Finally have time to write the London post.  (That sounds like a newspaper!)Though I have time now as that’s because DS was throwing up at 3am so I am wide wake, he’s fine now, as kids are, but I guess I have to miss a class today that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. 
A group of us have paid to have Alysn Midgelow-Marsden come up and teach us for two days.  DS has always had a knack of being ill when I have something special planned.  You’d think after 11 years of this I would be used to it, but I’m still disappointed.
Anyway, to London by train in under 4 hours from Berwick on Tuesday last week.  Firstly I went to drop off luggage at the hotel.  London traffic is always the same……. (note the advert, it made me laugh).


Then to the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) for the Cult of Beauty exhibition.  I am too tired to go into flowery exhibition speak, needless to say the Pre-Raphaelites never fail to impress.
Soya milk has finally reached London establishments and I was able to get a lovely coffee at the outdoor cafe.  Enjoyable to sit reading the map and watching the people go by.
VA& cafe
I went for a wander around the small (but perfectly formed) Indian sculpture section and the Islamic arts.  The work shown is exquisite, but there is just not enough of it.
On the way back to the hotel I stopped to say hello to Darwin.
Natural History MusuemDarwin
I love this view.
The building itself is fascinating


Wednesday I headed to Bloomsbury and the British Museum for another exhibition.  It was also wonderful, the gold work was exquisite and I spent two hours in there looking and sketching.  Having read the book beforehand I knew the history and the reports of the destruction of many of the objects and sites; wars, looting and purposeful destruction mean that so much has been lost from this immensely important archaeological area.
I spent another few hours wandering through time and the world, meandering through Prehistory (lots of sketching) to Medieval times via an Australian print exhibition and an Aboriginal basket display.
Spent a good hour pretending I was in India in Room 33.
Good to see, in real life, some of the sculptures I’d studied on the History of Indian Art course.
In the afternoon I met a friend for the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy.  It was, as usual, interesting and thought provoking.
Then a walk to Liberty’s via Anthropologie – which I was not really in the mood for – by now it was 6pm and I was shattered, having been walking since 9.45am.  Usually I can zen into the crowds of London and enjoy the buzz, but I was not in the mood.

Thursday I went back to the V&A and enjoyed the Cult of Beauty again, sitting for a long time in front of my favourite artist and one of his most beautiful works. 
The Beguiling of Merlin by Edward Burne-Jones. 
How I wish I could paint like that.

Then another coffee in lavish Victorian surroundings.


And a visit to the Yamamoto fashion exhibition, where I got told to stop drawing!  As if my scribbles were going to bring down an international fashion house.  I wandered out via various corridors, disappointed that the textile collection was ALL closed.  Finally to the British Galleries where I saw some wonderful costumes and embroidery.
Then to Leighton House.  I could live here!  No photographs allowed so see internal images here.
It is such a beautiful house inside and so much of everything I love. 
Islamic tiles and wooden screens, domes, gold and rich colours…..a dinning room with red walls and red floor…… a silk lined room which overlooked the Arab Hall…. a fantastic studio….. *sigh*…
Then it was back to Kings Cross and home to Berwick in 3 3/4 hours, then 25 minutes in the car.  Fantastic that the train stops at Berwick when you consider that it only has two platforms…. north and south.

2 thoughts on “London

  • 22/06/2011 at 7:41 am

    sounds an inspirational few days in the big city – I was at the V&A last wknd!

  • 25/06/2011 at 10:54 am

    great report! no wonder you were shattered! there's only so much a brain can take in I'm sure 🙂 Hope you got lots of stuff you can work with from your sketches too!

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