Saturday, 30 April 2016

Tate Modern


How are you?

Thanks very much for visiting the blog and for your kind messages.

I spent the afternoon in London recently, there's always so much to see! I always prefer walking around rather than going by tube or bus but the feet were beginning to ache, the shoes to rub, did I really want to walk to Tate Modern to see the rest of Emily Young's stone sculptures? I had already walked from Paddington, through Hyde Park and Green Park, through St James and Horse Guards Parade and over Waterloo Bridge. However, the top of the Tate building was just peeking over the top of the others around it, practically waving at me. It didn't look too far. Let's go for it. Hobble, hobble!!

I've been to Tate Modern lots of times over the years, there's been a lot of building work round the back for many years, there still is but the new extension is looking nearly done. Isn't it enormous! It's opening on 17th June this year and will provide 60% more space for further exhibitions and will be able to cope with the increased visitor numbers.  There's going to be an excellent view from the top.

The extension is the part to the right.

Click the photo to zoom in on the bricks.

There are some swish apartments at the back of Tate Modern with gardens and shops. Emily Young's sculptures were positioned here.
I didn't have time to go in to see the paintings this time but must visit again to see what the new exhibitions look like after the opening.

Enjoy your weekend.


Friday, 29 April 2016

Five on Friday - Anish Kapoor


Thanks for calling in, I hope you've had a good week.

Listening to the radio on Monday gave me the idea for Five on Friday this week.  So without more ado, here are my five about Sculptor, Anish Kapoor, with photos of some of his work that I've seen in London over the years.

One - Anish Kapoor CBE RA
Born in India in 1954, he moved to Britain in the 1970s to study art.  He is known for his geometric and biomorphic shapes in monochromatic bright colours and highly polished stainless steel. He won the Turner Prize in 1991 and has exhibited extensively.

Two - Vantablack
Have you heard about Vantablack?  Anish Kapoor has the exclusive right to be able to use this black colour for his projects, but what is it?  According to Surrey NanoSystems:

What is Vantablack?

Vantablack is not a black paint, pigment or fabric, but is instead a functionalised ‘forest’ of millions upon millions of incredibly small tubes made of carbon, or carbon nanotubes. Each nanotube in the vantablack forest has a diameter of around 20 nanometres (that’s about 3,500 times smaller than the diameter of the average human hair), and are typically from around 14 microns to 50 microns long. A surface area of 1 cm2 would contain around 1,000 million nanotubes. 
On Radio 4's Start the Week programme on Monday, Anish Kapoor explained that, when applied as a patch to walls or floors, the black gives the illusion that the viewer is being sucked into a hole and that the black is not really there.

Using the new Vantablack, which absorbs 99.96% of all light, he is currently creating a sculpture which the viewer can enter, giving a scary experience where all sense of place and time is lost.  If this black is applied to a normal statue, all the details or folds just disappear and the statue will just seem to be in profile.

I haven't seen this but doesn't it look amazing!

Three - Red Wax
How time flies, it only seems like yesterday that we visited the 2009 Royal Academy of Arts exhibition and watched the red wax being fired through the doors and the huge block of wax travelling through the arched doorways. That pristine building covered in wax, would they ever get it clean again?  

Four - Highly Polished Stainless Steel
Outside the Royal Academy during his 2009 Exhibition.  You just can't resist a selfie in the shiny surface!

Five - ArcelorMittal Orbit
Built for the 2012 Olympic Games in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this is the UK's tallest sculpture.  A slide is currently being installed around it which will whoosh people 76 metres downwards for a 40 second journey.

 I have included links on this page so you can have a look at more of his work.

That's it for today!  Do have a look at Amy's link-up for more posts.

Have a great week.


Thursday, 28 April 2016

Emily Young


Thanks for popping in!

I love the Angel sculptures by Emily Young outside St Paul's Cathedral, they just speak to me.  I did a post about them last year which gives some information about Britain's greatest living stone sculptor too, have a look here.  

I've been keeping my eye out to see if I could see any more of her work so I was thrilled when her representatives Bowman Sculptures had a collection of her work on display and this was THE reason for my recent trip to London. 

Starting with a huge unwieldy lump of rock - all types of rock with intrinsic natural patterns and features - she sees the sculpture within and reveals it to the viewer. We are lucky to be able to see not only the geological creation in its natural state with its own story of existence but also the beautiful, smooth human face carved in it by a human leaving 'a record of a relationship we humans have with our planet' as she says herself.

I was like a child in a sweet shop, going from one sculpture to the other and then, luckily for me, seven large heads had recently been installed 'round the back of Tate Modern'.

The first mosaic features the outdoor sculptures by the Tate.

The second shows some of the sculptures at Bowman Sculptures. It's difficult to get a sense of scale as some are larger than others but hopefully you can get an idea and if you zoom in you can see the beautiful patterns within the stone as well.

