Arts & Elbows

A catalogue of commentary on events in Thanet and occassionally the rest of the world.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Eli Knows Don't Argue

Great news for the culture vultures amongst us. No it's not another over-priced and under stimulating contemporary art event - it's actually a revival of great art driven by Eli from the Qubar/Sugar Lounge. After playing out massive cuts of ska at carnival weekend and getting a hugely positive response from us locals he decided to put on a ska revival night. Of course originating from Coventry means he's not just playing a pile of Trojan tracks, rather he's gone and got Neville Staples (aka Neville from the Specials) to come and play down here. As many might recall this'll be the first time he's played down here since 1980 to a packed out stomping crowd at Margate Winter Gardens.
Now if you know the venue you'll realise just how intimate it is, and if you remember the Specials you'll know just how much loved they remain to this day, so what an outstanding gig it promises to be.
Just when you thought it couldn't get any better there's more, future gigs will feature both the Beat and the Selector. Tickets are limited to around 250, so don't think you might just turn up on the night and wander in.
The gig is on Friday 22nd September, tickets are £12 and can be ordered by phoning 01843 571684. If you want to make an even better night out of it turn up really early and get some of their Jamaican food served up.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Witnesses Sought

Anyone who might have witnessed an attempt by a gang of three white males to rob High Street jewellers "Bling Bling Bling" on Saturday evening are urged to come forward. The gang are wanted by police for questioning. Anyone who saw their bungled attempt or know of their whereabouts should contact Margate police on 01843 231055.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Fire in Margate

There was a fire at the rear of businesses on Hawley Street this evening. Five fire engines attended and quickly brought the blaze under control. Too early to tell how much damage might have been done as Kent Fire and Rescue are still there dealing with it.

Carnival Spirit

This weekend enjoys a combination of both Margate Carnival weekend and the Mayor's Festival and sunny weather. There's still another day of fun to come so if you're reading this Saturday night you might want to get down here for tomorrow. The Parade is packed with tables, music and rides for the sprogs.

There's a nifty flight simulator over by the still closed Droit House.

A continental market, well French, stretches along the harbour although with a loaf of bread costing three quid it's not as busy as it could be.

There's some massive inflatables in Marine Gardens.

The beach is pretty busy with around eight sound systems playing out to an eager audience.

A steel band drumming away by the Clock Tower.

A never ending supply of beer.

Watch out for the cars using the pavement as a road though. I'd like to see locals try to get away with this.

Promenade and slipways have become free parking. Another move locals wouldn't get away with.

Not forgetting the tons of litter strewn around.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Must Sea

The idea of giving Ruth Cutler free rein to do anything is always a damned good idea given how she's one of the brightest artists the Island has. She's yet to disappoint and has been consistantly thrilling since the days when the only arts regeneration around was the wacky idea of saving the Castle Hotel in Ramsgate by turning it into an arts trust way back in the eighties. Predictably it became another dull conversion into flats.

To have Cutler curate a show in association with The Thanet Coast Project based around art influenced by the sea is automatically a damned good idea but also an experience which is warm, evocative and damply nostalgic. The warmth comes from the paintings ability to put the viewer right there on the beach with the sun beating down, it's evocative for both artist and viewer in how keenly a few dabs can convey this bay or that beach beyond any doubt. The damp nostalgia derives from how well we who live on the coast actually know it, nearly every viewpoint is recognisable and we could give directions on how to get there while recalling the taste of sea spray the time we were there last along with the occassional tale of tide, swell or the time Dave lost his left shoe.

Luckily for us Cutler has managed to assemble the great and the good to grace the walls with fine paintings. The catalogue reads like a Thanet edition of "Who's Talented"; Marriot, Smart, Rintoul, Buckey, Bushell, Powley-Kemp, Edwards, McTurk, Hughes, Samson, Day to name but half and of course the very special Ruth Cutler herself. There's some fresh talent as well, most notably Thelma Findlay whose five oils are spread over two places. Both spots come across as strong work from different artists, so how beautifly shocking to discover it's the same shiny soul.

Ruth Cutler's work continues to be exciting and fun, she's still concentrating on using a lot of found objects in her work and the result is a thrill touched by a hint of hoarding the old and the obsolete. There's a feel of archaeology to it but more modern, so old bakelite switches replace roman oil lamps, sea worn fragments of brick rather than mosiac tile and rusted metallic forms of forgotten function instead of bones. My meagre words can't get across how immediate and gripping her work is, so go and discover it for yourself.

The only negative to the whole show is how it only runs for a week, well eight days. That aside it's yet another "must-see" at IOTA which has almost become a cliche given how everytime they have a show on it's a stunner. It's a most welcome cliche though, especially at a time when the majority of arts funding goes elsewhere for cold shows lacking both heart and humanity.

"SeaArt 2006" curated by Ruth Cytler runs until Sunday 13th August at Gallery IOTA. For more information, call the gallery on 01843 853117 or click on the IOTA link on the left hand side of this web page.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Subtle Turner of Events

Having appointed David Chipperfield as the latest architect for the incredibly slow but suddenly revamped Turner Centre scheme it's only natural for them to hold a meeting to update eager followers of the project. Unfortunately you'd have to be madly eager, or being paid to attend, to manage turning up tomorrow at 7.30am at Solutions Coffee Lounge in Margate High Street. Of course cash being short it'll cost you a fiver to get in as well.
It's the usual less-than-engaging approach from all involved although it'll be a unique chance to have marketing director John Haywood talk at you, and interesting to see what regen head honcho Sam "I'm not here to answer questions" Thomas makes of coming this far into town. You might not have heard about the meeting not least because careful efforts have been taken to invite folk at the very last moment. Could this be so that KCC et al might claim the locals are apathetic when offered the chance to go to meetings?
There could also be a chance to meet David Chipperfield, although given the poor track record for the whole regeneration agenda it might have been better to have given the job to David Copperfield, as a touch of magic could really help.

Ask Statto