Oxford Circus. Pimlico. Barbican.

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Bright and early Tuesday morning and it was off to Oxford Circus in search of more art.  

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No faking this; the hustle is fucking real. 

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As I poured through this joint, I recalled my advice to the London cab driver whilst crawling along Pall Mall two days earlier.  

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Well if Daddy Warbucks’ little girl ain’t toothless, what is one to do but vacuously laugh with every breath.   

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As though I had just walked in on the most malodorous dump, I was out of this dive in a New York minute.  

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As I came up out of the Underground, I felt as though I had just endured a room whose stench was dirty ashtrays, liquor and coffee.  Once at Hyde Park Corner, I made it to Apsley House, only to discover that it was not open during the week.  Took the time to breathe the crisp – though not cold like Canadian – air with Hyde Park’s trees’ transitioning foliage predominantly apricot-coloured.  

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Vauxhall Tower (St. George Wharf Tower.)

Arrived at Pimlico and the air was comfortably cool; so nice to have a brilliant sunny day for a change.  Nonetheless, you can bet your bottom dollar that I was protected by my extra thick-lensed black shades. 

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After working almost exclusively at nighttime and since before that when in the theatre, I have developed a genuine sensitivity to sunlight.  You cannot convince me that we are not much too close to Sol for comfort.  So to Tate Britain I was returned.  After the scam that was the Klimt / Schiele, I was not rolling the die on Turner Prize 2018.  

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I went into this exhibition with zero expectations.  Like the British Museum, I love the gift shop at Tate Britain as opposed to Tate Modern’s.  I was on the hunt for unique gifts to purchase; this ticketed event was a gamble.  

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You cannot begin to fathom the degree to which I was wowed by the breath of this artist’s genius.  

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Remarkably, there was no end to this genius’ vision.  

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There is, throughout his art, movement and fluidity with the greatest grace and attack.  

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This is a colossal retrospective and his talent was unmatched.  

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The sensuality is breathtaking.  

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Every painting was a newly discovered masterpiece.  

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The breath of his work is astounding.  

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What a truly marvellous discovery.  

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His work left everyone moving through the exhibit in a state of harmony.  There was such peace and serenity in each salon and every salon had some wow moment masterpiece.  

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One key element of his art was that each work was hung in the spot-on perfect frame.  

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Masterful!

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For me, Edward’s genius epitomises where dreams and genius merge and produce the most uplifting art.  

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Quite simply, there are no words.  

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Besotted.  

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The moment that I laid eyes on this tableau, I immediately thought of Francis Bacon.  

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Breathtaking…

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Now, this is Art,  Next-level tapestry.  The fluid sensuality is overwhelming.  

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This is everything.  

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I would gladly have paid thrice as much to view this exhibition.  

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This was like nothing I had seen before and it far exceeded anything that I had expected.  Truly beautiful.  After dining on a late lunch in Pimlico, it was back to Bloomsbury for a nap before heading out into the evening.  

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Though I was rather looking forward to hanging out at Ronnie Scott’s, the idea of listening to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane (an entity mate) being butchered by some Israeli appropriationist was not exactly high on my must-do list.  

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Happy was I to be in the comfy seats at Barbican Centre Cinemas to watch a LIVE relay from Covent Garden of that evening’s performance of La Bayadère, which at week’s end I would be attending.  By far, this was the most glorious of cinematic experiences.  I could not believe the sight of Natalia Makarova when she appeared on screen. 

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She was now full-bodied as we mostly get on ageing.  Last time that I had seen her was during a class we took together at NYC’s Harkness House ballet school during summer 1983.  That late spring was the last time that I had also seen the ballet live; it was May 19, 1983 and my favourite dancer, the dimpled, shy and oh so sweet, Fernando Bujones was dancing the role of Solor.  

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As ever, thanks for your ongoing support and dream as lucidly as you want to… 

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

When Things Don’t Go to Plan.

