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Important relationships

Fox Talbot invented his ‘photogenic drawing’ process in 1834 and ten years later published The Pencil of Nature, the first book to be illustrated with photographs. There is nothing like Elisabeth Vellacott’s drawings to make you impatient with Fox Talbot’s terms. Photography, which freezes an instant in an instant, is neither nature’s pencil nor any

Subversive needles

When Henry Moore wanted to make clear that he thought Eric Gill’s sculpture dull and unadventurous, he compared it to knitting. Times have changed, and knitting has become worryingly fashionable, hence the Crafts Council’s delightful exhibition Knit 2 Together. There is, however, a strange feeling of déjà vu about all this. Remember the barefoot California

Evolution, not revolution

On the whole, Radio Four has had some good controllers over the years, the better ones being those who introduced gradual change. The two who were the least successful in my view both tried to rearrange the furniture after moving in; I’m thinking of Ian McIntyre in the late 1970s who, one felt, wanted to

Unanswered questions

We still aren’t sure why, two summers ago, Dr David Kelly killed himself. I don’t believe for one moment he was murdered — cui bono? And, for example, I have no doubt the mysterious men in black near the scene really were policemen. Yet it does remain puzzling. The general view seems to be that

Evocations of London

John Virtue (born 1947) is the sixth National Gallery Associate Artist. A great deal of fuss is being made of the exhibition which marks his two-year period in residence in a basement studio. On display are the 11 new paintings he has made, several of them vast, and the show spills out from the Sunley