Sunday, August 10, 2008

On Holiday, Day 7 - They call it 'Modern' Art

My friend M was up at the crack of dawn to get to the rail station. Being the horrible friend I am I just kinda dragged myself out of bed, mumbled something along the lines of 'have a good trip, don't get lost' gave her a hug and stumbled back to bed.

Today I'm meeting another friend and visit the Tate Modern. I'm really excited about going here to see the exhibit: Street & Studio, An Urban History of Photography.

But I'm getting ahead of myself a bit. I'm not meeting my friend until 5:00 I've still got a whole day (ok, half day by the time I get out of the house). I take the leisurely route into the city compliments of the Number 3 bus. With the hot weather it's just too muggy to be on the underground if you don't need too. The Number 3 takes me right into Trafalgar Square so I can make a stop at the National Gallery. I've spend many an hour at this monstrosity of a place. It's just so huge that it can be very overwhelming to a first timer (as it was for me). But as I've done the main collection already on previous trips I just do a quick visit to see what new exhibits they have this time round that don't have an admission charge.

The first one is called Take One Picture: an exhibition of work by primary schools. This years painting was Rubens's A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning A print is given to a selection of schools and the teachers in those schools work lesson plans around aspects of the painting. Here is a link to the Take One Picture annual program. I think it's a fabulous idea and think that exposing young children to art early can only be a good idea. The exhibit itself was great seeing what types of programs the teachers came up with, and it wasn't just about art. All subjects were able to find some aspect of the painting to build a lesson plan around. I just felt all warm and fuzzy and that good things can come out of the education system.

The second exhibit I went to is called Love and it's a small collection of paintings, sculpture, etc surrounding the theme. A nice and varied selection with something for everyone. There's even a piece in process compliments of Yoko Ono asking for your participation.

Those two things are enough to gallery me out for now so as it's nice outside (i.e. not raining and not 29+ degrees) I make my way down to the north bank of the Thames and decide to walk to the Tate Modern. You can never have too much fresh air and exercise.

The city has done a good job of revitalizing both the north and south bank of the Thames by constructing the Thames Path. It's part of the National Trails program.

And walking along the river there is always something to look at.

Now I'm at the Tate Modern as first mentioned at the beginning of this post. The Photography exhibit did not disappoint at all. My feet were still up for a bit more so I wandered in around the Poetry and Dreams Collection Theme to get my surrealism fix for the day. Found this piece:

The tile is Thirty Pieces of Silver by Cornelia Parker. She's also done this piece that hangs in the Victoria & Albert Museum as well.

Breathless, Cornelia Parker

Dinner was at a great little Peruvian Restaurant called Titos. Good prices and very yummy food. I had the Papa a la Huancaina starter and Escabeche de Pescado for my main. We shared a bottle of Castillero del Diablo which is a nice red wine from Chile. No room for dessert This place is one to check out if you're in the London Bridge area.

Not too late of a night out, home on the bus still had some energy left for a little Modern Art of my own.

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