Home > Architecture & Urban Design, Art, Sculpture & Photography, London, People, Personal, Things I Like... > Five Cultural(ish) Visits in Five(ish) Paragraphs and Five Photos(ish)…

Five Cultural(ish) Visits in Five(ish) Paragraphs and Five Photos(ish)…

January 29, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’ve been a bit lax recently in writing about things me and A have been to see over the last month or so, a tragic combination of generally trying to go too deep into a subject and not actually finishing the piece (I’ve got over 200 draft posts that just will NOT finish themselves regardless of how long I leave them), being busy at work during the day (a good thing) and being too tired/lazy in the evenings…

So I’ve set myself a little challenge to write a paragraph with a single photo (a web image in one instance) about each of five things we’ve done together. It’s a twist on the Lazy Post approach I know, but at least I’m writing and getting something finished…

Coventry Motor MuseumWhat can you do on that quiet Sunday between Christmas and New year at your parents house… go to Coventry Motor Museum of course! Not an obvious choice possibly, but it was free to get in and we had the place mostly to ourselves. Despite the initial feeling of the museum all being a bit low key (which parts of it undoubtedly are) we ended up staying there for ages. Some of the vintage cars are staggeringly beautiful, particularly the parade of beautiful Jaguars, with this forerunner to the Jaguar name, a 1931 SS1 Saloon really sticking in my mind. Well worth a trip if you’re ever in Coventry with a couple of hours to spare (and you’ve already seen the Cathedral…)

Colombian GoldThe Colombian Gold exhibition at the British Museum is a small but perfectly formed affair that leaves you, not just hating the Conquistadors for such wanton destruction, but wondering what the world might have been like had these early South American Cultures been left to develop. The skill and artistry on show is breathtaking.. Jaguars (again, we seem to like Jaguars), jewellery and various processional implements all in amazing condition. My fact of the day however is that very little of what is on show is actually solid gold. The Colombians mixed copper with gold (often in ratios as high as 95/5 %) to create an alloy they called tumbaga, and then perfected a heating process that forced the gold to the top forming a thin coat on the surface of the copper. A really excllent little exhibition full of wonderment and awe…

In the mid 1920’s, one of my favorite artists Stanley Spencer was commissioned to produce a series of paintings that formed the centerpiece of the Sandham Memorial Chapel to the fallen of WW1. Whilst the National Trust carry out much need restoration work to the Chapel’s fabricspencer-sandham-memorial-9-resurrection-of-the-soldiers, Spencer’s canvases have been given a temporary home at Somerset House on the banks of the River Thames. There are a total of 20 paintings, all of which are drawn (literally and metaphorically) from Spencer’s own experiences of the Great War when he was based in Macedonia as part of the Royal Army Medical Corps. The only down side for me is that I went to see the Chapel many years ago and the one strong memory I have is of the fantastic altar painting, which unfortunately is represented here only as a projection. The original canvas was stuck directly onto the chapel walls, so can’t be moved, and once you’ve seen all those crosses first hand, so to speak, a digital projection (no matter how good) does not have the some power… Still the other canvasses on show were all very fine with some suggesting more than a hint of the genius for detail that was to come with his later Cookham paintings (Note: Security and anti-photo monitoring was in full effect, hence the web image)

Kenwood HouseThen a few weeks ago, on the spur of the moment going home from a friend’s house in North London, we decided to park up on Hampstead Lane and have a walk around the heath. It was a cold and rather overcast afternoon and we (well me) weren’t really dressed for winter park walking (i.e. it was muddy and I had trainers on). We ended up mooching over to a rather lonely Henry Moore sculpture and popping into Kenwood House, which was OK but not as good as…

Queens HouseThe Queens House in Greenwich where we ended up last weekend… Going to Greenwich is a bit like a bus man’s holiday for us, and like most treasures that are on your door step, you don’t bother going to see them.. But once again it was raining, so we took cover in Inigo Jones’s architectural gem. Completed around 1619, shortly after Jones had got back from a two year tour of Italy, The Queens House is generally acknowledged to be the first fully classical building in the UK. That not only makes it very nearly 400 years old, but also well worth a visit, even if to just see this amazing staircase (never mind the crazy black and white floor)…

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: