Monday, 30 May 2011

A day on the South Bank

I spent a brilliant day in London on Saturday.  I took the train up & headed straight for the South Bank, where this lovely chap greeted me.  He is an urban fox and he is perched on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall near Waterloo Bridge.

He looks a little sad doesn't he?

One of the main reasons for my trip was to see Tracey Emin's exhibition at the Hayward.  I have always loved her work and this exhibition covers every period of her career so far, featuring sculpture, painting, textiles, video, drawing and photography.

I've been so excited all week about seeing this show.  It didn't disappoint at all, in fact it exceeded my expectations.  I wasn't quite prepared for how beautiful those textiles are in real life.  I always assumed they were quilts, but they're actually blankets that have been built up with layers of fabric squares, felt letters, some have patchwork or flags sewn onto them. 

The first room had a lot of these blankets hanging on the walls and they totally blew me away.  It felt so intensely personal that I got quite intolerant; it seemed somehow inappropriate that there were other people in the room, viewing the same pieces.

My favourite of the textiles was in the upper exhibition, which housed newer works.  The colour palette is completely toned down, muted, as though it's whispered rather than shouted.

Of all things, I like art that makes me think, question, and most of all feel.  This show has certainly done this, at times I was laughing out loud, at other times I just wanted to sob & very nearly did so in the dark of those video rooms.  This will stay with me for a long time.  Respect & huge admiration to Tracey Emin, she's a brave, and exceptionally talented woman.

I treated myself to the book from the exhibition and also picked up this cool little cross stitch from the gallery shop.

I've never tried cross stitch before, but figured this may be a good place to start, this will look fab on my wall.

There's a bit of a "do" going on around the South Bank Centre to celebrate 60 years since the Festival of Britain.  There were gardens, a beach (complete with a row of beach huts), a food market, and lots of these slogan signs about the place.

After a spot of lunch in the Royal Festival Hall, and a mooch around the Festival of Britain exhibition, I headed just under the bridge to the National Theatre, where I had booked to see London Road.

I can't recommend this highly enough, I enjoyed every minute of it, it was pretty uncomfortable at times as it deals with some difficult and controversial topics.  I thought it was a very brave piece of theatre and all the cast were excellent.  They've extended the run due to demand, so if you get chance, check it out.

Back home I've made a start on my cross stitching.

1 comment:

  1. Erica, thanks for the lovely photos of London. I love it there. Great angle for the shot of the 'Eye.' I have some photos, if you'd like to see them, of my trip in 2009.

    I'm not sure if that link will work. We didn't go on the 'Eye' but I took a few photos of it. We saw 'We Will Rock You' and it was fantastic.



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