Art

Adventures in London Town

We had a brilliant time in London this weekend. I really wanted to catch the Matisse exhibition at the Tate Modern before it ends this week. BUT like a fool I didn’t even think about pre-booking tickets, I just thought we could breeze straight in, but no. We arrived at 3pm only to be told that the next available slot was 7pm!

Luckily our visit to London was 3 fold. We were also going to Covent Garden to surprise my Mum for her birthday and then stopping over with my husbands parents. So we booked the exhibition for 6pm on Sunday and took a leisurely stroll through Southbank over to Covent Garden.

On our journey we saw the Dazzle Ship.

The Dazzle Ship

Dazzle Ship

This is the HMS President (1918) which served during the First World War. The ‘dazzle’ camouflage on this ship was done by Tobias Rehberger and the original purpose of such a design was to confuse enemy U-boat captains.

In Covent Garden we successfully surprised my Mum who was there on a day out with her friend and enjoyed a cheeky glass of Pimms 🙂

On our way back we passed the London Film Museum where my husband stopped dead in his tracks. They are currently exhibiting a large collection of James Bond vehicles. Now marriage is about give and take right? He was willing to come to Matisse with me so surely it was only fair that I returned the cultural favour. And as it turns out it actually it was quite interesting!

Here are a few of the cars that caught my eye. Not because I could admit to recognising them from the film (I know, shame on me) but because they were lovely. Here are the Rolls Royce Phantom III and the Aston Martin DBS from Goldfinger.

Rolls Royce Phanton III Goldfinger

Aston Martin DBS Goldfinger

What I also found fascinating was seeing the storyboards that are created for films. I am not a film buff and I have never really thought about how much work goes into making a film before, but seeing each camerashot sketched out like this really opened my eyes. The scene below was from Skyfall.

Skyfall Storyboard

We eventually arrived at the in-laws late Saturday eveining. It was lovely to see them. After Sunday lunch Mr. A disappeared for a while only to come back downstairs with a couple of ‘finds’. Of the old vintage camera variety.

2014-08-31 15.03.01

2014-08-31 15.10.19

We searched online to see if we could find any film for them. Unfortunately, they stopped producing film for the polaroid ‘swinger’ in 1970!! However we have found a film for ‘The Button’ and duly ordered a couple. Stand by for some polaroid fun in a future post!

After saying our goodbyes we headed back into London Town for the much anticipated Matisse Exhibition. We parked our car in the Mansion House area, and as we exited the car park we came out at Baynard House and came across an interesting sculpture of Shakespeare’s 7 Ages of Man by Richard Kindersley. Constructed in a totem pole style it depicts the aging process from the youngest at the bottom to the oldest at the top. What doesn’t really come across in this photo is that the top head, the old man, actually looks quite skull-like from certain angles.

The 7 Ages of Man

From here we walked over the Millennium Bridge. You can’t beat London when the sun is shining.

London

We made it to the Tate Modern bang on 6pm and the exhibition didn’t disappoint.

Matisse Cut Outs

You couldn’t take photo’s in the exhibition but here are 3 of my favourites.

‘Icarus’ – I have always loved this image and I used to have a large print of this hanging in my old flat and what struck me when I saw it was that it was a lot smaller than I had expected. But the impact of seeing the original was still immense.

matisse icarus

Photo from http://www.tate.org.uk/about/press-office/press-releases/henri-matisse-cut-outs

I was fascinated by some of the ‘wall’ pieces. Matisse cut out these shapes and pinned them to the walls of his apartments in Paris and Venice. Called ‘Oceania, the Sky’ it began by Matisse cutting out a swallow shape from a piece of writing paper, and not wanting to tear it up or disregard it he pinned it to his wall to cover up a stain. Over the following weeks more shapes followed, including fish, coral, birds and leaves. According to the guidebook for the exhibition he was inspired by a visit to Tahiti 16 years earlier and quotes ‘There, swimming every day in the lagoon, I took such intense pleasure in contemplating the submarine world’

Oceania, the Sea 1946 matisse

Picture taken from http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/apr/20/henri-matisse-the-cut-outs-tate-modern-review-laura-cumming

I don’t know if it is the colours or the shapes of this piece, but it also makes me think of Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Finally, The Creole Dancer. I just love this. The colours, the movement – it just makes me smile. And at the giftshop it was my fridge magnet of choice 🙂

Matisse Creole Dancer 1950

The pieces were complemented by film footage showing how Matisse worked on these cut outs in his later years, instructing his assistants on where to place the shapes. I am so glad we caught this exhibition before it closed.

On our way home we drove through Trafalgar Square. Here are the final few pictures of a great weekend.

The London Eye

The London Eye.

Nelsons Column

Nelsons Column.

I do love London!

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