Just an Observation Friday November 2nd


 Whilst it is almost a national pastime in this country to complain about the weather the devastation Hurricane Sandy has wreaked on several states in the U.S., as well as affecting Haiti and Cuba, puts our whinging into perspective. The latter two areas have largely been ignored by most media but the fatalities and wreckage have been as devastating to those communities as the more elaborately reported effects New York has endured. Not that it is to decry the suffering of any particular area when a disaster like this strikes it is just some are obviously more newsworthy. The scenes of a desolate and flooded Manhattan are as striking as any and seeing the fronts of buildings ripped off and fleets of yellow taxis floating down rivers where only hours before streets had stood proud and crowded is a haunting vision wherever it has taken place.

Considered the worst natural disaster in the states for years –as opposed to the worst unnatural disaster when Bush stole his way into the White House-its impact will be huge and the effects long lasting. Many homes are still without power and the number of total dead has yet to be confirmed but in New York City alone it has already risen to 40 though many other states also have fatalities and then there are the victims in Haiti and Cuba to be taken into consideration. It certainly puts our concerns about bad weather into some perspective and ironically it may signify a warmer winter ahead for us but as everything to do with weather these days is so unpredictable-we can no longer rely on seasons to gauge temperature or much else- there is every likelihood that we may find ourselves knee deep in snow within a matter of weeks and then happily return to moaning about our lot in the weather stakes.

Before the winter kicks in properly it may be wise to get a few good nights in before this. Two years ago I stalled going out in November in preparation for a Christmas rush only to find the heavy and omnipresent snow found most things cancelled and the month of December was spent hibernating, trying to keep warm, watching DVD’S and eating. By the time the snow cleared in early January I felt as if I had been cocooned for months though in reality it was only about five to six weeks.

First up for me this weekend then is TRANSFIGURATIVE an art opening at Patriot Hall off Hamilton Place in Stockbridge. A collective exhibition it will house many new –and some not so new- works by six different artists all working in different styles and mediums. Sensual, evocative, political and even hectoring are some of the styles I expect to find on display and will be interested to see how the works integrate, complement or even work against each other as each artist is radically different in their approach and methodologies as well as what they are trying to articulate through their own individual work.

Also this weekend-Sunday at 7.30pm- sees the third instalment of the highly successful ‘Envelope’ night at the Institute in Marchmont. This week sees four new silent films- two made by gallery founder Gavin Evans himself especially for the occasion- which will first be viewed as silent pieces before two musicians improvise a soundtrack to accompany them. This week the musicians are ‘Jazz Instrumentalist of 2011’ Graeme Stephen who also won an award for composing the soundtrack to Frank Murnau’s silent movie ‘Sunrise’ and Frederick Tanner.

I am particularly interested in this weeks event as I am the subject matter of one of the films and will be interested to see how Evans edits down our four hour filming session to a mere three to five minutes. I must admit that after seeing some of the shoot on camera playback and saw how he made me look I now feel that I need to be lit that way at all times as well as in slow motion  . So I can now be expected to be found having lights rearranged and lamps re-poised as I move around with all the energy of a sloth as this is how I now wish to be seen.

I have still managed to avoid the X-crutiating Factor so far this year and any attempt to watch it has left a dirty taste in my mouth- brought on by a volley of tourettes as I swear at the television during its duration- and have barely managed more than fifteen to twenty minutes at a time before switching off. Unfortunately I still have the guilty pleasure of ‘Made in Chelsea’ which consoles me in my relative poverty, as if this is how the well to do carry on then I am glad I don’t have to deal with such trivia. They really are a quite odious bunch but in some ways I seem to end up pitying them  more than anything.

Also essential viewing for me at the moment is ‘Homeland’ which ahs me on tenterhooks every week and last weeks conclusion was especially enthralling setting the way for a whole new approach. There is admittedly much about this series which is far fetched and somewhat over patriotic but somehow the performances and chemistry between the actors makes up for this. Elsewhere ‘Hunted ‘ on Thursdays on BBC1 is interesting enough although I really haven’t a clue what is going on half the time.

Out at the cinemas the new Bond movie ‘Skyfall’ and ‘The Shining’ are still packing them in and both are definitely worth catching. I now consider myself to be in movies as well so am off to prepare for my premiere on Sunday.

Transfigurative’ is showing at Patriot Hall off Hamilton Place from November 2nd -11th

‘Envelope’ is on at the Institute 14 Roseneath Street Sunday 4th November at 7.30pm.

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