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Just another hotel that looks onto Bloomsbury’s Russell Square

Monday morning, November 12, 2018 rolled around with me being a bit on the antsy side.  Just a couple of days before leaving on the trip, I received an email notice that a talk and drinks scheduled for that evening at Spencer House had been cancelled.  That being the case, I emailed, called and prevailed on each day Ronnie Scott’s Jazz club in Soho to try and get my reserved seat for the Tuesday evening show, moved up to Monday evening instead. 

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Finally, the night before, I got a human rather than no voicemail or no email replies from Ronnie Scott’s.  Incredibly, the rep did not know the number for box office and let me know that the Monday show was booked and I could not change my itinerary.  Trying to reason with her proved a nonstarter.  If I could be missing for my reservation on Tuesday, so too could someone booked on Monday be missing which means that I could at the very least stand in the back of the club and sip on a drip.  Nothing doing.  Monday came and passed and not box office nor anyone ever once answered the phone.  

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One of my favourite journeys when in London is to get to Piccadilly Circus and head towards Burlington House.  There, one is always going to be wowed by great art – this trip certainly delivered,  

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This, without doubt, is the show that I came to London highly anticipating.  What I had not anticipated was the sheer scope of the exhibition.   Certainly, it was a welcome change after paying to move through the Klimt / Schiele exhibition.  One thing that struck me, which always occurs regardless which museum or which continent, whenever there is an exhibition of non-white art alongside another of white art, the latter is patronised by a ratio of three to one,  

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Franz Hauer 1914  Egon Schiele

To be sure, the space for the Klimt / Schiele was much smaller than the ten salons for the Oceania exhibition – the same salons in fact which were used for last winter’s, Charles I: King and Collector.  Indeed, there is a certain appeal about being able to view art this up close and intimately.  Nonetheless, the crowd here was predominantly older – the diapered set and they of course can be expected to have little relish for adventuring beyond that which is deemed art or superior.  

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Nude Self-Portrait 1916 Egon Schiele. 

Naturally, not having read up on the exhibition prior to arriving in London, I had assumed that it would be paintings of both artists in the exhibition.  As it turned out, my weak vision could not fully appreciate these drawings and the cramped quarters was no good for my usual wariness of crowds.  

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Female Bust,1916 Gustav Klimt.  

Thoroughly underwhelmed more than not, I made my way in search of the Oceania exhibition.  Imagine having made that treacherous trek all the way up those potentially slippery metallic stairs, only to have been left none-too-inspired.  Oh well, too many old fossils in too tight a space pour moi-meme.  

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Straight away, I was soothed, uplifted and engrossed by the fecund richness of the blue-interiored salons.  Where months prior were hung van Dycks, Rubens and a most memorable Tintoretto, now into these large magical ten salons, I slipped lucidly awakened with wonder.  

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Here, in this marvellous exhibition, the worlds of dreams and spirit were fully realised.  I was in awe, inspired and fully engaged for moving through, as though in a lucid dream, salon after salon of this mammoth, breathtakingly beautiful exhibition.  

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Papuan soul canoe.

Steeped in animism and ancestor-worship, these beautiful cultures of the South Pacific (Oceania) speak to me.  Naturally, much of this is due to strong resonance, owing to past-live memories.    

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What I found rather interesting about this exhibition, is how locals reacted to the art and artefacts on display.  They were actually deferential, which is worlds removed from the usual open ridicule and vile remarks made by persons when touring the Barbara and Murray Frum African Art Collection at Toronto’s AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario).  Indeed, days later, I would be reminded of how archly racist Canadians currently are and with a smugness that defies reason.  

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This exhibition is handsomely curated and the show was staged with the greatest sensitivity and respect for the cultures represented.  Rather refreshing an approach.  

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Marvellous.  Powerful and so like the totemic masks of West African cultures.  

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I especially loved this sculpture and found it vibrationally rather powerful.  

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Sublime.  

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My attempts at capturing this marvellous piece proved frustrating as a German couple who were close by were slow to move along; my impatience is of course legendary.  

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Beautiful textiles featured in the exhibition,  

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Positively love this Papuan mask.  

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Star map for navigating the seas of Oceania’s cultures.  

