Easter Football – Chinese Artist Carves Football Players on Eggs

Wang Huaping, a Chinese artist and football fan, carves the faces of famous football players on eggs.

Wang Huaping has carved hundreds if not thousands of eggs, and is an established artist in his home city of Tianjin.

His eggs include portraits of famous football players like Lionel Messi, David Beckham, or David Villa, all carved with a fine chisel. He has also carved the logos and mascots of the 2010 and 2014 FIFA Football World Cups.

Image

egg-carving7

I’d like to see him try it on a Creme Egg. That would be cracking.

Advertisements

Football Stretcher Prints, from Co2nscience

Stretcher Print is a unique wall print product, available exclusively from Co2nscience. They are Bradford-based eco company with a simple mission – to develop and sell super-cool, unique products made from recycled, re-claimed, and sustainable raw materials.

Image

Designed with ‘BIG’ in mind, they wanted to get away from the constraints of rigid square/oblong canvas prints. Because they don’t use wooden frames to make the prints, they can create really unique flexible shapes! Soft and felt-like to the touch, they are made from recycled plastic bottles too, which really gives them (and you) a warm feeling inside.

Image

If you pledge on Kickstarter at the £39 pledge they will make you one of these shirts (and probably do an Arsenal and Chelsea set too). After the Kickststarter initiative ends (on the 10th April), they will retail at circa £50-£60 so if anyone wants a bargain you need to get in quick!

NEAR POST: Literary Goalkeepers – Albert Camus, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle & Vladimir Nabokov

Image

I came across an interesting blog post today, whilst doing some research on Albert Camus and Racing Universitaire d’Alger (as you do).

Entitled ‘Writers, doctors, goalkeepers‘ and posted to the UCL SSEES Research Blog this time last year, Tim Beasley-Murray writes about the UCL German Department’s research project in the ‘medical inhumanities’, doctors who were also writers, and, more pertinently for No Standing, writers who were also goalkeepers.

Here, I quote liberally from the text of the blog:

“[The article makes] reference to the curious phenomenon of goalkeepers who are also writers (or perhaps better: writers who sometimes played in goal). Here, too, it is easy to see the grounds for this: while the rest of his team rushes about outfield, it is the goalkeeper who has the time between his sticks to think and to dream. As the Slovene-Austrian writer, Peter Handke (1942- ) suggests in his wonderfully entitled Novelle of 1970, The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (well, it sounds better in German), the solitariness of the goalkeeper has a forcefully existential dimension that can easily result in a turn to literature.

Famous figures in the tradition of writer goalkeepers include Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle (Scottish, 1859-1930) who kept goal for Portsmouth Association Football Club and is the member of a very exclusive club of writers who were both physicians and goalkeepers, and, of course, Albert Camus (French, 1913-1960). Camus was goalie for the Racing Universitaire d’Alger, winning the North African Champions Cup and the North African Cup twice each in the 1930s. When asked later about his time as a goalkeeper, Camus declared proudly:

After many years during which I saw many things, what I know most surely about morality and the duty of man I owe to sport and learned it in the RUA.

The Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) was an excellent all-round sportsman, at times earning his living as a tennis and boxing coach and, while at Trinity, Cambridge, playing in goal for the College. (He was, of course, also a zoologist and a lepidopterist and much has been said about his particular alliance of the sciences and the humanities.) The last word, then, goes to Nabokov in his autobiographical Speak, Memory:

As with folded arms I leant against the left goalpost, I enjoyed the luxury of closing my eyes, and thus I would listen to my heart knocking and feel the blind drizzle on my face, and hear in the distance the broken sounds of the game, and think of myself as of a fabulous exotic being in an English footballer’s disguise composing my verse in a tongue nobody understood about a remote country nobody knew. Small wonder I was not very popular with my team-mates.”

Tim Beasley-Murray is Senior Lecturer in European Thought and Culture at UCL-SSEES.

The Football Paintings of LS Lowry

Image

Going to the Match

From WSC, “Lowry’s painting shows more than a crowd“:

Perhaps the best known British football painting is LS Lowry’s Going to the Match. The picture achieved a level of fame when, in 1999, it was bought by the Professional Footballers Association for £1.9 million. More modestly, it had earned Lowry a share of a £1,000 prize when it was one of four winners in the painting section of the 1953 Football and the Fine Arts competition, part of the celebrations of the FA’s 90th anniversary. Tate Britain is now holding a major exhibition of the painter’s work, which runs until October.

“Although his pictures of mills and terraced houses are familiar he also produced a number of football related pictures. Lowry favoured Manchester City as a team but the picture shows Bolton’s Burnden Park. Like many of his pictures it is a composite, not painted directly from life but built up from sketches and observations over time. It shows, as PFA head Gordon Taylor put it: “The heart and soul of the game, the anticipation of fans on their way to the match.”

“The crowd is shown walking to the match, although photographs from the time show that even in 1953 some of the area outside the ground was used for car parking. Several queues are forming at the turnstiles, with the majority paying at the gate. In the background, people are flooding from terraced streets, mills and factories, many probably dashing from Saturday morning overtime with only a short break for a cup of tea or a pint.

“Taylor puts his emphasis on the crowd and that was probably Lowry’s focus, with many of his pictures showing groups of people going to or coming from work and at play – fairs and football are common themes. But Jack Charlton, commenting on what is, apparently, his favourite picture, gives more emphasis to the ground and his memories of watching matches at the time: “Open wooden stands, cinders under foot, terrible conditions in the toilets.” There are plenty of stories that try to make a virtue of mediaeval plumbing but it’s far too easy to romanticise the images as part of football’s “golden age”.”

“Lowry’s art is not to everyone’s taste. But in that one image he captures factors, such as the flow and swirl of an excited crowd on the way to a match, not specific to Bolton or Burnden Park, but typifying football at the time. The crowded terraces symbolise the huge numbers watching the sport, and the risks presented by what one writer has called the “decrepit terraces”. In 1953 football was starting to face the challenge of the “missing millions”. So, perhaps, Lowry captures the excitement of matchday but, unintentionally, also reflects a tipping point in football history.”

Brian Simpson