Change is the only certainty in this crazy life and Ian’s recent departure from Kensal Review, while shaking us at the very core, will hopefully also bring things into sharp focus and call upon each of us to examine our own commitment to this group. I wanted to say something witty about Kensal Review and The EU but I’m not feeling funny. I don’t really know what to say. As I write this Iceland has just beaten England in the Euro’s. 2016 has been a weird year and the only certainty seems to be that nothing you expect to happen will happen.
Last month at Michelle’s house there was just five, instead of ten of us. Were we half-full or half-empty? In the past we might have said the latter but as our numbers continue to dwindle a new intimate group has became the norm. I personally like the small ones because I’m not very good at talking in groups. But there are disadvantages obviously and a future vision of a Kensal Review with AC, Ian and Michelle down the pub with a packet of twiglets is something we want to avoid.
If you haven’t read any Tagore, do it now. His stories deal with fate and the transience of life (wise words Juliette). They show us that through living a simple life we will learn the most. Tagore was much more than just a writer of short stories. Tagore’s legacy is immense. He was a polymath, a great, great poet, an awesome painter. He reminds one to find your trueness, to work out what matters and go for it.
Kensal Review might be in the midst of some sort of minor identity crisis. Are we a book group with dinner or a dinner club with books? Can we even be a book club if we don’t all read the books anymore?
KR deserves more and we all know it. The day after Brexit, the most goggled search was “what is the EU?” We could ask the same question of our review. What is Kensal Review?
For me, Kensal Review has always been about the journey of discovery. I’m not very well read but have discovered many new great writers and artists in the last five years. Mona Hatoum was one of those artists. All five of us had only recently discovered her work and it was one of those exhibitions that had a surprise lurking around every corner. She worked in numerous mediums from film to sculpture exploring her own body as a route to understanding her identity as a woman living in exile. We discussed what being an exile artist means and if there is an exile art movement. We also all wished for a desktop version of her kinetic sculpture (Sand in Motion).
This particular review has taken me a silly amount of time to write up so I will make every effort to pull my finger out next time. My commitment to the group has always been solid but my commitment to London is something that I’ve been struggling with. If I don’t make the next one then I too will hang up my boots and make room for new blood. Until then, adios amigos.