the Newfangled Epic at the American Folk Art Museum in New York.  The accompanying publication is now available to purchase and has a profile on each of the twenty one artists who’s work was shown including Henry Darger, Achilles Rizzoli, Adolf Wolfli, and Aloise Corbaz. The text on me and my work was written by Barbara Safarova.

 

See’s To Exist Show – Doug Hammond special

I’m still at it, doing my monthly ‘Jazz’-focussed radio show on NTS. Generally I am playing records from my collection and speaking a bit about some of them. Occasionally I find or make the time to shed light on particular artists or record labels and hone in on details of interest, gleaning what I can from the conversations I manage to arrange. The most recent of these comes in the form of edition 165, my special show on the fascinating drummer/percussionist Doug Hammond and you can hear that here.  We speak on some of the collaborations he’s been involved in (David Durrah, Tribe Records, Charles Mingus, Byard Lancaster, Family of Percussion..), self releasing music, the recent documentary focussed on him and his work, and more. Enjoy.

Here is one of the recordings of Doug Hammond’s that initially piqued my curiosity some years ago..

 

GDPR

I’ve saved the most mundane for last. Some months ago, new privacy safety measures were put into effect and I made some effort to comply with this in regards to the newsletter I send out only twice a year or so, through Mailchimp. I re-invited those that were subscribed and ended up with just 5% or so of them resubscribing. It seems some tried to but were unable also, which reflects either my ineptness or how complicated this process is for a lot of people like myself trying to keep these things going with minimal understanding of the necessary technologies. Long story short, I’ve just rejigged the subscription button on this blog (top left side of the page), so hopefully if you tick the GDPR box and the other box to subscribe, it will work. Please let me know if it doesn’t, and if it does, please forward this on to anyone you know who may have previously been subscribed, that would be a great help, thanks.

 

That’s all, folks. I’ll be back.

Bright moments,

Carlo

 

 

Upcoming Exhibitions.

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Where to Begin…

The logic and boundaries of my world do require suspending disbelief, as does the semblance of my creative output reflected by its absence through the lack of newsletters I send out. Fear not, I am edging forward daily in my little corner, with the support of sporadic sessions at the osteopath. Some of my efforts have been acknowledged and will be celebrated in both London and New York this January.

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Outside In: Journeys…
11-19th January, 2018
Sotheby’s, London, UK

The succinctly titled Journeys exhibition explores the spectacular journey that the organisation Outside In have experienced since their conception twelve or so years ago. The art works on show will revisit examples from the trodden path, highlighting the journeys that each of the selected artists have found themselves on since and in many ways probably as a result of having crossed paths with Outside In. I have written at length about Outside In and their singular identity elsewhere, as have others, so if you aren’t aware of their work, do spend a few minutes on your search engine or simply visit their website here. My relationship with them began in 2009 when I exhibited a painting (illustrated here) as part of their competition/exhibition at Pallant House Gallery. My painting was chosen along with five others from the several hundred submitted from various artists across the region, and as a result I was offered a solo exhibition which took place the following year, where I sold my first diary drawing. A lot has happened since then, in regards to my multi-disciplinary work with Outside In and otherwise. To see the painting I had shown in the 2009 exhibition, now on loan from the Rose Know-Peebles collection, alongside some great works by AradnePhil Baird, Manuel Bonifacio, and James Lake among others, find your way to Sotheby’s in London. For further information, follow through to the Sotheby’s website here.

Vestiges & Verse: Notes from the Newfangled Epic…
Jan 21st – 27th May, 2018
American Folk Art Museum, New York City, USA

