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Area NewsReview Indian Ink at the Barbican Library

undertake. Hopefully you will have a tape measure ready when you next go shopping for sofas but if you choose something a little too large you might be pleased to know about Pritchards of London. Their website is and their phone number is 07778-794711

Gillian Laidlaw An Improvisatory Theme

"Indian Ink", an exhibition to be held in the Barbican Library throughout June is a collection of recent paintings and artists` original prints by painter/printmaker Susan Sands,inspired by her travels in India. Born in Bombay, she hopes that her love for the country is reflected in these images - derived not only from the themes that usually attract the Western visitor,


architecture, rituals, dance etc; but also the more everyday side of life.

Her work for a small school in Tamil Nadu brings her in to contact with a rural community at its simplest, where she seizes the opportunity to draw people planting rice, bullocks ploughing, children going to school, women preparing meals and families at the village pump. Although attracted by the vibrant colour and patterns of the East, she is not afraid to tackle the urban poverty of families whose only home is the pavement.

So the sofa doesn’t fit..... D

o you take a tape measure when choosing new furniture? Have you ever fallen for a sofa that might be a tiny bit too long but surely it will squeeze into the lift? Are you amongst

those unhappy sofa purchasers who have had to return the item because there is no way it can be manoeuvred into the allotted space? One of our neighbours fell at all three hurdles but wasn’t prepared to give up. And if you were walking along the podium recently you would have witnessed the result – a wonderful contraption, part expandable ladder, part lift which elevated two sofas safely up to the sixth floor of Andrewes House.

Apparently such machines are de rigueur in Paris where it is just about possible to squeeze one person into an apartment block lift, let alone a sofa. A few are available to Londoners, mostly called into action to lift grand pianos through windows. But of course a ladder has a maximum stretch, and the car park ramp to the sixth floor railing was just 3 centimetres inside the limit. Fortunately on the day the ladder was long enough and the wind speed was low enough and the sofas reached their destination.

This was a first for Pritchards of London, the specialist removals company which own this cunning piece of equipment, because it is the highest lift which they have ever been asked to

everal churches in the City of London offer lunchtime concerts, mostly by instrumentalists or small groups, not well-known figures, but at a professional level of accomplishment I have just returned from one of the most unusual. Instead of the anticipated Chopin Preludes, there was no list of compositions, just the mysterious “Improvisation on a symphonic scale”. Curiosity, or trepidation, gained momentum as the Russian pianist swept up to the piano, giving the audience but a glancing bow. His head lowered, he remained deep in thought for about a minute, as the question lingered “What’s all this?”


He began with three or four single note configurations in the right hand, as though feeling his way - but loudly, as though to assure any bewildered listeners (all of us), that he did not have discordance or atonality in mind. Soon the left hand came in with octave-length rolling waves, and we had take-off on an Olympian scale of decibels. This sound was truly “huge”, oceanic, symphonic. And very busy, with ten fingers in relentless improvisatory pursuit (of too many notes, perhaps). Many composers had to be elusively represented in there. Desperation, too, was audible, and anger even, for those who seek meaning. At one point our pianist (“charismatic”, so said the programme) turned his head down to the right, contemplating the floor,

Sofa on its way up

Commuters across the Ganges in Acrylic – by Susan Sands

Proud owner tries out new sofa


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