Bring back Bayko!

More nostalgia today, as Nige makes a pitch for the next building toy-based Hollywood blockbuster... Following the success of The Lego Movie, the time is surely ripe for Bayko: The Movie. For those of us who spent a formative portion of our early years assembling red, white and green 30s-style houses from bits ... Read More...

Peder Balke at the National Gallery

Nige is blown away by Norwegian painter Peder Balke's masterly seascapes, in an exhibition currently showing at London's National Gallery... I admit I'd never heard of Peder Balke before reading about this exhibition. Balke was a Norwegian painter (1804-87) whose mature style was so heavily criticised in his day that he ... Read More...

Eric Ravilious’ Wood Engravings

  Nige enjoys the masterful wood engravings of the great Eric Ravilious... One of the most welcome birthday presents I've ever received was a handsome volume of Eric Ravilious Wood Engravings, beautifully produced by the Mainstone Press. The versatile and prolific Ravilious was as naturally gifted a wood engraver as he was a watercolorist, ... Read More...

Giovanni Battista Moroni at the Royal Academy

The Royal Academy's exhibition of paintings by Giovanni Battista Moroni is the first large-scale survey of his works to be staged outside Italy. Nige reports... I only knew Moroni from the handful of his intriguing portraits in the National Gallery - including the famous Portrait of a Tailor (top) - and I was eager ... Read More...

Jean Ingelow: Divided

Nige unearths a neglected gem of Victorian poety by the almost-forgotten Jean Ingelow... Unless a man is an extraordinary coxcomb, a person of private means, or both, he seldom has the time and opportunity of committing, or the wish to commit, bad or indifferent verse for a long series of years; ... Read More...

Tok Pisin

Erudite 'bun nating' Nige introduces the inventive pidgin language of Tok Pisin... Tok Pisin is a form of Pidgin English and is widely spoken in Papua New Guinea. It developed as a result of Pacific Islanders intermixing, when people speaking numerous different languages were sent to work on plantations in Queensland and ... Read More...

Ekphrasis: Thom Gunn on Edouard Vuillard

  Nige reflects on a poem about a painting... I only recently came across the word Ekphrasis (adj. ekphrastic), but I've been enjoying Ekphrasis, all unknowing, for many years. It describes a work of art (or part of one) whose subject is another work of art - from Homer on the shield ... Read More...