For the first time, my drawings will officially be on show in New York, at the American Folk Art Museum, no less. I am excited to announce that several of my diary drawings, on loan from various collections including the ABCD Collection, the Antoine de Galbert/La Maison Rouge Collection, and the Eternod/Mermod Collection will be included alongside works by seminal artists such as Aloise Corbaz, Henry Darger, Malcolm McKesson, Achilles G. Rizzoli and Adolf Wölfli. It is not lost on me that among the 21 artists included in this fascinatingly contextualised exhibition, I am among the minority of living artists, and seemingly the youngest by a few decades. I am not sure what this might mean, if anything, but certainly something for me to ponder on in the grand scheme of things. Another of the living artist who’s work I admire very much, Susan T King will be leading a workshop, Drawing With Susan as part of the exhibition program on January 23rd. You can get tickets, which are free, here. Another intriguing event related to the exhibition, called Discussion: Invisible Dialogues & Invented Languages will take place on February 22nd. Tickets are available at $10-12 and are available here. Lastly, a book will be published to coincide with the exhibition which I am of course excited and intrigued to peruse. This will inevitably be available online and in some physical bookshops very soon.

See’s To Exist Show 

After a short hiatus at the beginning of 2017, my radio show returned to the world in its current monthly incarnation, which is much more manageable than doing the show weekly for me at this point. I migrated from my family at Itch FM  to the globally active NTS. I am still archiving my shows on Mixcloud here. I did a couple of ‘special’ shows last year. The most recent being a focus on bassist Juini Booth in celebration of his 50 years of engaging with the instrument. We lost quite a few giants in the world of progressive Jazz last year, including Muhal Richard Abrams, Kelan Phil Cohran and Sunny Murray. I was pleased to be able to send off a much overlooked saxophonist, Arthur Blythe, with a show dedicated to his memory which you can hear here. Something I find interesting about his chronology is that he got his start playing with Horace Tapscott in the 1960s on the West Coast, in Los Angeles, influencing many and leaving myth behind upon arriving in New York where he wasn’t so known. In the show I speak with both Gary Bias who came up playing saxophone with Horace Tapscott and the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra a decade or so later than Blythe, and then trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah who played and recorded with Blythe in New York in the 1970s.

I’ve got my schedule of radio shows for the year, if you want to listen live on NTS, take note of the following dates and I will be on on these Sundays between 3-5pm (UK time).

Jan 14 / Feb 11 / Mar 11 / Apr 8 / May 6 / June 3 / Jul 1 / Jul 29 / Aug 26 / Sept 23 / Oct 21 / Nov 18 / Dec 16

On the topic of radio shows, I decided to start a podcast Who Cares? And Unknowns also last year. These will be very few and far between considering other commitments and priorities, but I was glad to put the first episode out there in two parts, focussed on rapper, producer, and musician Joe Dub from San Francisco. In the last newsletter I mentioned working collaboratively in terms of my designing some limited edition 45rpm/7″ record adapters. I think there were only 100 made which went out free with orders of the first release on his new record label Three Quarters. There are still copies of the record for sale, though I don’t know if they are beyond the 100 by now, but check it out here if interested. The podcast in two parts nears the five hour mark, as I go into near obsessive detail in regards to the development of Joe’s music through the years, touching on many an underground West Coast Hip Hop side story along the way. You can listen to those here and then here for part two.

Timmy Miller Has a Heavy Head

This is most probably the first time I haven’t shown any images of my work (or images altogether) in the blog/newsletter. As some sort of solution, I will take the opportunity to let you know that I’ve slowly been working on a short film over the last couple of years. At this point I am not sure what life it will live, nor how much I want to say about it. But here is a still image from the film. Something ambiguous to sign off with.

Bright Moments,
Carlo

 

2014 so far…

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Where to Begin…

How does one start a blog entry when 6 or so months have passed since the last. It seems to be a recurring thing, this accumulate and combust pattern. All I can do is create breathing space by leaving gaps and making more paragraphs. A few photos here and there.. Firstly, here is the last completed diary drawing.. which I began in April of 2011 and completed in November of 2013.

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The new one is coming a lot faster. I am nearly halfway through it, and began it in February.

 

Circus Terminal New Zealand/Slovenia

The adventures continue with the Circus Terminal touring exhibition, accumulating more artists and artwork along the way. My work was shown in New Zealand, reaching further across the globe than me! In some ways, a parallel to a news piece I read recently regarding humans reaching a depth in the ocean that we’d never reached before, and finding some of our rubbish there. Our litter reached these unexplored areas before we did.

