Sunday, August 03, 2008

On Holiday, Day 4 - Supporting the Arts

OK enough dilly dallying, time to start doing the tourist thing.

The last time I was at the Tate Britain was in 2001 on my first trip to London, so it's been a while. I seem to make my way to London at least a few times per year piggy backing on work trips or with cat sitting duties so I decide to do my bit to support the arts and take out a membership. I choose this rather than say the British Museum or the V&A because you get 2 for the price of one. Your membership is good at both the Tate Britain and the Tate Modern. Plus by signing up for Direct Debit I get an extra 3 months added to my membership. As always you get the 10% discount in the gift shop which is a very good place to pick up gift ideas for Christmas, birthdays etc.

Enough of the sales pitch.

Any time I visit a gallery I need to do it in little chunks. My feet just can't handle standing still for long periods of time before they start to protest. That's what the cafe is for, giving yourself a break and having a cup of coffee and perhaps something sweet.

I must say, I was very impressed with this cafe. It's in the basement so no natural light but it had a very art deco vibe to it and I was really digging the ceiling and the lights.

Also hanging on the walls were all these amazing B&W photographs. It was hard to see them all as I was getting the evil eye from a few people as I'd come up to their table and then just stare past them at the photo on the wall behind.

The things to see are of course the beautiful paintings by British Artists but something I forgot was that not only do they have the old more classical style but also part of the gallery houses more modern exhibits as well. The most hyped is the Martin Creed Work No. 850 which involves runners sprinting down the main hall. Actual runners, not photos or paintings.

There was also this sculpture by Julian Opie. I quite liked it.

I found it interesting to look inside the spaces and see the colours poking out. But the title of the piece was a bit much I thought. 'It Is Believed That Some Dinosaurs Could Run Faster Than a Cheetah' , Julian Opie.

Something like that again makes me think that if you give a bizarre long title and back it up with some existential commentary that anything will be viewed/respected as 'Art'. Click here for my attempt at this.

After the gallery I decided to walk up the Thames to try a second attempt to capture this shot.

One of those random things you find that makes an interesting composition. However it on that day it was too bright and I couldn't judge just looking at the little camera monitor if my settings were correct. As a result, the chair looks fine but the sky was completely blown out. So I went back but just my luck someone threw the chair further down the embankment.

So this time I got the sky exposed correctly but you can't see the chair because it's been knocked down (bottom right corner of the shot). My Dad did his photoshop magic to stitch my shots together and this was the result.

Not bad, but I still wish I'd tried a few more shots the first time round. I need to be a bit more disciplined when taking photos. As you don't always get a second chance.

1 comment:

DaviMack said...

Nice 'shopping job!