Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Work and Play

The past week has been non-stop. I'm going and going and going all the time. It is a wonderful thing because idle hands make crazy minds.. or something like that, right? I'm going on Week 3 of classes and things are really picking up. Readings, presentations, papers, gallery openings, lecture series, etc.. so much on my plate but just remembering I'm in London keeps me going. I'm powering through each day but not forgetting to take a look around and enjoy the big city! The past week has consisted of a trip a lot of things but I'll highlight my favorites...

We traveled to Oxford and seen the Pitt Rivers Museum which is basically a mess of thousands of artifacts from all over the world. It aims to show the progression of tools and trade over time but it is just cabinet after cabinet full of 'old shit' (as I heard one of the kids on a field trip call it). Oxford was interesting, not quite the quaint town that I expected but it is home to a wonderful Modern Art Museum that was hosting the first public showing of Jenny Saville! An artist I was unfamiliar with, she really struck me with not only the size of the pieces but the expression and manipulation of the paint she uses. Amazing stuff if you're into that sorta thing...

The girls don't quite share my love of train rides

The best part of my Oxford experience? Riding the train to and from. It is really the simple things in life, y'all. Seeing the countryside and the gorgeous blue sky (yup, that's right.. it hasn't rained once since I've been here) while writing letters to all the people I love really inspired me. Good music, pen and paper, and a train ride and I am one happy girl.

Moving onto later in the week, after hours of class and reading.. it was time for a break. On a last minute whim, we went to a dubstep concert in the London Bridge area. It was an awesome night although we might have lost our hearing for the next few days. I love concerts but this one was just a whole new ballgame. Can't wait til my next dub experience..

In other news, for all you Southerners out there who understand the crazy world of Debutante-ing... my friends here said that when I listen to dubstep it is actually called Debstep. See? I'm carrying out the ways of the South even without knowing it. So let's debstep it out ladies.

The next few days were spent reading and preparing for a presentation (which I presented today and it is finally over, yahoo!) and cleaning up the flat. It is a tiny space but damn if it doesn't get super messy in like .3 seconds. I broke out of cleaning for a bit to go to an exhibit in the National Portrait Gallery, The Queen: Art and Image. I wish everyone could see this exhibit! I loved it and it was such an insight (for those of us non-Brits) into the role of the Queen and her many 'faces' that have been portrayed since the 1950's. Each room was a different decade and her portrayal over the years is so dynamic and fluid that it is like a well-oiled machine. It is a great insight into her representation not only as a monarch but as a person, mother, scholar, leader, and wife.

Saturday night was another great night out with a college friend and my favorite place to go out in all of London, the Notting Hill Arts Club! A place where I spent many a night two years ago, I was thrilled to go back. The whole night was topped off when the bartender remembered me from two years ago.. this is where Dad would say 'Wow, Lisa.. Of all the people in South Ken to remember you (not the Starbucks girl or the grocery store clerk) it is the bartender!" Well, let's just chalk it up to the fact that Eliz and I went there a couple of times a week?? Either way, it was great to see him again and be back in Notting Hill.

Sunday was spent mostly relaxing and catching up on TV. (So very excited that Parenthood is back!) Luckily Monday was spent at my actual favorite place in London, The National Gallery! Class was in the Sainsbury wing for the morning and then after a yummy lunch at the only Chipotle in the city, I returned to see 'my peeps' as I weirdly call them. My Holbien's, Hogarth's, Turner's, and Van Gogh's that I missed so much were all right where I left them (of course) and it was so wonderful to get to see them again. Walking around aimlessly with no time restraints, no tour guides, or required assignments is such a pure way to view the pieces. It was a great confirmation of me in London and even more, me studying Art History in London. The more I learn in class and out of class, I learn more about myself and the role that I want to play in the Art/Art History world. Just what is that role? Yeah, haven't nailed it down just yet but I know that there is a spot for me out there somewhere. I'm finally feeling like I will find a place where I can thrive and enjoy what I'm doing.. Just not sure where or when that place will come into view. Let's hope soon!
Cheers to being studious!
(Note the backpack and caffeine)
I've got loads of readings and an exhibit review to write so this weekend will be a bit more tame than last weekend but it is also London's Open House so I hope to get into some interesting places over Saturday and Sunday!

Cheers y'all, Lis

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