Tag Archives: London

An Arty Week

You might know that I am drawn to all things Japanese (here are some links to my posts about my trip to Japan in 2015) and have been most of my adult life. So when I saw a course at a highly respected art school entitled Abstract Painting and Wabi Sabi I just had to book a place.line, mark, charcoal, explore

You can Google ‘Wabi Sabi’ to find a definition and will get a few different results, I fear it might lose something in translation but in the context of abstract works of art this is my own best shot: the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi, briefly/loosely translated as the celebration of materials and imperfection, leaving things unfinished for the viewer to complete it in their own experience of the piece. 

I learnt by doing, that it is also about immersing oneself in the materials, the properties of the materials and about how ones body and inner senses respond to the materials.

After booking this course, I heard about an exhibition in which a blogging friend, Alastair Duncan was exhibiting his interactive weaving, which I talked about in this post.

Alastair Duncan interactive weaving

AND THEN!

ANTONY GORMLEY at the Royal Academy – I just had to go and see that!Antony Gormley

To fit all this in I stayed in an Air BnB in Horsham in West Sussex, which had free parking and was just a 10 minute walk to the train station. In just over an hour I could be in Central London.

I drove the 3 hours to  Horsham last Saturday.

Visited the Espacio Gallery on Sunday – which I will tell you about in a future post. London gallery

There I met with 2 other members of the Stitchbook Collective – Oh SO lovely to make these creative connections!!

On Monday I travelled up to the Royal Academy for the Antony Gormley exhibition, Gormley at the RAwhich was absolutely amazing of course, but not quite so impactful as his exhibition in 2007 at the Hayward Gallery which I often think of and stays with me on some deep inner level.

And then on Tuesday I started my Wabi Sabi voyage of discovery with Helen Turner in Partridge Green, just a 20 minute drive each day from my cosy self-catering pad.

Wabi Sabi

I loved every minute! I got home yesterday.

So much to tell you about. So many photos to sift through!

Oops – Windows

Helloooo!

It was only as I was driving back late last night from a Dairy Event, with two sleeping grandchildren in the car that I was thinking “it must be the first Tuesday of the month soon …… oh Yikes! it IS the first Tuesday of the month”.

So here, a day late, is our Photographic Monthly Meet-Up with the subject of WINDOWS running throughout 2019 .

This school term I usually take Miss E, 12, to her swimming lessons on a Wednesday morning, she has to be in the pool at 7am. I thought it would be a tough call to get up at 5:40am to be in time to take her there, but actually when the sun is shining through the huge windows it is a joyful start to the day.

swimming pool

and I feel full of energy and quite virtuous on a Wednesday – giving me a very good excuse to take it easy on Thursdays, tucked up with sewing or crochet. 😉

The second photo for this month comes from my recent visit to London, all of the photos would be worthy entries, but I took this one with this month’s challenge in mind.

london, looking up

and then in black and white

windows, look up

and

abstractwindows

Do you have any photos of windows to share with us today? (or any day this month)

Current or archive, all welcome.

Please leave a link in the Comments. 🙂

 

120, Fenchurch Street

Hellooo!selfie

Here we are again, this time on top of 120, Fenchurch Street – wow that sun was bright!

(see previous post about the Sky Garden at 20, Fenchurch St)

That is ‘The Gherkin’ in the background.

To get up to the roof garden at 120, you just turn up and queue. As people come out, more are let in – we only had a couple of people in front of us and didn’t have to wait at all. You go through an airport-style security scanner before getting into the lift.

roof garden

This garden is open to the sky with native planting and it is much quieter and calmer than in the tropical lushness of the other garden.

120, Fenchurch Street, London

I loved the play of light and shadows on the floor, walls and plants.

There are no restaurants there, but it is a perfect place to take a packed lunch as most of these people seemed to have done.120, Fenchurch St

They were perched on the edge of the rather awkward looking water feature, more comfortable seating would be a bonus.

From this terrace you can see ‘The Walkie-Talkie’ building and look at where we had been just a few minutes ago – in the garden on top of that building.

walkie talkie building

120 Fenchurch Strooff gdn

roof garden

so much to enjoy, looking in, looking up, looking through, looking out, roof gardenwith a few surreal reflections where the glass wall was high

London roof tops and reflections

and looking down building siteand DOWN!street

On the way out you pass under a vast ceiling covered with a moving video art installationsculpture in london

it is called Botanic and is a picture of slowly swirling flowers as if they are floating in a dark pool. It is part of Sculpture in the City.sculpture in the city

and as we walked back to the tube station we spotted some more, this one with a very long title that makes very little sense to me, and is something to do with lava and volcanoessculpture in the city

and thissculpture

Bridging Home

which could be very witty …….hmmm. Perhaps I need to find out a bit more about them to appreciate them more.

Edit: I looked for more images and information about this piece. I wanted to see the piece up closer and from the inside. I found this which says the Footbridge was closed so that the piece was not vandalised. Grrr! So eventually it will be removed. I seem to have a whole load of thoughts and emotions swirling around about that. It would have been good to have had a video to experience this replica of a displaced home. I get the reference to migrants and displacement and the fact that the ‘home’ looks as if it has been just dropped uncomfortably out of context, I just wish it’s message could have been presented in a more accessible way.

