Author: BOLAJI BABAFEMI

A restorer applying gilt and finishing touches to the Kensington Palace gates | Photograph: Bolaji Babafemi

The Diana Gate: A Brief History

Eighteen years after the untimely death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Kensington Palace gates unofficially named after her is almost unrecognisable from the wrought iron gates that bore hundreds of floral tributes which spilled into the surrounding gardens in 1997. But it still remains the focal point where her memory continues to be honoured on the anniversary of the Paris crash.

Chelsea's soccer manager Jose Mourinho, wife Matilde Faria and daughter Matilde  arrive for the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in London

Mourinho’s Got 99 Problems

It seems the tyres are finally coming off a well-oiled Chelsea team. Even with a new tyre sponsor. And so early in the Premier League season, the champions are already eight points behind leaders Manchester City and find themselves in 13th position with their worst start to the season in the Roman [Abramovich] era. But give him credit, Mourinho has finally stepped up to take the blame as he suffered only his second home defeat against Crystal Palace in 100 games as Blues’ boss.

texts are forever

The Long Goodbye: Living with the Departed in a Digital Age

Carnival will always be tinged with some sadness and introspection. Bank Holiday Monday 2014 was the day Diva passed away. Not that I have to wait that long to remember. Her thoughts, urgent pleas, pains, complaints, thank-yous, jokes, now follow me everywhere, the omnipotent presence at every turn. The texts are just a click away in the memory of my phone. Facebook now memorialises deceased users’ accounts if they get a valid request from loved ones. Our digital footprints now have the same status as our physical estate. How do you learn to live with the surreal fragments from the life of a departed friend? I met Diva Stravinskaite at artists’ studios in the summer of 2006 after I was allocated a space in west London. She had this uncompromising look which was further exaggerated by her imposing physique. She was the caretaker and was always busy fixing things around the building. She loved gardening and rescued many plants – two outlived her, the Cactus in the restroom and the long green bladed plant in the …

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Serpentine Pavilion 2015 is Plastic Fantastic

The Serpentine Gallery has exploded in a rainbow of colours for the 15th anniversary of its popular Pavilion commission. This year’s ‘starchitects’, Spanish duo  Jose Selgas and Lucia  Cano, partners in Selgascano have chosen light, colour and playfulness to mark the milestone. Selgascano’s design is an amorphous, double-skinned, polygonal structure made up of translucent panels, multi-coloured fluorine-based polymer (ETFE) woven and wrapped like webbing. The gallery might need to keep an eye on its inquisitive younger visitors who will no doubt be tempted to pull or tug at the array of colourful tapes that swaddles the structure. Secret Corridor Discover the ‘secret corridor’ between the outer and inner layer of the structure into the Pavilion’s colourful interior. You might sense the similarity between meandering through London’s underground system with its many layered, chaotic but structured flow. You are immediately enveloped by a sense of fun, a kaleidoscope of shimmering colours even on a dank London day. “We are also very much aware of the Pavilion’s anniversary in our design for the 15th annual commission. The …