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August.  Regal.  There is something deeply astral about the cultures of Oceania; these are cultures which are firmly grounded in the worlds of dreams and spirit… indeed.  

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Wow!  This is what I came hunting for; I was most definitely greatly inspired.  What past-life dreams are yet to be triggered by this lucidly awakened journey through Oceania and my own reincarnational past.  

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Hands down, this was my favourite piece in the exhibition; it seemed like some interdimensional craft for travelling between distant worlds and galaxies as is only now possible in dreams.  The lines are so amazingly elegant and masterfully executed.  Phenomenal.  

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What a wonderfully uplifting exhibition!  Bravo!  

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The view on exiting the Royal Academy’s Burlington House.  

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Just look at the view across Piccadilly from the Royal Academy…  Fortnum & Mason.  Well, off we go for some retail therapy; on crossing the street, I delightfully hummed the most memorable melody from La Bayadère.  

Oh look, way below that famous Fortnum & Mason blue beckons.  For now though, I made another feverish perusal of my email.  There is nothing from Ronnie Scott’s and the hotel has emailed to say that they have not received word from them nor have they called back.  

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A gourmand’s wet dream.  

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Art whilst shopping… truly civilised.  

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A trip to the basement and my favourite Jamaican clerk was not on duty.  I did though meet a lovely, lively West African who much reminded me of the spirited gardener in the dreams of July 9, 1993, which proved one of the most beautiful yet of this incarnation wherein I travelled and had the most lucid astral plane dream encounter with Merlin in the afterlife – it will appear in the sixth and final volume of my dream memoirs of Merlin and me, Merlin and Arvin: A Shamanic Dream Odyssey, which will prove human civilisation’s first dream memoirs when fully published.  20181112_124934

Thanks to the West African clerk and how beautifully she spoke of the Canada’s Weston family, who own Fortnum & Mason, I was sold.  To hell with dropping money at Ronnie Scott’s when they could not be bothered to accommodate me.  With that, I had a couple of signed copies of Tom Parker-Bowles’ recently published cookbook, Fortnum & Mason Christmas.  For good measure, it is always good to have wonderful fragrances.  

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On getting outside, whilst prowling Piccadilly in search of the Herrick Gallery in Mayfair where a Nevisian artist was having an exhibition, the skies opened up and delivered a monsoon deluge, which readily reminded that this truly was the age of climate change.  The Herrick Gallery was a beautiful affair; however, I had arrived a day early so there was nothing to see as large canvases were being unwrapped and hung.  Getting into Green Park Station, I ducked in to use the toilet and was reminded of 28 years earlier, when you didn’t then have to pay to use the facilities.  That day, in the heat that was London in July, an old, homeless black woman sat on one of the toilets in a stall, which like all the others had no door affording privacy.  She seemed utterly otherworldly and just as removed.  Certainly, she was impervious to the bacchanalia afoot; a tall East African with the most massive cock to that point seen, was actually charging various denominations based on what the throng of near-ululating size queens were prepared to do to that unrivalled wunder schmekel of his.  

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Onward, the journey continued.  The next stop was Westminster Station where my main focus was touring the exquisite architectural gem that is the Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey.  Built by King Henry VII as Lady Chapel and deemed as the ode to the Virgin Mother, I rather suspect though that the Lady in question is his mother, Margaret Beaufort.  Hers is the only effigy that is not marble but distinctive bronze. 

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(Though photography is not permitted, I managed rather skilfully to have captured a shot of Lady Margaret Beaufort’s bronze-effigied tomb whilst in the spectacular Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey)

Of course, that soul is now incarnate and though the most reviled black woman on the planet at present, I have every conviction that Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex will just as nobly distinguish herself as when a key figure during the War of the Roses, mother of King Henry VII, grandmother of King Henry VIII after whose coronation she died days later, and great-grandmother of Queen Elizabeth I.  She who founded Christ’s College and St. John’s College at Cambridge University and for whom Oxford University’s first college to admit women, Lady Margaret Hall is named.  Indeed, Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex has been a feminist for some time.  