I can speak (a lot) more about Circus Terminal’s excursion to Slovenia as I actually went along for the ride on this one.. but in regards to chronology, I shall speak about my trip to New York first..

 

New York / Inside the Outsider Art World

I have an interesting relationship with this city. It brings back my awareness of everything resonating on a paradoxical level. I came into Newark airport, which I felt would be quieter and easier than JFK, as last time at JFK I had to queue for an hour and twenty minutes to get through passport control, which was a lot worse for the weak-kneed elders, families with little babies and children, or the obese.. I remember waiting for my luggage and hearing an announcement over the p.a., to paraphrase: “Please keep your mobile phones off in the luggage pick up area”.. and as my phone was on, I took it out of my pocket to turn it off, and within seconds a security/police person was beside me ‘excuse me sir, you’re gonna have to turn that off’.. I began to explain that this is why I had taken it out of my pocket, but he cut me off mid sentence and seemed aggravated by my being conversational/talking back to him.. Newark welcomed me in a similar fashion. The queue only took half an hour or so. I noticed a poster up which was focussed on explaining how the security there should treat you with respect and are there to help you etc.. etc.. Before arriving at the passport desk, a security guy was randomly checking people’s passports in the queue. He looked through mine and laughed whilst saying ‘why have you been to Libya so many times??’, (why have I been to New York so many times!?), I responded ‘I’ve never been to Libya’. He changed his expression and seemed stumped for a moment. He pointed at the stamps and asked what they were. I said ‘Lebanon’. He said ‘Same thing’.. I refrained from commenting further. Not long after, when I was on the New Jersey Transit train to Penn station in Manhattan, the ticket officer checked my ticket and I asked her roughly how long the ride to Penn is, and she of course answered with ‘do you have a smartphone?’, why she couldn’t just say ’10 mins’ or something like that, I don’t know.. This is New York, sometimes. I told her I don’t have internet as I am coming from London and to use internet here would be extortionate. Very much like the character of Gail in the film After Hours (one of my all time favourites, set in Manhattan), she completely ignored my comment and proceeded to show me this app on her phone which tells you the timetables of the trains etc.. She then turned around and showed the app to a couple of the other (American) passengers, telling them it’s quite useful. I reiterated my point “Can you just tell me, 5 minutes? 10 minutes?”, and in her overly helpful fashion she responds “I told you, 2 stops!”.. Thanks. As it was a national train, it is difficult to determine the length/space between stops, but I left it at that.

On thing I do like about New York is that you see stuff like this on the train platforms..

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The next phase was meeting someone to pick up keys for an apartment. Interesting lady. I had no luggage with me, which she was glad about, being paranoid about people in the building noticing visitors coming and going with luggage. This is understandable. I explained to her though that I’d be picking up a suitcase from somewhere the following day. She asked how big it was. We talked about all sorts of things and then I noticed she had these circular cards on the table and was shuffling them around as we spoke. She then mentioned that perhaps I should bring the suitcase in the morning instead of the afternoon. By now I’d pieced together the puzzle and she was using tarot cards to help her figure out when I should sneak this suitcase into the building. Another ‘After Hours’ moment. I had a busy schedule and couldn’t comply to her fully, but compromised the timing in regards to when I will bring this suitcase. I assured her it was very light and would take just a minute to walk through.. There are more eccentric aspects to this story but I shall refrain from going into those details..

