The past week has been great! Not too much work, as our papers are all due next week so it was a bit of a slow week work-wise, yahoo. Class on Tuesday was held in the Victoria & Albert Museum, which is one of the best in the city! A museum dedicated to art and design, it's collections range from ballgowns to staircases to sculpture to stained glass windows. It would take at least a week to see everything in the museum but it is a great place to be inspired and be in awe at the vast collection.
Thursday was a day like any other.. until...after class, Carly, Kate and I decided to head to the Tate Modern on the Southbank.Usually, this museum is not my choice to go to. It is a modern art museum and while my modern art tastes have surely grown since I've first started studying art history, this place still weirds me out sometimes. There is no doubt in my mind that the pieces are worth seeing and will live in infamy forever.. however, it is not the most accessible museum to wrap your head around. That being said, I could not be more happy to have gone. I have Carly to thank because she spotted John Krasinski and chased him down for a picture! He was so nice and so, so very nice to look at!
|Hi there, John! Ditch Emily Blount and come hang out with us?|
After getting over the shock of seeing this famous person (which took about 45 minutes), we strolled around the Tate Modern and the girls helped explain some of the art to me. Another great part about the museum was the exhibition in the Turbine Hall. Tino Sehgal created a piece using 50 people and their stories. Literally, 50 people run around the hall telling visitors stories about anything! We heard a man talk about banana fritters and a girl talk about the time her purse was stolen. The visitors become part of the experience as Sehgal's people run around the groups of people. Every now and then, the 50 people will stop and sing a song unknown to us. Or they will line up and just start skipping. Or they all stop and lay down on the ground. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the exhibition except for celebrating human interaction and the concept of "the stranger". Some people feel this is a really weird piece but I loved it! The idea that 50 people can flow and speak and work with the unfamiliar audience is fascinating. There is no script, there is no set acting/dancing/singing that is supposed to happen. It is all free will and the 50 people simply reacting to the audience at hand. What an interesting and powerful experience! If anyone's in London, I absolutely suggest they go and 'feel' this awesome exhibit.
We went on a day trip Friday with two of our professors and 13 of us Art History and Visual Culture students...
Secret Garden, anyone??
Modern sculptures in a rural space
It was so nice to be surrounded by nature for the day!
(You won't here me say that often...)
After an hour tube ride, a two hour bus ride and a small walk in the woods, we arrived at Roche Court Sculpture Park. What an amazing piece of land. With over 600 acres, there were cows, chickens, a gorgeous country home, and... sculptures! The private home also exists as a working sculpture gallery and an arts education trust. We spent the morning walking around the grounds and enjoying not only the massive art pieces but also being outside in the fresh, country air. We all talked about home and how much we missed being around trees, our animals, and clean air! It was a nice break from the city.. but once I got back into the hustle and bustle of central London, I felt home again!
Standing in front of The Vyne, a home built in 1520 for a courtier of Henry VIII and Anne.. yes, I was in heaven!
The front of The Vyne
There is a chapel inside the house!
We had a bit of rain throughout the day but nothing that would hold us back. As we drove another couple hours to The Vyne, we all took a good (much needed) nap. The Vyne is so impressive as it was another beautiful outdoor space with lakes, ducks, cows, and weeping willows. The house was built when Henry VIII was on the throne so I loved soaking in the Tudor architecture as well as the updates from the 18th century add-ons. Carly and I pretended we were being presented to the court as we slowly walked down the double staircase into the foyer. You're never too old to use your imagination?!?
We got home in time for a late dinner and a fun night out at my fave, Notting Hill Arts Club. Great day overall, now back to writing papers and researching!
Cheers y'all, Lis