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Archive for the ‘Days out in London’ Category

Not sure how we’d missed that this existed but on Saturday afternoon we walked The Line. The walk is okay, not my favourite one.  It is a contemporary art walk but they are far and few between although there is a Damian Hirst and a Paolozzi. The best bit is from the Olympic Park, through Three Mills Island (like a French Chateau) and via Cody Dock to Star Lane – I would stop then and get on the DLR to go home, not continue to the 02 as it is so crowded.  My favourite – the shopping trolley sculpture by Abigail Fallis.

 

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Took a trip down 180 steps last Saturday, deep under South Clapham Tube station.  There we had a great tour of the old bomb shelters built for the Blitz.  I had assumed that people ran into stations and slept on platforms, not that 8,000 people carrying a mattress could be down there with a ticketing system, dr’s station, canteen, toilets and row upon row of triple bunk beds.  Great stories and photos about how they were built and set up.  Also post war stories with Jamaicans arriving off the Windrush in 1948  temporarily housed down there, less than a mile from the employment exchange in Brixton. And then a hotel for the Festival of Britain.  In another old shelter, herbs are now grown for the restaurant trade.  At the end of the tour, if you go down 180 steps, you have to come up them again!  Hidden London Tours sell out quickly.

 

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New Design Museum

Visited the New Design Museum which has just opened in site which used to be the Commonwealth Institute.  The architect had to design within the confines of the original space and ceiling which has meant compromises and it is somewhat disappointing.  Lots of blonde wood and landings with lots of empty atrium space and exhibition, cafes and workshop space squashed around the sides.  It needs some exhibits within the atrium to bring it to life instead of feeling like a hotel.  There is a crowdsourced wall of 200+ objects nominated by the public but it is difficult to take your time to look at it as it is on a crowded landing.  We visited Fear and Love which includes a display about the European Union with a piece of design from every EU country.  Sad reminder of Brexit.

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Damien Hirst’s private collection of works by Gavin Turk.  There are spinning bottles and knives, the blue plaque sign which resulted in Gavin failing his masters degree, Pollockesque paintings, rooms full of Sid Vicious and bin bags cast in bronze.  The most intriguing room is where there are waxworks of Turk as Sid, a vagrant (with bronze cast sleeping bag), a sentry and a sailor who starts laughing when a sensor triggers. And a self-portrait with a hose drizzling water onto the figure and steam coming out of its head.  These are all based on Warhol’s gunslinger pose.  Interesting show.

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Garth Bowden

These are great – they were in the grounds of The Priory at the Order of St John attached to Made in Clerkenwell last weekend.   Find out more at Garth Bowden.

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An interesting walk with pubs along the route.  Faced the wrong way for much of it  with sun beating down on top of my head.  Started at Richmond and crossed over the Lock and up the river bank, stopping for lunch.  We then went through Syon Park and diverted off route to walk alongside the start of the Grand Union Canal and back to the opposite river bank to Kew.

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Annual walk around the City area looking at this year’s sculptures.  My favourites were  Laura by Jaume Plensa – seen several of these now but The Dream

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still my favourite.  Also Sunrise East July/October by Ugo Rondinone – passers by certainly noticed these.  I suspect my favourite one would have been Untitled by Enrico David as it looked great on the webiste but it had mysteriously disappeared from outside of the Gherkin.

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