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CRITIC'S CHOICE

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REVIEW

The Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture (MoDA) at Middlesex University features a permanent exhibition, Exploring Interiors: Decoration of the Home 1900-1960, that is a useful source of information on last century's interior design.

But MoDA also stages temporary shows, the latest being In Search of Suburbia, which spotlights several different north London developments, including the Edwardian brick villas of Palmers Green and the late-1960s Grahame Park housing estate on the former Hendon Aerodrome. Barnet council gave the latter a bizarre makeover in the mid-1990s when, as The Buildings of England puts it, 'the original rugged Louis Kahn-inspired profile of the ranges along the spine route was crowned by roofs of orange tiles'.

This exploration of suburbia continues until 26 March, and for anyone who can't get enough of sunburst gates and green-glazed pantiles, MoDA has published three Suburban Guided Walks: Arnos Grove to Southgate; Southgate to Oakwood; and Oakwood to Cockfosters. They're only £1.99 each or £5 for the three (www. moda. mdx. ac. uk).

The suburbs are supposedly a place of mown lawns, trim hedges, and neat colourful borders, but Mark Edwards' photographs - on show at the BCA Gallery, Bedford, until 12 November (tel 01234 273580) - present a much less calculated landscape. His subjects, all East Anglian, are patches of scrub and wasteland, allotments, a bleak shore.

What recurs is a sense that human attempts to cultivate or order them have lapsed and nature is once more in control.

Fences, cobbled together with corrugated iron, are on the point of collapse; sheds and outbuildings are semi-derelict;

weeds sprout. But if nature is in the ascendant, it's not at all flamboyant or picturesque: almost everything is muted, even drab, but pin-sharp in detail. This is what happens on the other side of the privet - these scenes can get under your skin.

Just around the corner from the BCA is the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, whose exhibits include some richly ornamented furniture by William Burges. On Sunday 13 November there's a special Burges event at the gallery, aimed largely at children (www. cecilhigginsartgallery. org).

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