Some of the stone used: dolmitic limestone, ajuba stone, brecciated onyx, alabaster, lapis lazuli, montorsaio stone, onyx.

Nothing beats seeing the real thing of course.


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Seeing the Light on Waterloo Bridge


You've popped in! You've made my day!

I feel a few songs coming on today. How about Waterloo Sunset by the Kinks or Waterloo by Abba?  I was standing on Waterloo Bridge over the Thames for the photos below. There's always something wonderful about the sunlight on this particular bridge, I don't know why. Unless it's raining of course!

Looking over to one side, you can see St Paul's Cathedral, the Shard, the Cheese Grater, the Gherkin, the Oxo Tower, the Walkie Talkie, Canary Wharf, Tate Modern, etc - all in no particular order! Click on the photos to zoom in.

On the other side, there's the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye amongst other things.

Getting off the bridge on the North Bank and turning left, you'll come across Cleopatra's needle and two Sphinxes on the Embankment roughly opposite the Royal Festival Hall then the London Eye a bit further down.

Somerset House is right next to the bridge on the right of the North Bank. There is always something going on there. This time the fountains were dancing up and down. I just missed the photography exhibition but I did look round the Terrace Rooms at the free event Venturing Beyond Graffiti and Everyday Utopias of the Street which featured allsorts of odd things like painted li-lo's, perhaps to be expected by the title of the event! Still, there were a couple of exhibits which could well have been turned into quilts as the colours went so well together - you never know when you might be inspired!

So lovely to sit in such a nice place with a cup of coffee from Tim's Kitchen too.


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Hilma af Klint at the Serpentine


When it's a bright Spring day, it's a very pleasant walk through all the London parks to get into the centre of the city from Paddington station.

Passing through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, you arrive at the Serpentine full of birdlife.  On either side of the lake you find Serpentine Art Galleries and during the summer months each year a different specially designed pavillion. This year the Architect is Bjarke Ingels.

This is the Serpentine Sackler building . . .

. . . but the exhibition I visited, as I was passing by, was in the other gallery across the lake.  Artist Hilma af Klint's exhibition was entitled Painting the Unseen. She is Swedish and is considered a pioneer of abstract art. Although she studied at the Royal Academy of the Arts in Stockholm, she abandoned the conventional and began painting invisible worlds within nature, the spiritual world and the occult. The Paintings for the Temple that were displayed were made between 1906 and 1915.  For more information, here's the website.

If you just pop into a Gallery you never know what you are going to find. Quite exciting really!


Monday, 25 April 2016

Mosaic Monday Battle of the Parks


Thanks for visiting and all your messages, it's always great to hear from you. Mosaic Monday is becoming less frequent after today so do make the most of all the exciting posts on Judith's link up.

On my recent trip to London, I was astounded at all the stunning flower beds in the Royal Parks. I thought you would enjoy seeing all the colourful bulbs and plants.  If you click on the photos, you'll be able to zoom in.

St James' Park

As well as the beautiful flowers, you can find pelicans in the lake here in London's oldest park. Pelicans have been there for 400 years.

Lunchtime at St James Square

Tucked away in the middle of a built-up area, this small garden was full of colour and people enjoying their lunch in the sun.

Hyde Park

A huge expanse of open space for everyone to enjoy but near the Apsley House gate, there are bluebells and flower beds. In the summer the roses look fantastic here.

Kensington Gardens

At the moment the daffodils are still in bloom but Kensington Palace has some beautiful gardens and the Italian Garden with its water feature is also spectacular.

Kensington Palace in the distance

I also called into Green Park on this visit but there are still Regents, Bushy, Richmond, Greenwich and Brompton Cemetery to explore and then there are all the secret, hidden gardens, like St James Square above, within the City which offer a breath of fresh air within all the razzmatazz and of course they are all free to visit.


Sunday, 24 April 2016

Glass Finish


It's all so exciting! My glass creations have arrived home! In case you missed my post showing the photos of my glass fusing workshop, here's a link back to it.

I think they've turned out really well, there's a pretty iridescence to the tree which I haven't managed to photograph, a few extraneous bubbles here and there, a couple of unaccountable white blobs and wiggly lines but I think they just add that je ne sait quoi!!

Thanks so much for calling in.


Saturday, 23 April 2016

Bluebells Again


You really have to make the most of bluebells when they are out don't you! It would be such a waste if they were there blooming away and there was nobody looking. It's the same with the blog, it would be rubbish if I didn't show you my bluebell photos especially as they were taken in a copse that was totally covered in them.

I couldn't resist a couple of farmyard shots and indeed a lemon meringue roulade at the Tally Ho, just to warm up after walking through the woods on quite a chilly morning.

Thanks for visiting today on the 400th Anniversary of William Shakespeare's death.

See you soon.