London: Hot and buzzing with people moving and walking and transport zipping and sliding in and out of view. Sometimes I forget how restful my little corner of the world is in comparison to this goliath.
London did not disappoint. My friend and I were there to see some scenes and this is what we saw. First, we popped into Somerset House to take in the Pick Me Up exhibition. Said Friend had done a bit of research and found this show worth seeing and oh my, I am ever so thankful for his find. The show was brilliant, not just in bright pinks and eye achingly bright oranges and reds, but in the scope of talent on display. The official blurb about the show goes like this:
‘London’s original contemporary graphic art fair returns to Somerset House, showcasing the best illustrators, graphic novelists, cartoonists and graphic designers from around the world. Buy limited editions and affordable art, and enjoy special workshops and weekend events, as well as talks, performances, DJs and portfolio reviews.’
It was fantastic to walk throughout Somerset House, working our way through one room to the next, seeing all manner of artworks. I very desperately wanted to buy at least ten different pieces, but instead opted to buy a postcard pack of 20 and be content with that. Some familiar faces were there, or rather, work that I have seen in Edinburgh, names that I recognised. The ubiquitous-seeming Pugs Not Drugs lady was there and it just so happened that Said Friend was wearing his recently purchased ‘Pugs Not Drugs’ tshirt when we rounded a corner and were confronted with her work. Nice one, Gemma Carroll, you are certainly getting around. The pieces featured above are from Zim and Zou, Kristjana Williams and others that I very shamefully did not take down the names of.
The main reason for my trip down to London was to see this:
This was what I really rocked up to London to see:
Three attempts were made to see this show. When I arrived mid-morning, I was faced with the prospect of standing in the queue for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Hm. No thanks. When I showed up for the second time, mid-afternoon, I was given the option of standing in the queue for 2 hours, or perhaps I would like to come back closer to the end of play that day, suffer very little queue waiting AND a better chance to see the artwork due to lack of hoard. And so, I arrived at 4, waited just under an hour to enter the doors of the Royal Academy and was then wowed with wall after wall of such amazing colour combinations that my brain ached. It ached at the beauty of it, actually. The thick laying on of brushstrokes, the colours of previously layed down paint showing through lighter brushed and coloured areas; my brain ached at the effort of understanding.
I stood for an age and a half infront of a late 1990’s piece of the Grand Canyon. The large artwork first caught my attention as I calmly looked at one scene painted four different times in four different seasons. As I was walking from Spring to Summer, I turned my head to the right and caught sight of a large red orange canyon. It was commanding. It was brilliant. I eventually walked right up to it, confronted it, allowed it to take up my entire field of vision. It was glorious. I paced beside it, considered it up close and from across the room. That piece was by far my very favourite.
The next hour I spent gliding from room to room, weaving my way through the crowd. Standing infront of those large works, seeing the view from Hockney’s eyes and imagination and trying to understand how he created his works, was very, uhm, well, it was very peaceful, actually. Time ceased to matter. The works absorbed by attentions. I can’t really describe how peaceful that seemed. This is what happens to me when I see what I consider to be great work. Work that absorbs you, somehow plucking you out of your wee little life, enveloping you and shoving aside all the worries that vie for your attention. Or my attention, rather. I don’t really know what YOUR worries are of if you worry at all.
But I digressed and now here I am, at home, back to my flat and the sound of cars babbling up and down the cobbles of my street.
Visiting those exhibitions down in Londontown was worth every penny spent, every minute spent in a line, inching my way closer to something beautiful.