Yesterday, we finished our Visual Cultures class with a lecture on the London Eye. After starting class with brunch on the south bank, we "flew" on the London Eye.. getting all those epic pictures (and Vine videos!) that everyone pats themselves on the back for. After all, it isn't the memory but the photograph that lasts a lifetime! (Psh yeah... right..)
The Eye was exciting, I've done it three times and have loved it each time! It is a touristy must for all who visit London. We then headed down the road to Leake Street to 'analyze' the street art and graffiti of this amazing road. Leake Street is a legal graffiti zone so we ran into a few street artists who were practicing their craft on a tunnel wall.
A sculptural center was open for us to meander through at the end of the tunnel and we had quite the experience inside... The exhibits were pitch black with only black, UV lights to see the neon string and straws which made up the artworks. They were incredible and I could have stayed in there all day! However, in one of the rooms a large orange ball sat as if it was floating in the air (see picture) while surrounded by neon lighting. I immediately race towards the floating ball in the back of the room to check it out and (thank goodness) see the black strings which are actually holding up the ball. One of my classmates was not as fortunate... she walks right into the strings as I'm saying "watch out for the...uh oh" and the giant ball slowly tumbles down to the wet, dirty - we're in a tunnel, mind you - floor below.
It might have been the funniest things I've witnessed in a very long time. My sweet professor was behind us and she just says "Oh, well then!" and starts cracking up. Carlz and Suz craw under the wires to "save" the ball and some serious physics were undertaken in order to place it back on its original strings. All said and done, the ball was saved but not without dirt and mud running down its bright orange exterior. Needless to say, we got out of there pretty quickly.
I've realized while studying in London that most people in the art world have a "One time I accidentally ruined a piece of art" story and now I am happy to say I have mine. While I did not actually knock the ball, I'm pretty sure all of us who witnessed it will claim some responsibility. What a hilarious way to put contemporary art in its place - pun intended.
After the orange ball debacle, we went to one of my favorite places in London. The undercroft is where I sentimentally fell in love with London way back in 2008 on my first visit to the city. I sat for hours taking pictures and soaking up the diversity, the art and the community that exists right int he heart of the South Bank. Unfortunately, this awesome place is under threat! I was heartbroken to hear that the South Bank is being renovated and this cool, unique spot will be replaced with another Starbucks or Pret. I truly hope that this will not happen but we've got to make an effort to save it, I'll definitely be going to the May 4-6th weekend to help show support for the space. Can't wait for that.. I'm seriously considering chaining myself to the massive concrete pillars, hippie style.
So long story short... please sign this petition to keep the South Bank skate park in the South Bank! Okay, my save the skatepark rant is complete.
A short walk to Tate Modern for a cup of tea completed our class and then we made our way to the pub for a pint and dinner before our super posh and cultural experience... the ballet! We saw "Ecstasy and Death" in the London Coliseum and it was amazing. The music, the dancing, the costumes... it was a sensory experience to say the least. Our Friday Funday ended with the perfect Friday night with the girls!
So another great day was had by all... and as usual, I'm procrastinating a final paper with this thrilling blog post. Guess I'll get back to it then..
Cheers y'all, Lis