Artistic Wall (at Blackfriars)

Heard of Rupert Spira? No, I thought not. He’s apparently a British Studio Potter, a ceramicist. I’m entirely prepared to be pleased by that, and indeed his own website and the Wikipedia article on Rupert Spira make interesting reading – though I’d warn that he also has an interest in “non-dualist spirituality” which is complete hokum, and the videos make him look like a feeble idiot. It’s funny how some people who manage to establish themselves find it gives them a license to talk airy bollocks to other people and to charge them for the privilege. And even stranger how many fall for it.

100 New Bridge Street is a fairly bog-standard modern block just north of Blackfriars Bridge, but it has some pretensions to art with a bright stained glass window in the main lobby and a lot of ceramic panels by Spira on the back wall. The importance of this art is evidently lost on some people – hence the sign below – but if you can get past the silliness the tiles are there for you to enjoy. On the one hand they’re nothing special – just ceramic tiles set out in school-classroom tesselations; on the other, they are at least done in a nice restrained uniform manner, they’re beautifully made and installed, and – well, I rather like them. And he’s worked quite hard to devise a variety of different patterns. It seems a bit much that the Tile Gazetteer of the City of London (yes, there is such a thing) likens them to Escher – which isn’t really true – but there we go.