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A lone shot of Westminster Abbey from the quire, looking to the altar before being approached by security and asked to cease doing so.  Before departing I took the time to pause at the three wreaths in the stalls of Lady Chapel, which is the spiritual home of the Order of Bath.  In recent months, three knights of the order had passed.  

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The view from the Cloisters from Westminster Abbey, to the courtyard fountain and the grandeur of Palace of Westminster’s Victoria Tower to the rear.  It was also a chance to wait out the downpours.  

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Excitedly the dash back from Westminster Abbey to Westminster Station on the Circle Line was one filled with giggles as I tried to avoid being dowsed by puddles as traffic sped past.  Next stop, Mansion House which eventually led to a break in the rains as I emerged from the Underground.  

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Look at that, the monsoon had eased up and there was even sunlight trammelling the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral.  Always, it is good to mount the steps to this grand shrine.  

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As it is the season of Remembrance, it was time to pause and pay homage at the tomb of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson whom both Merlin and I knew in our past lives in London when musicians at court during the reign of HM King George III and the Regency of HM King George IV.  

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The Earl Jellicoe. Admiral of the Fleet.  Love that there are actual poppies on his tomb.  

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Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington.

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One of the sights whilst ambling after yet another tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral.  

With that, it was back on the Underground and a return to Bloomsbury, where dinner and dream-filled sleep awaited.  

As ever, dream as though every moment is a dream memory of a past life (this one) for you in a future incarnation.  See it, experience it fully – without bias – appreciate it and be richly inspired by it.  Again, I can never say enough how deeply appreciative I am for your ongoing support.  

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.  

Here’s to You!

Just a wee glimpse into my magical life where dreamquests are all begun in the groovy comfort of my collapsible pyramid.  I have had a pyramid since 1984 in one form or another.  This incarnation of my dream chamber, I rather love.  Being surrounded by art is about being greatly inspired.  

Happy New Year!  Thanks for your ongoing support and here’s wishing you the very best this year!  Sweet dreams as ever! 

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Four Standing Figures.

Four Standing Figures Henry Moore

Four Standing Figures

Lithograph

12.5 x 15 in

11/50

©1978 Henry Moore

Provenance: Collection of Arvin da Brgha

Let there be art.  Let there be love.  

Back in 1982, Merlin and I were holding up at the Trockadero loft — home of Natch Taylor and his dancer lover, William Zammy Zamora.  Theirs was a beautiful loft in New York City’s Chelsea where across the street presided the block-long, imposing green edifice of one of those grand buildings found only in America.

One evening after rehearsals for a dance concert, I hung out with dancers from the Nanette Bearden Dance company, then finally made my way home late at night.  When I got in, Merlin was at the loft’s rustic kitchen/dining table with a large sketch pad with director, Jim Henson with whom he would be working in Toronto, filming the inaugural season of Fraggle Rock.  Tall, slightly drooped and intense, Jim briefly chatted but remained focussed on the task in hand.

Presently, he and Merlin were going over sketches and design ideas on respective pads for the shows.  At the time, whilst standing behind Merlin seated at the table, I remarked that the sketches were not unlike Henry Moore sculptures.  Both men simultaneously responded, “Hmm” to which we all laughed as it was reminiscent of the creatures in Mr. Henson’s feature film, Dark Crystal which had weeks earlier opened wide in theatres.  The film was a definite favourite of Merlin and mine.

Merlin remarked that the design were not dissimilar to Henry Moore’s sculptures whose massive curvaceousness, Merlin and I had agreed were feminine, .elegant and beautiful.  This discussion about art was had late at night, after having fucked like rottweilers at the Hotel Chelsea where he held up one weekend when in town from Toronto to both network but mostly to secure a right, proper ploughing of which he could never get enough… we both could never get enough.

On the whole, both men agreed that there were unconscious Henry Moore influences to their design sketches.  Those sketches would be further refined and were recently shared herein.  What none of us at the time could have known, was how spot-on was my observation.  As it would turn out, Henry Moore happens to be an old soul artisan who is an entity mate of both Merlin’s and mine.  Furthermore, Jim Henson who is an early mature artisan, also happens to be strongly bonded to Henry Moore, Merlin and I as he is in entity one of cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414, to all three of us being in entity six, of cadre one, greater cadre 7, pod 414.

