The following review was contributed by ‘X-Stream Pontiff’, Mr Raymond Babel, whose Babel Anthology, featuring new English writing and French literature in translation, will be launched on May 1st at the Albion Beatnik bookstore in Jericho. Several Oxford Arts Group members have contributed to this exciting new tome, including Mr Bable himself.
Reading (pronounced like ‘Otis’, not like what folks did on long train journeys before they invented Eyepads) is a would-be klone town (with leftover Victorian and Georgian and even older bits overlooked for renewal by a careless council). It is conveniently situated between Oxford and Smokeyvile our national capital godsavethequeen and eton college too, so that train drivers could stop for a fag and a cuppa in timesofyore.
On Saturday it was the chosen target for a select core of snow warriorz under the command of ‘Neilyboy’ Nil Anderstun on a mish to visit the John Tweed sculpture exhibition at the Museum of Reading (pronounced Otis). Tweed was a man with a split personality who on the one hand, inspired or perhaps just egged on by his friend Auguste Rodin, turned out sensitive and sensual nudes of various girlfriends, with particularly finely done upper arms and buttock muscles sleeping under their cold smooth marble.
On, or possibly with the other hand, after the Boer War, Tweed turned out great brooding fat Queen Vicky statues, one portrayed in a bizarre photo of the Yemen on the exhibition end wall; as well as cock o’ the walk Cecil Rhodes figures, an example of which can be seen in the exhibition surveying his domain in Bulawayo, ex Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. No doubt President-for-Life Roberto Mugabe lays a wreath there every year.
Great documentation, sketches, photographs etc in the exhibition fill out this hardworking artists’ career for us — and it’s free. God bless Otis.
After the Tweed exhibition, the snowpeople looked at a stuffed stoat, a Roman suburb mock-up (with togas to try out) and a medley of biscuit tins. The Otis or Bikky museum has summat for all. Your reviewer was installed, in the Fake Bayeux Tapestry Gallery, as Xtreem Poncetiff (similar to supreme pontiff and also travels on buses, so where’s my palace and red shoes, innit?)
And then we had cake and sandwiches at the picnic cafe, which has good soup and choc tarts.
Ray Babel of Babel Anthologies. Abridged and interpreted by Neil Anderson.