Tuesday: Met up with Ian and he guided me around London. Working on learning the Underground. Loved the BP Portrait Award exhbit at the National Portrait Gallery. This is the winner, Aleah Chapin with her piece, ‘Auntie.’
Checked out Gosh Comics.
Also a cool bike store with Ian.
Walking tour of Soho, followed by a scrumptious half lobster dinner @ the French seafood bistro Randall & Aubin.
Had a drink at the famous catacomb-like Gordon’s Wine Bar. Time to call it a night!
Lovely breakfast Wednesday at the Caesar Hotel, scrambled eggs with Scottish Salmon. Yum.
Absolutely adore the Wellcome Collection. Spent almost the whole day here. Current exhibit is “Superhuman.”
The curators in this museum really know how to make it happen. The exhibits feature audio content, performance art, visual arts, film, just about any learning modality you can imagine, all integrated seamlessly. First video of note, though they all were good, was episode three of Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle which features paraolympic athlete Aimee Mullins, who has a cool TED talk. The second one you can watch on YouTube, Metalosis Maligna, which explores the idea that metal implanted in the body could become malignant like human cells. This one, called “I Need A Hero” imagines a reality show in which body parts are surgically replaced to create a superhuman. It was interesting to spend time in this exhibit as the Paralympic games are still underway and all the talk in London. Prosthetics are everywhere and have never been cooler.
Two Performance artists, Sarah Ruff and poet Richard Tyrone Jones, did a brief live show in the exhibit about being cyborgs. The coolest part of the performance was when they interacted with projected animation.
This is the lobby/cafe of Wellcome, and the Blackwell bookstore.
And, thanks to Ian Williams, they now have a Graphic Medicine section — perhaps the world’s only! So cool to have many pals on the shelves (and me, tucked in bottom left.)
A cool bit from one of the the resident exhibits, called Medicine Now.
The day at the Wellcome was followed by dinner at the tiny but highly recommended Sushi of Shiori. Delicious blending of flavors. You knew it would be good when they serve a brush for painting soy sauce. No dipping here.
And my day’s explorations ended at St. Pancras Station. Look!
The Renaissance Hotel is located inside, a champagne bar on the train platform, and a mall with nice shops on the lower level. At the end of the platform, near the champagne bar, is a sculpture called “The Meeting Place” by Paul Day. The sculpture itself is massive, and depicts lovers meeting or saying goodbye in a railway station.
The frieze relief around the base of the statue is even more stunning. It was apparently added later – this from Wikipedia, “Most recently a high-relief frieze has been added to the base of the Meeting Place sculpture, featuring images from the history of the Tube and train: people queuing on platforms or travelling in carriages; soldiers departing for war and returning injured, and repair works following the 7 July 2005 London bombings. The work was the object of controversy when first erected, as one panel depicted a commuter falling into the path of a train driven by the Grim Reaper. However, following discussions with London and Continental Railways (LCR), this panel was replaced with another.”
Today’s adventure started at the Royal Society where I met up with the awesome Katie Green. We checked out a small but lovely exhibit of the nature art of Edward Lear. (Owl & The Pussycat, in honor of Mita.)
We walked through St. James Park, where we saw tons of cool birds, including coots and another little one whose name I can’t remember. Also adolescent swans.
Katie then took me to a fabulous gallery called The Illustration Cupboard
We had a delicious lunch at Mildred’s in Soho. And we stumbled into an art supplies store where we were extremely well behaved. Except I discovered these amazing tools – “multitalented pancils” – that I’ve never seen in the US so I HAD to buy them! They are three tools in one, people! An XXL colored pencil, a watercolor pencil, and a wax crayon! They are so big around you need a special sharpener, which of course I also bought.
Then we went to The Cartoon Museum. It was cool. Saw mostly original art and it was great to have Katie with me to answer my many questions.
Our last destination was the NoBrow bookstore & gallery. Phew! Exhausted! To revive ourselves we had a proper cup of tea at Silvio’s, home of the seizure inducing strobe light restroom.
Katie and her amazing navagating skills got me back on the tube headed to my evening event, opening night of The Judas Kiss with Rupert Everett at The Hampstead Theater. I had found the single seat online and was thrilled to see it was in the second row! An amazing play, an amazing end to an amazing London day! (I do need to expand my adjective collection.)
Phew. I’m exhausted.
More photos from my London days can be found here.