Always, it is nice to find the ties that bind and it was really good of me to have picked up on that cadre connection when looking at the sketches and throwing Henry Moore ‘out there’ as it were.  The evening was lovely but I was in my restless youthfulness, dying to be alone yet again with Merlin and get on with the business of sinfully sweating whilst celebration life… love.

As ever, thank you for your ongoing support and do know that I shall shortly be starting a podcast, plus volume two of both my dream memoirs and the Michael Overleaves appendix will be launching soon, here at my art filled and recently redecorated home…

Sweet dreams as ever!

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©2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

In Remembrance: Hugh Steers.

Breathing 1987

Breathing

Oil on Paper

11 x 15 in

1987 Hugh Steers

Provenance: Estate of Hugh Steers

Signature 1991

Signature

Oil on Canvas

66 x 56 in

1991 Hugh Steers

Provenance: Estate of Hugh Steers

Sick Room Hugh Steers 1990

Sick Room

Oil on Canvas

38.12 x 40

1990 Hugh Steers

Provenance: Estate of Hugh Steers

Hugh Steers Self Portrait 1987

Self-Portrait 

Charcoal and Watercolour on Paper

30 x 22 in

1987 Hugh Steers

Provenance: Estate of Hugh Steers

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I have always loved the works of this young American Brahmin artist who was felled by AIDS – far too soon.  He was, of course, related by marriage to two of the most iconic Americans – at least for me – of the 20th Century: Gore Vidal (whose Michael Overleaves are to be found on the Michael Overleaves Appendix page) and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – both of whom were king souls.

 

I remember… this World Aids Day, 2015

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© 2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Madonna and Child.

Madonna and child

Black and red chalk, pen and brown ink on brownish paper

541 x 396 mm

© 1522-25 Michelangelo Buonarotti

Provenance: Casa Buonarotti, Firenze, Italia.

Today as the gallery is closed tomorrow, I biked to the AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario to see the Michelangelo Drawings show.  I had been really looking forward to this show as the video by Hugo Chapman of the British Museum was informative and engaging.  Perhaps, it was the setting – I really don’t see the point of having had Auguste Rodin works combined with the show.  Seriously, less is always more.

Frankly, I think that the works should have been contained in one salon with lots of seating and darker, more soulful colours for décor.  White walls are so dense-energied and negative…  The only salon that worked was the final one where there were dark soulful walls; however, that look was marred by the garish lighting and imposing Rodins which truthfully I paid little heed to.  Frankly, I was underwhelmed by the show; one needed to be able to sit and truly savor the works of art.  Going from salon to salon with the frenetic colour schemata was disruptive and precluded one being able to have a great time.  For an artisan mood is everything.

Too, as these were sketches, there were times that they were unimpressive.  I am certain that there are truly masterful Michelangelo drawings in private collections; those on exhibit at the AGO aren’t among them.  The only one that moved me is the final piece in the exhibit which for me saved the experience, Michelangelo’s Madonna and child.  After having been decidedly underwhelmed, I came downstairs and went past the galleries of objets d’art to the private salon, took a seat and soulfully drank of Sir Peter Paul Rubens’ Massacre of the Innocents.  I always go there because the décor of the salon is just right.  The mood is set by the soulful tone of the walls and the just-so lighting.  Both work to enhance the power and richness of tones in the painting which is worth every penny of the 117.5$m that Kenneth Thomson, 2nd Baron of Fleet paid in 2002 at Sotheby’s auction.

Of course, I also take the time to give thanks when visiting the salon – it is akin to going to church for me… a think that I last did at my father’s funeral in August 2008.  Today, I sat there for about 45 minutes enjoying the Rubens masterpiece and was ever mindful that this creative genius is in entity two of my cadre – one of greater cadre 7, pod 414.

