I bottled out of the Russian Magic lecture. I walked most of the way to the common with R and the dogs, to offer support.Then I went to the NPG to check out the Schweppes Portrait Awards. It was bloody crowded, so difficult to concentrate. Most of the entries seemed pretty banal, with a distinct overload of little girls. One was quite strange, though; Anna by Gandee Vasan, a weird child with Pre-Raphaelite Titian hair,an anxious sidelong glance and a rather sharklike, ragged mouth. Creepy. There were also some decent shots of pikey families, but nothing terribly original or intriguing.
I also checked out LOOK AT ME in the basement. There were video self-portraits from St Martins' CONNECTIONS people. One was a 'mad' woman called Eleta, who was suffering from some extreme delusions, but evidently was pretty controlled most of the time, and very articulate. She had produced wonderfully colourful constructions, costumes, etc. depicting her inner world, and was genuinely gifted.
There was yet another small exhibit of photo self-portraits next to the cafe, and by then, I wanted to go home, not to the British Library.