Ah yes, the Outsider Art Fair.. I enjoyed it. Saw some great works by Edmund Monsiel, Raphael Lonne, A.G. Rizzoli, Nick Blinko, Christine Sefolosha, Stephanie Lucas, and many others.. I was intrigued by the talks on Jean-Michel Basquiat and Henry Darger, and spent my Saturday attending both. I go into some detail about these in a blog entry I have written for Outside In which has just been uploaded here. The stand out moment for me that afternoon was when James Brett took control of the panel discussion on Henry Darger and made it his own, becoming more and more animated as he built up to revealing his epiphany regarding Darger’s images and how they each follow on to the next, aesthetically, if you put them next to each other. He used nine or so slides to illustrate this point and flicked back and forth between them, the more he pushed the point, the louder the rain got. The talk took place on the roof of Center 548, with a temporary tent erected around us, you could see the material fluctuate from the violent rain and winds, and as Brett landed on a Darger image depicting a sky full of lightning, thunder struck and lightning flashed in completely simultaneous synchronicity on the roof of Center 548. The rain got so loud that we couldn’t hear the speakers’ voices and they had to stop for some time to see if it would calm down, and as it was passively said on the panel, echoing what some of the people in the room must have also been thinking half seriously, is that it was like Darger was interrupting the talk from above, showing his reaction, resonating with the theatrics of discovery.

Here’s another New York shot:

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 I was out and about a lot in New York.. entering the outside world at around 10am and returning just after midnight each day for four days straight. My energy didn’t seem to run low at any point until I returned home after an overnight flight which I did not sleep during. The following morning I set off for Slovenia, adding a further hour to the jet lag and putting me in a completely different environment. Anyhow, prior to that, in New York I managed to check out a few record shops. I had planned to visit just two but I eventually got through a dozen or so. I have some fuel for my radio show, which hopefully should be starting up again at a different radio station in the next few weeks.. I saw a few films, ate some great food, saw a few exhibitions. Of note is the Raymond Pettibon exhibition at Venus over Manhattan. Was great to see that. It’s a shame I only found out about the exhibition of Basquiat drawings on the Saturday during the Outsider Art Fair talk. I wanted to go the following day but the gallery was closed Sundays according to the internet and I flew home that night. I did however walk past a gallery with no signage, where some activity had caught my eye. A man holding open the door, another carrying packages from a van. The man holding the door asked “Well, are you coming in??”, I responded “I don’t know.. what’s going on in there?…. What’s the show?”, he said “Keith Haring”, and so I went in. I wouldn’t have even known about it! Was good to catch that. On the same street there was an exhibition of Julian Schnabel paintings from the late ’80s I believe. So it’s funny to see that era all on show at once. The Schnabel stuff is just interesting to see purely in terms of scale. The content I don’t really connect with.

I was told it wasn’t a very good record, but I do love a good octopus find.. Here’s a photo from the ‘rare records room’ at the Downtown Music Gallery..

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and here is a photo of me in front of a wall painted by Raymond Pettibon..

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Circus Terminal  Slovenia

The journey to Piran seemed dubiously painless, until halfway through the flight when we were informed that the plane had been struck by lightning.

I saw the flash of light but heard no thunder. There was some roller-coaster turbulence. Five minutes or so later, the pilot said something (to paraphrase): “As you may have noticed, our plane has been hit by lightning. Normally, we would continue on to the closest airport, in this case our destination, and have engineers look at the plane upon arrival. Unfortunately there are no engineers at Ljubjana and so we have to turn around and return to Stansted.” We got there and remained in our seats as engineers explored the damage for 30 minutes or so. According to the pilot, the lightning had penetrated the plane through one sheet of metal and come through the other side of another piece of metal. This occurred very close to a circuit board which is related to measuring internal or external pressure, but thankfully the circuitry was unaffected. We were then told that they would spend the next 15 minutes or so scraping off some of the burn marks and then we would be back on our way. Nok’s flight was arriving in the morning but she had decided to wait for me until I land at 4pm. Of course now that I was landing a few hours later, she rightfully left the airport to embark on the road trip to Piran. I would be picked up by a young lady who takes a small fee for running a sort of organised hitch hiking service which people can use on the internet to get a lift from town to town. After having just been hit by lightning and surviving, the conversation between my designated driver and I over the next hour  somehow didn’t phase me, but I did feel quite overloaded after. We touched upon planned parenting, censorship, castration, good vs evil, free will, population control, the eradication of money, horse burgers and various other wonderful topics. It’s a bit of a blur to me now. We did pick up two more passengers along the way but they remained mostly quiet. One of them seemed quite interesting though.. He teaches kindergarden and makes this trip once every couple of months on his own with some psilocybin and just walks around these three towns for several days. He said it gives him time to think and reflect and clear his mind. I don’t remember him carrying anything else with him. He seemed pretty together. I wished him a good trip as he exited the vehicle and quite soon after reached my own destination.