Merlin and I as task companions are in entity six of said cadre whilst in entity one of same cadre is Jim Henson who has since reincarnated and is female, London-born and plans a life on the London stage.  Too, that entity, 1, is host to Sir Anthony van Dyck who is currently incarnate my oldest friend and resident in British Columbia though Dutch-born.

Don’t know his casting as such things were not shared in the Chelsea Quinn Yabro book, Messages from Michael, but Michelangelo Buonarotti’s Overleaves are as follows:

A fourth level mature artisan in the passion mode with a goal of growth, an idealist in the emotional part of intellectual centre with a chief feature of arrogance.  

Happy New Year and the best in 2015.  I am grateful for your continued support and patronage.  Spread the word far and wide – this right here is the most inspiring, uplifting ode to shamanic realism of a joint on WordPress.  Sweet dreams you, you are more magical and beautiful than you know.  I love you more.

Interestingly enough, when I first began this blog, back in February 2013, I knew that there were dreams like those of Won’t Take the A Train and Cicada Principle that I wanted to share… that I have actually remained focussed this long and have had as many interesting dreams to share herein with you has served to make me realise how awesome this man Merlin was.

Merlin it was who said one night as he cuddled in bed at 20 Amelia Street in tony Cabbagetown,

“My darling, you are quite talented and this is quite the gift you’ve got… don’t ever forget that.”

At the time, we were speaking on the cusp of his final hospitalisation of his intention of doing whatever possible to send me dreams from beyond after his passing as he wanted me to write of him and me.  This coming year, I plan on spending less time on this blog as I put the finishing touches to said work; the story of shamanic Merlin and me interspersed with dreams aplenty many of which have not been shared in this blog.

Too, I plan on being very detailed on this blog in my recounting of my experiences with a former employer because falling prey to the racial predator is not something that one should be ashamed of or live in denial of.  This has been the one empowering takeaway from the Jian Ghomeshi scandal – I always thought him an absolute fraud.

http://www.casabuonarroti.it/it/

http://www.ago.net/

http://www.rodinmuseum.org/collections/collectiontheme/6.html

http://www.britishmuseum.org/

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© 2013-2020 Abrvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Cornelius Satchleven.

vandyck3682

Engraving (Original)

25.1 x 17.5 cm

c. 1641 Sir Anthony van Dyck

What I especially love about this van Dyck engraving – one of my favourites – is that the subject, Cornelius, is so august-souled.  His look is so kaleidoscopic thereby betraying his reincarnational history.  To look at the subject, he could be Tatar, Nepalese, even Inuit… all the lives that he’s lived to date are magically alluded to.   Masterful.  Stunning.  I love it.

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© 2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Pink Chair II.

dwight6

Conté Drawing

3.5 x 4.0 Feet

© 1992 George Hawken

Provenance: Artist’s private collection.

Though this drawing of me was completed before I left Toronto for Vancouver in 1994, I never did see it until returning to living in Toronto, from Montréal, in 2004.  I loved it and still do.  The work is my favourite George Hawken and, of course, as it is a one-of-a-kind and not in my possession; this, of course, makes it that much more covetous!

What I especially love about it is that whilst living in New York City in 1983, I dreamt of the drawing and didn’t, at the time, realise that it was me; the eye-colour in the drawing is the same as a very exotic-looking female past-life of mine about whom I often dreamt back then – especially when studying classical dance in Winnipeg prior to that (1980-82).

At the time of that dream of this drawing which was yet to be – I had not even yet met George Hawken, Merlin and I were staying in the Chelsea loft of Natch and Zammy, the Artistic Director and his dancer lover, who since passed of AIDS, of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo.

Of course, prior to leaving for Vancouver, I was happily ensconced in relationships with Daryll Newcombe, Gustavo Vadim – the masochistic art thief in Washington D.C. and Manhattan cabaret singer, Frans Bloem… plus a few others.

http://www.rarespecies.co/work/urban-skins-the-prints-of-george-hawken/

http://www.art.utoronto.ca/people/visual-studies/mvs–faculty-members/george-hawken

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© 2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.