Andalusia, architecture, art, photography, Spain, spring, travel

Andalusian Art and Culture

Having been to Andalusia a few times now, I have a real appreciation of the lifestyle and culture, the laid-back attitude and, of course, the need for a siesta in the middle of the day…

Marbella is a lovely resort which has been revived and refreshed to something more like its 1960s heyday (although, thankfully you don’t need to be a millionaire to go there now!

Apart from the miles of golden beaches, the main draw of Marbella, for me, has to be the Old Town.

The Old Town is a winding maze of cobbled streets, cafes, restaurants and shops, selling everything from linen and cotton clothes and home furnishings, to local artisan shops and designer handbags, with wisteria, bougainvillea and hibiscus spilling over you from the balconies above.

Only 45 minutes away by a very reasonably priced direct bus, is Malaga, birthplace to the artist Pablo Ruiz y Picasso.  A beautiful city with architecture old and ancient a-plenty to feast your eyes upon, including this beautiful former Hospital and the Roman Amphitheatre ruins.

As Picasso’s home town, there are a number of Museums / Art Galleries – we decided to go to the Museo Picasso Malaga – which appeared to be the largest, but also had an additional exhibition on which we wanted to visit.

I must admit to never having been a big fan of Picasso, from the few pieces that I have seen, but my view has definitely shifted now, having seen the range of oeuvres including sculpture, ceramics, print-making and his early, more naturalistic paintings.

The additional exhibition was a touring exhibition called Energy Made Visible, focusing mainly on Jackson Pollock’s Mural which was commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim for her New York abode.

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Although I love Pollock’s drip painting, it was one of the rare occasions when the other exhibits – including those who both inspired and were inspired by Pollock – were more interesting than the main feature.

There were works from artists and photographers that I did not recognise, such as Barbara Morgan, Herbert Matter and this painting by Antonio Saura – La Grande Foule (the Great Crowd) which made more of an impression on me than Pollock’s work.

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Initially this looks a bit bleak, but in reality the faces vary from comical to the downright scary.  Being a complete geek, I couldn’t help but see a misshapen Darth Vader in the figure on the bottom row, just before the half-way mark.  Can you spot him?

My final surprise was to see a work by Andy Warhol, another artist who I have always thought was over-rated.  This work, entitled Yarn Painting was so eye-catching and bold.  Regular readers will know why I laughed when I found out the name of the work – as a mad-keen crafter, I spend half of my time looking at or working with fibres and yarns!

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This exhibition is on in Malaga until 11 September so, if you get a chance, take some time out and enjoy Andalucia!

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Geek Weekend – Part I – Costumes

Ood afternoon!

Yesterday I accompanied my cousins to the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff – highly recommended for any Who fans…

I visited a couple of years ago (during Matt Smith’s Doctor) and they have recently re-energised it and the exhibition with a more interactive Peter Capaldi episode which is at times quite spooky, but very enjoyable.

Afterwards we wandered through the exhibition and bought some goodies at the shop.  More on that later – I thought I would start with the costumes which were quite magnificent.  Please excuse the quality of the pictures as I only had my mobile phone camera on hand…

Firstly, some of Clara’s costumes.  She’s not my my favourite of companions, although she has her moments…  She is so incredibly tiny – I am sure my biceps are wider than her waist!

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On to one of my favourites, River Song.  She is an amazingly powerful female character.  One of the things I love about Doctor Who is that they don’t just write in two-dimensional girlie roles.  All of the companions (and now Missy of course!) are complex, usually clever, resourceful and funny.  River Song had (or should we say, has!) this in spades.

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On to some of the character costumes – the attention to detail and styling on these were quite astounding up close and personal.

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I can’t do a blog on Doctor Who costumes without including The Doctor himself.  Firstly – my first Doctors.  I have no recollection of Jon Pertwee, I think I would have quite enjoyed his incarnation of The Doctor.  The Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, was my first Doctor.  I found him extremely scary at the time – big eyes, big hair, very tall and that booming voice (well I was very young!)

As a keen knitter and crocheter, I have always fancied making a scarf or two, based on a variation of Tom Baker’s scarf.  Perhaps one in a thinner, lighter fabric, not so wide and certainly as long as possible – but maybe not quite the 24 feet long scarf that the Fourth Doctor had at one point.

Peter Davison was my favourite at the time, he was quieter, more sensitive and, of course, very handsome!  The celery stalk was a bit of a strange addition to the costume, but it all added to the quirkiness of The Doctor which we all know and love…

 

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So here they all are – in order, including the War Doctor.

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My least favourite Doctor was Sylvester McCoy.  He had some fun with the part, but it was no surprise to me that the series was cancelled at that point.

With ‘new Who’ I was thrilled that Christopher Eccleston took the part of The Doctor.  He and Russell T. Davies brought something fresh and new to a character that we all loved, and thought we knew!  but my Doctor is (and probably always will be) Ten – David Tennant (he really was a skinny boy!)

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He just encapsulated the role so brilliantly and could play light and shade and everything inbetween.  Although Eccleston brought it back in style, to my mind, it was Tennant and his relationship with Rose that sealed the success that it now is.

Who is your favourite Doctor and why?

Happy geeking!

 

Lou x

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