I was welcomed by this lovely mosaic piece at the Trumpet and Cloud hostel, where I was staying for 10 Euros a night!..

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 I know it was just a week ago but somehow it feels like a lot has time has passed since then already and the details get rearranged in my brain. I think it was the following day or possibly the day after that, that we took the art works down to the gallery. Circus Terminal is certainly a miracle of an embarkment, and only one Nok has the energy, drive and vision to pull off such an impossible task. I remember two or three years ago when the exhibition had maybe 15 or 20 artists on board, and since then after having toured through France, Spain, Thailand, USA, UK, Holland, and Australia, picking up new artists as the momentum continues, we now have a suitcase full of 350 or so art works by around a hundred artists. Here’s some photos of walking down the hill and taking the work to the Kud Esko exhibition space!

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And then we laid all the art works out on the floor, and in some sort of mysterious fashion they began to get placed on the wall with a sort of improvised, yet practiced, (dis)order..

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Contemplation back at the hostel..

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and a full moon..

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By the next day we were joined by Farad and Verena who drove over from Austria. We took Farad’s work down to the gallery..

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We visited a sculpture park..

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We drove past some salt-extracting environments, and this guy went in to go fishing with his harpoon..

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We were told that there was a fish market or something going on in Piran and so we went down to go and buy some fish to bring back to the hostel and barbecue in the garden. When we got closer, we found out that they were actually giving away free fish. This sounded quite unusual.. We got there and they were cooking fish and giving people a fish each to eat, so we queued and got some free local wine and fish for lunch, which was incredible. I asked how often this happens and they said it will probably happen again towards the end of summer..

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Back at the gallery, and hundreds of reference sheets with no order to match art works and images with titles etc..

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Unorthodox methods..

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and the opening..

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Some of the local and young artists were painting a wall outside.. And Farad and I had an impromptu noise jam inside.. Farad was shredding on the guitar and I was providing some drum programming and effects.. Check out some of Farad’s music here.

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Gotta thank our hosts, Vasko and Nina, good job!

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Between the opening on Friday and the collaborative painting session I lead on Sunday, all sorts of whirlwind happened. I won’t go into the shenanigans but it was a guy called Igor’s birthday and he was throwing a party from Friday night which went on until Monday? I passed through on Friday night and though it was pouring with rain, the party was lively, there was plenty food on the grill and an infinite supply of beer and other beverages. Skipping right ahead to Sunday, I was hugely impressed by how quickly this massive canvas was getting filled with the marks of local artists, and it was great that they could make it and were either struggling through a hangover or opted to come and paint over staying at the party..

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It was funny to hear these people trying to read my drawing. They were doing a good job actually. It was weird hearing them read out what I’d written, aloud, slowly but surely..

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And more photos of the Circus Terminal here.

 

Horniman workshop

Fellow artist and collaborator, Phil Baird and I have been doing a few things here and there. We ran six weeks of workshops at the Three Cs Crossways center in Peckham, and have also held a series of workshops at the Horniman Museum in conjunction with Network Arts Lewisham and Drake Music. I recently got an email from the Horniman with some photos of the workshop we held there most recently at the Community Music Day, which are quite pleasant. It was quite a short workshop but we showed one of the films we had made, and then everyone played on some instruments that were provided by the museum. Phil and I jammed on a couple of instruments as the others drew their reactions to the sound, and we did a version of this which involved passing the drawings around until everyone has drawn on every page. Here are some photos, courtesy of photographer Kitty Gale..

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

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(c) Horniman Museum and Gardens

I don’t know who will have read this entire blog entry but I hope to write the next one sooner rather than later to avoid accumulating too much ‘stuff’ and it resulting in these mammoth proportions of text. In any case, I think I’ve reached my threshold for now! If all goes well, I should have some good stuff to report soon.. so, will be in touch!

Take care for now..

Carlo.

 
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