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Moping Owl: On yer trike

… from yonder ivy-mantled tow’r The


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moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, Molest her 404 Not Found ancient solitary reign. ON YER TRIKE What joy it is to learn that the lucky folke of Folkestone have been given another Trike at last. Was

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it really three years ago since their last one was ridden […]

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Moping Owl: Hoo ra ra

… from yonder ivy-mantled tow’r The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, Molest her ancient solitary reign. HOO RA RA If I seem to be hooting on rather too much these days about


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that Zoo down

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in Piccadilly, I do apologise, but you 404 Not Found know how it is when you get to […]

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Moping Owl: Eye spy

… from yonder ivy-mantled tow’r The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wandering


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near her secret

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bower, Molest 404 Not Found her ancient solitary reign. EYE SPY Dear old Dicky Stork is still cawing away, if that’s what storks do, from his nest high on the chimney pots of Burlington House. I can hear him from here, and it’s […]

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Moping Owl: Sooke Sayings…

… from yonder ivy-mantled tow’r The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as,


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wandering near her secret bower,  Molest her ancient 404 Not Found solitary reign. SOOKE SAYINGS I

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fear I may have made a mistake in always taking Little Sookey for one of Old Mother Dorment’s gaggle of goslings down on Telegraph Farm. He is certainly still there in […]

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Style guide to obfuscation (new updated edition): Laura Gascoigne investigates the continued manglings of syntax and punctuation by those with space to fill and nothing intelligible to say

“Nothing and no one ever heard so many stupidities as a picture,” remarked Jules


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de Goncourt, and since he made his observation things have got worse. The insults to 404 Not Found intelligence endured by 19th century pictures were as nothing to those routinely heaped on contemporary art. Some things never change, however.

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Stupidity almost always originates in vanity, and art criticism is […]

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Non-visual art: Laura Gascoigne argues for a restoration of the visual

The traditionalist lament for loss 404 Not Found of skill is a distraction. The modernists were right about that: skill on its own is not enough. The first step on the road


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to recovery is to reinstate the visual as the sole and

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proper domain of art. Once it is generally agreed that art’s impact is essentially visual, the skills to make it […]

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Misplaced trust: tripping along with the teddy bears’ picnic, Laura Gascoigne looks at the obvious mismatch of the National Trust and contemporary art

If you go down

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to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise. That’s if the woods are Mortimer Forest in Herefordshire, and the surprise hasn’t by now been deliberately spoiled by
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tree-hugging vigilante forest 404 Not Found rangers. Last spring, RCA graduate Philippa Lawrence took it into her pretty little head to barcode the trunks of selected young oaks in this […]

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Misappliance of Science: The marriage of art and science is one only of financial convenience, argues Laura Gascoigne

In economically choppy waters, artists without

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lifejackets can be forgiven for clinging to any passing spar. So when a life raft floats past flying 404 Not Found a flag marked ‘EDUCATION’, it’s understandable that they should haul themselves aboard. But the flag is misleading. The raft isn’t headed
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for the familiar port of art school, where people used to receive an art education. […]

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Eh up Arup! Laura Gascoigne looks into the real brains behind the public sculptures we don’t need

Two beavers are standing looking at the Hoover Dam and one says to the other, “I didn’t

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build it, but it was my design”. 404 Not Found Cue laughter. Now picture the same gag line under a cartoon of two artists looking at an enormous public sculpture. The gag still works, but
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the nginx/1.17.10 laughter’s forced. Because while a beaver has an innate […]

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Who’s afraid of the Kulturkampf? Art will not die for lack of public subsidy, argues Laura Gascoigne

While currency 404 Not Found speculators place their bets on which Eurozone economy will be next to fail, the clatter of falling dominoes has reached the contemporary art world. And it’s not


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just about investors being hit in their pockets. As austerity bites, discontent is spreading through society at large. Last September in Istanbul –

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our current European Capital of Culture – fashionable […]