Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

Tokarska Gallery

In Art, Events on April 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm

So  a few weeks ago I was walking down Forest road and I noticed one of the shops opposite the Pretoria junction had been repainted, with the words ‘Tokarska Gallery’ on it. While closed I had a peek through the windows and saw that indeed some noble nutcase had opened a venue for art on Foresat road!

A quick google revealed that the gallery had been opened by an artist who had once lived locally, Nadiya Pavliv-Tokarska. Last week I had a chance to drop in and view the first exhibition of her own work.

Most of her work consists of fascinating portraits of London streets, mostly around Liverpool Street. They seem to quite inpressionistic and have a photo like quality of not being quite perfect (like slightly out-of-focuse street furniture in the foreground). There were some other works such as one of her studio.

I’m very surprised at the location. It is very near Blackhorse Road station but has no free parking around it. Chatting to the lady there (the director Alexandria Kenna, according to her business card) I found they had a four year lease. Hopefully this got them a very cheap deal making the business sustainable. Maybe this makes the venue more valuable than being on Hoe Street or the unfashionable bottom end of the high street?

Regardless, it’s well worth dropping in for a view if you’re in the area.

Pictures can be seen on their website.


Mark Thomas at the Standard

In Events, music on April 1, 2011 at 9:04 am

So last Wednesday was my birthday and my lovely partner took me to see the Mark Thomas gig at the Standard. The gig was to benefit the Fire Brigade Union and was sold out.

The opening act was  stage magician Ian Saville who made Left wing jokes out of his tricks, which was a great spin and really suited the audience. He also did a very funny ventriloquism routine with a picture of Karl Marx.

Then up was Mark Thomas. He did a very animated, lively routine for about 45 minutes. The core of this was talking about research for his new book, ‘The People’s Manifesto’ where he asked audience members at gigs for policies. There were many mad ones and some genuine genius examples. He also talked about religion and his family with a joke about the cohesion and camaraderie of left wing politics getting the biggest laugh of the evening. After his set he was presented with a thank you framed picture of him at a protest, which I think was a very nice touch by the organisers.

And finally there was a very political folk band. We didn’t stay for their whole set – the sound wasn’t good enough to actually hear their lyrics. Although they seemed to have dedicated fans in the audience.

Overall it was a great gig and it’s nice to see the Standard do other things apart from tribute bands!