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Archive for the ‘Day Trips from London’ Category

Took a trip to West Sussex last week near to Chichester on a Friday.  Visited Pagham for the first time which has a beautiful and deserted pebble beach which you head to through part of a nature reserve.  The spit stretching out into the sea reminded me of Croatia.  Then over to West Wittering beach for a walk we’ve done a few times now having first visited in 2015 – entrance to beach packed but then few minutes out you just find people with their dogs and boats splashing about.  First time I’ve seen anyone in the water there due to days of heat.  Beautiful as ever.  And then a stop at Cass Sculpture Foundation for a wander around the grounds – bit disappointed as not many new acquisitions so will leave it longer until I visit again – but great if  you are a first timer.

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This permanent collection of modern and contemporary art by women at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, is such a surprise.  You wander all over the College itself, down corridors, into the canteen where staff are having a meeting, the student bar, all by reporting to reception and then wandering around on a self guided tour.  All the big names are here Rego, Emin, Cooper, Hepworth, Hambling and many more I’d never heard of.  It is such a lovely way to see art and it was a very quiet time of year.  We also wandered around the sculpture collections in the grounds of a few other colleges too, waiting for our Kettles Yard time slot.  Highly recommend a visit.

 

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One hour add-on to our day out to Cambridge.  Stunning cathedral; lovely ice cream in the town.

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Visited Kettles Yard for the first time which had just been through a few changes adding in an extension which housed the new Anthony Gormley exhibition. The House was the home of Jim Ede, formerly a curator at the Tate, and he gathered his own art collection with Miro, Moore, Hepworth and Nicholson amongst others.  Alongside this he gathered his own objects such as glass, pebbles and furniture.  He gave the house to Cambridge University in 1966.  It is a beautiful house full of light and space with an interesting collection and you are free to wander at your own pace once outside of the ground floor.  In the extension the Gormley exhibit has very few pieces but is of interest if a little like his other works.  My favourite was Infinite Cube II  made of one-way mirror glass and 1,000 LED lights.  Great staring into it but a little like Yayoi Kusama’s infinity mirrors.  But worth the visit.

 

 

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Whilst in East Sussex we visited Farley’s House the home of Lee Miller and Roland Penrose, the Surrealists.  Just like Charleston a fascinating tour about the history of these two and the visitors to the house which became a hub for 20th century modern art.  Visitors included Picasso, Miro, Man Ray, Max Ernst and Leonora Carrington and there are works by these artists scattered around the house.  And again like Charleston, some rooms are painted by the artists; there is an inset ceramic tile by Picasso over the cooker for example.  The grounds have sculptures by Penrose but a rotating exhibition by current artists.  It is only open April to October on Sundays but is near to Ditchling Museum of Art+Craft so you can visit that at the same time – or even the Chislehurst caves on the way there.  You cannot take photos inside the house.

 

 

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Visited East Sussex last weekend and got to see Winchelsea Beach, a beautiful, quiet shingle beach with cliffs at one end going on down to Camber Sands and Dungeness which you can see in the distance, along with wind turbines. We then moved on to Dungeness with its nuclear power station.  Dramatic, empty landscape with shingle beaches and black cottages, lighthouses, boats lying around and Dover in the distance.  Derek Jarman’s cottage is there with its garden thriving in the shingle.  And at one point an old steam train went past – it covers 15 miles and shuttles children to school.  Last beach, Camber Sands, complete contrast with dunes and people walking dogs everywhere.  It was cold everywhere so will be a very different story in the summer as I suspect Camber Sands will be packed. We finished in Rye for the night, a medieval town with cobbled streets and a lot of places to eat and drink.

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Finally got to visit Charleston, home to Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and often Clive Bell, a house that saw a range of visitors including Maynard Keynes, EM Forster and Vanessa’s sister, Virginia Woolf, amongst others.  Vanessa moved into the house in 1916 and died there in 1961.  Duncan Grant lived there until 1978 and their daughter Angelica until 1980.  The house has been restored to as it was in 1950s and it is quite extraordinary; every surface is painted, curtains, upholstery all designed by them, walls covered in paintings – even the bath panel is painted.  So it is beautiful to look at and the tour is packed with interesting stories of complicated relationships.  The gardens and pond are also beautiful with sculptures scattered about.  No photos were allowed of the interiors.

Prior to visiting Charleston we visited the church in Berwick  nearby which is covered in murals painted by Vanessa, Duncan and Quentin during WWII.  And after the house we visited the church in Firle where Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant , Vanessa’s son Quentin and her daughter Angelica Bell  are buried, the offspring of Duncan and Clive.  Next time I will have to visit Monk’s House, home to Virginia and Leonard Woolf, not too far from Charleston.

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