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Tag Archives: chatham
We’re delighted to announce a cracking line up for the opening gig for the Eyes All Around opening on Friday 6th May. We are proud to present the legendary Bob Collins with his band The Full Nelson, ably supported by punk poet and gentleman raconteur Unlucky Fried Kitten and the hypnotic Joe Cottiss.
All are welcome to the opening of the Eyes All Around exhibition, which takes place between 6:30 and 8:00 pm at the Brook Theatre Gallery, and we’d be delighted if you would join us for this gig just down the road afterwards, from around 8:30.
We’ve had a few questions about this coming Friday, so it seems like a good idea to post a potted itinerary. Plus, we’ve got some news. Our regular readers will all by now be aware of the exhibition Two Sides of the Same Coin (see Eyes passim) that opens between 6:30 and 8:00 pm on Friday 4th February at the Brook Theatre in Chatham. This preview, to which you are all invited, is just the first half of what promises to be a belter of an evening. From 8:30 pm we have a stunning line up of live music at the Nag’s Head in Rochester. Wheels and Lupen Crook will be sharing the bill, and we’re delighted to announce that they are being joined by very special guest Dave Read, formerly the front man with local legends The Claim, and one of the finest songwriters we can think of. So there.
The exhibition itself showcases the stunning work of artist Daisy Parris, supported by photographer Phil Dillon. It’s about local influences and talent and is as much about the fellow creatives the work points up as it is the artists themselves. Ultimately though, it’s about Medway, its culture and its catalysts.
Steve invited Medway Eyes (that’s Rew and Anna on the left) to meet Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for the South East (foot on stump) and members of the Medway Green Party to talk about the new bus station that is to be built on the Paddock. Trees have already been felled in preparation for this, despite reports that only 360 of Medway’s 250,000 population have actually been consulted about this (and even then, 69% of those canvassed didn’t want the station to be built on the Paddock). We discussed this lack of consultation and the environmental impact of the project. We were surprised to learn that Medway Renaissance and SEEDA are no more (something that we hadn’t seen in the local press) and pleased to discover how Brussels can sometimes help to bring councils to account.
We took the Greens for a walk along Desolation Row to discuss our ongoing multimedia project, the area’s history, empty shops and the tragedy of the Theatre Royal. There was general agreement that what we were walking through didn’t feel like a city, and we went on to discuss the individual character of each of Medway’s distinct towns.
It was interesting to discover how much we all had in common, something that party politics will never quite be able to grasp – at least not while infantile point scoring, careerism and ideology are deemed more important than dialogue.
One last note: At no point did the Greens ever preach policy at us or ask if they could count on our votes, and we – not being party political – found that very refreshing.
Possibly its most important event this year, the Medway Eyes Photo Walk drew attention from far and wide. Due to coverage on the BBC, in The Independent, Amateur Photographer, the British Jounal of Photography, as well as local papers, Monaxle and Medway Eyes became momentarily famous for all the wrong reasons. Medway Eyes didn’t set itself up as a civil rights group, but found itself at the heart of a debate which has been snowballing since legislation was introduced allowing police officers to arrest anyone, for
any reason, under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
Section 44 is one of the more controversial laws introduced during New Labour’s tenure; part of an avalanche of more than 3600 new criminal offences set to bury us all in bureaucracy and undermine our rights. Under Section 44, the police need not have any grounds for arrest at all. So, if you carry a camera, or a mobile phone, or a rucksack, or if you drive a van, or wear a beard, then watch your back, because that’s all it takes. Abandoning all common sense, it seems, the government has exercised extreme stupidity
in order to legislate against extreme stupidity. What’s it going to do next? Arrest itself?
Despite the events which inspired the photo walk, the day itself saw a hefty contingent of happy photographers descend on Medway from all over the place. A slideshow of what they saw can be seen on the Rights and Wrongs page on the Medway Eyes website.
You can follow the details of Monaxle’s case on his blog.
And here’s some video. The first is from The Independent. The second is from Babycravat.
Dillon, who has been described as “a cult”, exhibited a variety of works showcasing Medway and its musicians alongside some of his well-known London photographs and some of his more impressionistic work.