Rigg's Cabinet of Curiosities

Mary Newcomb & Rebecca Louise Law : Compton Verney

… two complementary approaches to nature … with “Nature’s Canvas” & “Seasons”

Mary Newcomb (1922-2008) was a scientist, farmer and a self taught artist who settled in rural East Anglia. Her works are a delightful mix of humour, close observation and near abstraction. This exhibition, Mary Newcomb: Nature’s Canvas, is a thoughtful presentation over fifty works, displayed alongside extracts from her writing and also selected work by the artists (including Alfred Wallis, Milton Avery and Winifred Nicholson) that inspired her. Apart from show stoppers such as The Lady with a bunch of Sweet Williams (above) and quirky titles (Cows affronted by Land Drains), I particularly like her sketches and watercolours …

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Another Us : Kirsten Hesketh

… funny & thoughtful …


Another Us centres on Emma and her son’s diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome. It is funny, thoughtful and absorbing. I loved it. Continue reading “Another Us : Kirsten Hesketh”

Clockwork Sherlock: Ian W Sainsbury

… intriguing & fun update …

audible sherlock holmes

Gosh, I haven’t done a book review for ages but then this came along and I was intrigued.  A virtual Sherlock? A young, black, female Watson? Continue reading “Clockwork Sherlock: Ian W Sainsbury”

Cranach: Artist and Innovator : Compton Verney

… absorbing and thought provoking …

rings gloves costume

Who isn’t beguiled by Cranach? His sinuous, other worldly women and big nosed men in their sumptuous clothes and fine jewels, Continue reading “Cranach: Artist and Innovator : Compton Verney”

King John : The Swan, RSC

… whip smart, immensely enjoyable …

RSC King John

Eleanor Rhode‘s vibrant interpretation re-energises what could be seen as a bitty, minor tragedy into a fast moving procession of Continue reading “King John : The Swan, RSC”

The Boy in a Dress : RSC

… feel good fabulous …

Stratford upon Avon RSC David Walliams


The RSC’s Christmas show is a winner. The breezy David Walliams’ story has been given smart tailoring by the wonderful Mark Ravenhill and decorated with some great show tunes Continue reading “The Boy in a Dress : RSC”

The Coventrys and Art : Croome Court

… pleasurable and thought provoking …

deerhurst coventry croome nesta

This excellent one room exhibition brings together 25 portraits of the Coventry family from the ermine robed dignitaries of the 17th century (attributed to Cornelius Johnson van Ceulen) right through to this year’s Continue reading “The Coventrys and Art : Croome Court”

A Dormouse Jar at the Ashmolean

… an earthenware fattening jar …

dormouse ashmolean

Obviously the star exhibit at the Last Supper in Pompeii show currently at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford is the glirarium or dormouse jar. (Glires is Latin for dormouse.) This large, lidded terracotta jar mimics the hibernation nest, perfect for Continue reading “A Dormouse Jar at the Ashmolean”

Ravencry : Ed McDonald

… tremendously satisfying …

grimdark fantasy fiction

Ravencry continues the highly enjoyable story of wounded hero, Ryhalt Galharrow, with his seriously bad tattoo and relentless drink problem fighting his way through a post apocalyptic world. Ed leavens Ryhalt’s grisly existence with a thoughtful generosity Continue reading “Ravencry : Ed McDonald”

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