I find myself wandering around areas in London with no real purpose, as long as the weather is nice. I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of taking pictures of anything and everything that interests me so here are a few snaps from back in October (I think, it took me too long to get this film finished and developed, see I need to break that habit).
Tate Britain is one of my favourite galleries to visit because it has such a wide range of art on offer. Regardless of what art interests you they probably have something that you will like, and a lot more to convert you to a new movement or time period. The recent refurbishment means that the Archive Gallery has been opened and I enjoy that one in particular because it has pieces on display that I had seen a few years ago that I was happy to be able to experience again.
On until next year (plenty of time to see it!) is Martin Creed’s Artist Room containing the piece Work No. 227: The lights going on and off, which I was sceptical about but once you are in there it is surprising how affected you are, and it is exactly as the title suggests. I also love the idea that this work can go “on tour” as it’s really more the idea than the physical space or artwork that is being moved from gallery to gallery.
I like this work by Anya Gallaccio, preserve ‘beauty’, the 2000 decaying gerberas leaving a lovely mark on the gallery wall.
Meant to walked on, but I’m always too scared of being tackled by security to do it, one day I’ll experience this work the way it was intended! Steel Zinc Plain by Carl Andre is in the Archive Gallery and if I remember correctly I first saw it in Tate St. Ives in 2010.
The last time I visited I was lucky enough to have clear blues skies and could bask in the Winter sunshine, I really like the area surrounding Tate Britain and it’s always good to have a walk around there or down to Parliament and up to Trafalgar Square if I’m not feeling too lazy.
You might need to hold it in for a while if you plan on nipping to Looe from Plymouth, but when I went there with my family we were well prepared for the 30 minute drive to Cornwall. We had visited Looe on our trip to the UK in 2010, in summer, so the trip in autumn was a bit different. It was windy and rainy but still a lovely town to wander about aimlessly. I adore the houses and how they’ve been persistent in building them up every nook and cranny on the hills either side of the River Looe.
As I am new to London I have had to do some touristy things although I’m trying to avoid them now because the slow pace and inconsiderate nature of tourists just makes my blood boil. In my life I like to get where I’m going, do what I want to do then get out which is completely the opposite of what the tourists in London do. I could rant about them forever but we would miss the point that London is culturally rich and that excites me.
Kensington. So beautiful, I want to live there, it is my goal in life.
Hampstead Heath is gorgeous and now I have proper walking shoes (doing a trek in Marc by Marc Jacobs mouse flats is not advised) I would really like to explore it a bit more. As good as the view of the city is I just adore the forest, it’s so different to the bushland back home, and so green! Now it’s heading into autumn I’ll have to go and see the trees turn.
The worst place on earth to be if you are like me and get awfully offended when you have to step into the street because the wave of tourists coming towards you is so dense (physically and mentally). Architecture is second only to art as my favourite thing to look at so that’s the main reason why I stupidly walked down past the Houses of Parliament.
St Paul’s and the surrounds are beautiful and I was lucky enough to stay a 5 minute walk from here for my first two weeks in London. I went inside the last time I came to London, I probably wont go in again unless I have the overwhelming urge to deal with tourists and part with my money.
Another place that was just a short walk from where I was staying at the beginning, I had to go just because I love Sherlock and St Bart’s is pretty to look at too.
Hyde Park in those last summer days was gorgeous. It was getting chilly when I went but the sun was shining so it didn’t matter that I was freezing (underdressed of course, how will I get used to dressing for London weather?!). There are so many green spaces in London I want to explore so I’ll have to get around to them eventually.
Notting Hill, another place I’d like to live but I’m sure everyone does. I didn’t spend too much time at Portobello Road market because, well, tourists. So I went off to the streets behind and it’s exactly how I hoped it would be. So nice just to walk around (if the weather is good) and see how many houses you’d like to live in (all of them).
There’s still so much to see but I’m in no rush to get it all done, I have plenty of time especially if I wind up living here permanently!
The whole reason I’m in London is to study and three weeks in the course at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art is amazing but because I’m part-time it feels like, well, I have 5 days to do whatever I feel like (with some studying of course). But on the days I am there I am so happy to be there, the way they have organised it makes it feel like no other study I’ve done before.
The first day of classes we hopped on a private boat, had a tour down the Thames then tours in Greenwich through the painted room and chapel at the Old Royal Naval College and then through the Queens House.
We’ve had drinks in a gallery and will have them again soon. There’s so many visits on the calendar that I look forward to and we even have a wine tasting the afternoon after our exam on international art law so they definitely know how to keep us happy!
And although I miss out on the art history trips because I’m only doing the art business unit I’ve still visited some of the galleries the rest of the class has but at my own pace so I think I win there as we usually whizz through quite quickly. I really look forward to every day I’m there so I can’t wait to see what else I’ll learn.
I cannot resist a gallery. If you need any proof: after stepping off a 13 hour flight to London at 5am and then dragging my luggage through the tube to my accommodation I got out and walked over to the Tate Modern that day. Nothing can keep me away from amazing art, not even jet lag and a bad sense of direction. In the days that followed I either planned to or accidentally ended up visiting many museums and galleries. There’s so many more on my invisible list to visit and some to revisit because I didn’t have enough time or patience to deal with the tourist crowds.
This is the view of St Paul’s from Tate Modern, I wasn’t clever enough to actually take a photo of Tate Modern but I’m sure if you really want to see it I recommend using the internet. The crowds were high here but I went against the flow and took my time in the rooms I wanted to. It still needs another 2 or 3 visits to do it true justice, and I’m happy to do that!
We are lucky to have the British Museum just one block away from the Sotheby’s Institute where I’m studying. I have to go back because the day I went the jet lag had hit me and there were 5 million people in each corridor making it impossible to see anything. It was a beautifully sunny day so stepping inside the Great Court was amazing with all that light.
While I have my student card I will abuse the right to free entry at the Courtauld Gallery as it holds some amazing works which I’d like to see again without people in front of them. It’s a very strange building for a gallery with all it’s little staircases and some very small rooms. My favourite was the little room with all the tiny pointillism studies by Seurat which are amazing to look at up close then step back and let your eyes blur the dots together into sweet little images.
I was walking out of the National Gallery and saw this line of sight and thought it was interesting…anyway! I only spent about 20 minutes in the National gallery because I wandered into Trafalgar Square by accident while I was wasting time before getting the tube somewhere and I only went inside the gallery because it looked like it was going to rain. I have learnt my lesson, do not go when there are massive crowds. Also don’t go for a brief visit if you want to get out on time. I walked around and then realised it was time to leave but got lost because there are so many different doorways in the rooms so I’ll have to go back when I have time to be lost.
I loved the Tate Britain because I could walk into a room and see so many pieces I have studied in the past few years. The detail on so many pieces is just outstanding so it will take a few more visits to look deeply at everything. It’s also huge so I was too tired to hit the J.M.W. Turner wing so that’s something for another day. And by doing the walk through the ages you see a few Turner pieces anyway so that has filled my quota for now.
I’m overwhelmed just thinking about how much art I’ve seen already and by how much more there is to see!