The Sunnier Side of Life

Well, there’s no denying that it’s been a tough year so far.

However, TheEye is an optimist and does look at life in a glass always full way, but waking up to greyness and listening to endless reports of disaster, whether it’s the economy, or the terrible situation in the Middle East and Putin’s reign of terror, and now the death of Iran’s president in a helicopter crash and the fear of what dictator with equally appalling views follows him, doesn’t exactly lift the spirits. The Japan airlines weird accident, plunging dramatically and suddenly, has really spooked her out. Does she really want to risk this happening? So suddenly and with no warning? The pictures taken inside the aircraft are everyones’s worst nightmare.

But today anyway the sun is shining and it’s time to focus on uplifting things.


An extraordinary theatrical event, not just in the performance of Sarah Snook, the Australian actor and star of Succession, but the brilliance of adaptor and director, KIP WILLIAMS.

Sarah Snook is on stage for nearly three hours and the technical team, including sound and video designers, are very much integral to the production. The Theatre Royal Haymarket was packed for every performance and friends that weren’t successful in getting tickets suffered from the well-known disease called ‘if you snooze, you lose’.

Having said that, the price of theatre tickets is outrageous.
TheEye is now going to her local Everyman Cinema (they are all over the country) watching theatre, ballet, and opera at a fraction of the price. The seats are comfortable and, best of all, you can munch away on popcorn.


FRANK AUERBACH is now in his 90s but still painting in his methodical way. Working and reworking each picture. The Charcoal Heads have rarely been seen in an isolated group. Auerbach has painted the same people on a regular basis over many years and most sitters come to his studio in the house he has lived in Camden for most of his life. Many of the charcoal drawings are self-portraits. The few paintings demonstrate the result of leaving a work for days or months adding more and more layers of paint each time he returns to them. They continue to get thicker and thicker. Listening to a rare interview some months ago, Auerbach revealed how short of money he was for most of his career and this necessitated using a lot of white paint as it was less expensive than colours.

The highlight of the week was PHOTO LONDON at SOMERSET HOUSE.

Rodney Smith Courtesy Stayley-Wise Gallery: “Men With Boxes on Their Heads”

Staley-Wise Gallery ‘New York Skyline’

Starting the day refreshed


In 2018 Gilbert McCarragher was asked to create a visual record of PROSPECT COTTAGE, the iconic Dungeness house of artist, photographer, and gay rights activist, Derek Jarman which he shared with his partner, Keith Collins, on the austere, windswept shingle beach near the looming power station. The house and surrounding garden has become an artwork in its own right. Photographs are taken from the book published by Thames & Hudson.

If TheEye was pushed into choosing her personal favourite at PHOTO LONDON it would have to be the complex work of Casper Faassen, an artist from the Netherlands working in Leiden. His influences are the Dutch Masters, Jan Steen, Rembrandt and others of that period. What TheEye found unique in his use of photography are the classic 17th century themes such as cityscapes and flower arrangements. He combines photography with layered paint and the use of craquelure which he says ‘gives texture to the surface of skin and a different way of perceiving the work’. TheEye was particularly attracted to a series of Delft Vases. Each vase is different in shape and design, individually framed, but it’s the blurriness of craquelure which make them so alluring.

Faassen’s work makes you really stand back and look

PHOTO LONDON: All the fun of the fair

Strong Japanese work

TheEye is hopefully looking ahead.

Spring is finally here and later in the week she will be off to the Chelsea Flower Show.
Her favourite stands, her disappointments (usually the crowds), but fear not – You will be hearing all about it. And now we have July 4th to look forward to –  let’s hope Rishi’s suit didn’t shrink in the rain!


  1. Delightful, makes me want to hop the pond and check it all out

  2. The Eye always brings us up to date on what is going on and so informative. Not sure how we would get along without your interesting observations!

    • This is one fabulous ‘Smorgasbord’ of happenings and things to see, thank you Janice. You have a wonderful eye, reflected in your pictures and every word you write.

  3. Thank you Jan for reminding us that we live in a great city
    So much to do and see. Great pictures.
    Suzie x

  4. Looking forward to a catch up Jan. Thanks for being our culture vulture. Love K x

  5. Uplifting as always!

  6. Felicity Osborne May 27, 2024 at 6:22 am

    Lots going on to catch up with – thanks as usual Jan for being on the scene

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