Thursday, August 10, 2006

Badges, 93 Feet East, 05/08/06

Bit of a blag this, as these were left on tables at my friend's night 'It's Bigger Than' for the Punters to squirrel away, and presumably wear round London advertising the night.

The logos were designed by a guy called Joycey who also does some rather excellent flyers for the night (which if you've not been, you should definitely check out – even though it does finish a wee bit on the early side).

I had another IBT badge a while ago (a larger one, ironically), and my mate Dunc's old Mauritian housemate Jessica thought it was some kind of smutty joke.

Opera Poster, Richmond Road, Putney, 03/08/06

I chanced upon this puppy on the Richmond Road. Someone had left it leaning against a wall. I paused, did some quick mental arithmatic involving distances, modes of transport etc, before thinking "what the hell" and hauling the thing all the way back to my flat in Camberwell.

It's big. A0 or larger, and is a poster for Stravinsky's opera 'The Rake's Progress' at the Teatro Alla Scala in 1979, with sets by David Hockney. It's quite a traditional typographic layout, and there's some tape marks at the top and bottom, but there's something nice about it for all that.

Not sure where it's going to end up hanging, but the roomies quite like it, so maybe the living room, which would be nice as there was a hung jury over my original Andy Warhol Chealsea Girls poster (I think the implicit adult themes would have put Jess off her Crunchy Nut Cornflakes).

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Ladybird book, Woodborough Road, Putney 02/08/06

Oh my gosh. This is what Eye Found It is all about. Great finds in obscure semi-suburban London settings. I spied this baby nestling by the curb on a quiet street, bleating piteously at me to rescue it from a fate of muck and mire. And liberate it I did.

Infused with a kind of cheery work ethic, this slender volume hails from the sixties, and offers a cursory rundown of what soldiers do in large serif type. I think the decade of free love must have had the establishment running scared, as this comes across as a 'get 'em early' recruitment drive for the army.

Incidentally, I do remember being briefly taken with the idea of being a soldier at the age of six (I think it was the uniforms), though it was an ambition that quickly dissipated. Maybe it would have done me some good however, as here I sit, long haired and shiftless, writing blog entries about the discarded miscellany of modern consumer culture I have appropriated womble-like from the streets.

The illustrations or 'commercial art' are uniformly gorgeous, though my favourite is this one of a cavalryman from the reign of King Charles II, where the painter has exercised artistic license in giving the figure in the foreground a couple of homunculi or 'mini me's'. (I think this conceit was to show off their pikes).

This image shows a young fresh faced chap in the recruiment office, about to accept the queen's shilling and take his first step into the manly world of work.

Is it just me, or is that doubt I see stealing across his face like rats through the basement of a Soho brothel? One thing's for sure, his entire body language broadcasts reticence.

Things I like about this artfully constructed scene include: the tentative way he's holding the slip of paper, as one might caress a scorpion, and the way the officer leans eagerly forward into the frame in askance. "come on sonny what's it going to be?, I ain't got all day you know, sign your name and you can have a cigarette".

The book concludes with the statement "Soldiers are well-fed and well-clothed and are always with their friends. They have busy lives and are happy men."

It does rather skirt around the awkard issue of soldiering's occupational hazards, such as getting shot in the head in a foreign field, insofar as it doesn't bring up 'the whole dying thing' at all. Neither does it point out that you as a soldier might be called upon to shoot someone else in the head, though really, what plucky lad wouldn't want to shoot someone in the head in the name of king and country.

The possibility that you might be doing all this for a deluded messianic leader who believes he's got a batphone direct to god, and is happily wandering up the garden path in the middle east in the wake of a right wing superpower is also not alluded to. But then this isn't Private Eye.