Searching for all of the 21 sculptures and getting up close to them could be a nice focus for another visit to London.

I will end with a photo my son took just before we left The City.

Look up!

sky

and went back to his house to spend a delightful weekend with him and his three girls, whilst their Mum was on a girly birthday celebration holiday.

London Roof Garden

Gardeners’ World is one of my must-watch programmes on TV and a few episodes back they showed a Roof Garden in Fenchurch Street, London. I told my son about it (the marathon running son), as he lives and works in London. He knew the building but had never been to the garden, so a couple of weeks ago, we met outside Exit 8 of the Bank Underground StationIMG_5814

and made the short walk to Fenchurch Street.

What a place The Sky Garden at 20, Fenchurch Street is!

20, Fenchurch Street roof garden

It is all undercover, the planting is tropical, and on several levels.

IMG_5816

It is free to visit but you have to book a time slot – book well in advance as it has become very popular.

Spectacular! but I immediately realised that this was not the garden I had seen on Gardeners’ World. Nevermind, we had a good look around and enjoyed the absolutely breathtaking views of LondonIMG_5817

and the Thames

IMG_5818

IMG_5825

Look! The Tower of London and London Bridge

Tower of London and London Bridge

The Shard

IMG_5826

London

from the Sky garden

The obligatory selfie to send to the rest of the family

skygdn

And then lunch: there is a bar and a couple of places to eat – a very posh restaurant, right at the top and a more casual area of comfy seating where you can get wraps and baguetteslunch

Looking out of this window, my son spotted another Roof Garden – “That’s it!” I squealed.

IMG_5821

IMG_5815

So he consulted the internet and discovered that this too was free to visit with no booking system – we could just turn up, so after a bit more of a wander, off we went to find 120, Fenchurch Street ………..

Windows

It is the first Tuesday of the month, time to share some photographs of WINDOWS, our theme for the whole of 2019.

I have to admit it crept up on me this month, as the last few weeks have been busy with grandchildren on their summer holidays – I’m one very happy but very tired Granny!

So I have been dreaming of holidays – and thinking of windows seen on holidays in the past – this one with shutters in a little beach shop on Nevis in the Caribbean in May 2017

carribean beach shop

Love those colours together.

In contrast, this one seen on a walk to Pickering from Whistle Stop Cottage last Novembercobwebs and ivy

A trip to London and the view from a window high up in the Tate Modern, looking out over the Thames.Looking out at the Thames from the Tate Modern

and a bizarre shop window in Tokyo from November 2015

Tokyo shop window

Do you have any window photos to share this month.

All are welcome whether they are current or archive posts – sometimes it is fun to revisit blog posts from a few years ago. To join in you can put a link in the comments of this post anytime until the next month begins on the first Tuesday in October.

 

Somerset House 1

Last Friday I went to London to stay with Son number 2 and his family, but first a bit of art at Somerset House where they are holding the London Design Biennial

‘Emotional States’

40 countries participated

In the courtyard there were several pieces of interactive art/sculpture – my favourite type of art.

courtyard interactive sculpture

Greece provided a wobbly walkway that was entitled (click on the title to see the description)

ΑΝΥΠΑΚΟΗ

My own experience of it emphasized that every step we take has an impact.LDB sculpture

As you entered the sides expanded and opened up, with a creaky sound, each step made the next section open up for you, each step felt a bit wobbly

interactive art

so you had to think about keeping your balance. It was made of recycled plastic.

IMG_1885

A whole body experience has an impact on all the senses – every step I take makes a difference …  to something, or somebody.

If I know it in my body, I know it forever.

There was so much to see and interact with in the whole exhibition, and as you can imagine I took hundreds of photos. It is taking me a while to process the photos and the feelings that each exhibit evoked …… more to come.

Up, Up and Away

themed bedroom

I had to nip away for an overnight stay in central London this week. I Googled ‘quirky, arty, hotels’ and up came the Pavillion Hotel on the Time Out site.

Just click on the link to see all the amazingly themed rooms, and crazy decor. Someone must have had such fun putting it all together. I would love to know the history of the person and the place, but couldn’t find anything. My bedroom was called ‘Up, Up and Away’.

themed bedroom decor, hot air balloon

Sadly I can’t recommend the ‘Hotel’, it has definitely seen better days. It is in a slightly dodgy area, there is a surly, bored person manning the desk, no resturant and this was my so called continental breakfast left outside my room in the morning.Yuck

 

 

 

Weetabix on the Go – euuuurrrrgghhhhhh! Who knew that even existed! Yuck!

 

But I did enjoy the decor and the quirky bits and peiceshot air balloon

The Hotel was quite close to Hyde Park, so before it got dark I had a brisk walk to Marble Arch where there is a strangely wild sculpture,

Danse Gwenedour

by British Sculptor Bushra Fakhoury

Danse Gwenedour by Bushra Fakhour

which was unveiled in March 2017.

There is always something arty to see in London, no matter how fleeting the visit. After a quick whizz round a bit of Hyde Park, which was looking rather bleak on a cold drizzly January afternoon, I found an oasis of a health food shop to pick up something for supper. Then back to my hotel as I did not want to be wandering those particualr streets after dark.

A nice cosy evening of knitting, reading and a bit of TV followed – always particularly relaxing away from home.