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Musical Week

1 May

Last week I saw not one but two West End musicals.  My Mum had got some theatre vouchers for Christmas and so I went with her to see Mamma Mia and Rock of Ages.  They were both really fun enjoyable shows but I think Rock of Ages was my favourite.  Some totally laugh out loud moments.  If you have a chance to go and see it I would definitely suggest it.

One thing I just want to put out on the internet, can someone please make a work out video with a musical theme.  There were some pretty active looking dance scenes in both shows and the ladies were slim and toned.  I think a musical work out would also be a great way to start the day because who doesn’t want Dancing Queen stuck in their head all day.

These are  just some Instagram photos from our outings.  I am always really impressed with stage sets and what they do with the limited space.  Rock of Ages was so detailed to even have bras hanging from the chandelier.

Picasso and Modern British Art

8 Apr

Last week I went to the Picasso and Modern British Art exhibition at Tate Britain which is on until 15 July so still plenty of time to see it.  It reflects two aspects of Picasso: first his works that were shown and collected in Britain and secondly his influence on modern British Artists such as Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon and David Hockney (to name a few).

I didn’t have much ‘experience’ of Picasso so my first impression was “oh he didn’t just paint confusing cuby things”.  I was really amazed by the versatility of his art.  Really I think anyone could find something which they find either aesthetically or intellectually interesting.  What I found really brilliant about the curation of the exhibit was finding out the story of Picasso through his art and connections.

Perhaps my favourite room showed his costume and set design for the The Three-Cornered Hat which premiered in London in 1919.  Picasso’s had met his wife, Olga Kohklova, while working with the company before.  Aside from the detailed drawings he made for the set while based in London he also made drawings of the company members.  One of which was the wife of a famous economist, John Maynard Keynes.  As a student of environment and development studies this tickled me a bit.  Mr Keynes then became a fan and bought several pieces of Picasso’s throughout his life.

It would seem to me that his most popular subject was women and he represented them in a variety of ways.  His mistress Marie-Therese Walter was often represented as a guitar or mandolin although she was often represented simply lying around naked.  I did like that he also often painted faces from both the front and in profile.

I thought this picture of “Nude Woman Lying in the Sun” (1932) was also Marie-Therese but I can’t find any confirmation of that on the web.  It would make sense to me as it was painted in the same year as the above picture and they are both blonde – is that too much of a leap?

Marie-Therese is also potentially represented in this later drawing which was made after she announced a pregnancy to Picasso.  I really liked his detailed etchings like this as they seem to have so much texture.

Off all the artists that he influenced, I think one of my favourite nods was to his cubist guitars by David Hockney done through polaroids.

Every time I go to an exhibition (especially such a well curated one) the idea that art is accessible to everyone is really reinforced.  I think the stories of artists make their lives more interesting and easy to understand their art.  The Tate Britain exhibitions are always rather extensive and take a time to wander around but I really think it is worth it.

In my search for pictures I have also come across blogs by Chloe Nelkin and Salve Magistra if you would like to read a bit more about the exhibit if you aren’t based in London or just want to find out more.

Sources: click picture to be taken to source

Friday with Friends

29 Jan

On Friday I had another foodie tour with friends in London.  We started off with a bit of culture at the Landscape Photographer of the Year 2011 Exhibition at the National Theatre.  It has been extended until 19 February if you haven’t had a chance to go yet.  Even though I find that they sometimes look like postcards I still enjoy having a look and how landscape can be done differently.  If you are into your photography they also give details of the settings on which the photos are taken.  Very useful.

After the cultural segment of our tour we walked across the river and went to Flat Planet which does the yummiest flat breads with a range of toppings.

Then we broke our meals with wandering around Liberty.  I kind of think of it as a museum where you can touch the collection.

After working up a thirst we headed to YumChaa, a modern tea room, where you can smell the teas on offer.  I had the raspberry and vanilla.  Really delicious.  You can also buy their loose leaves for brewing at home.

After umming and aahing all day with my friend (who is also doing the sugar free thing) we decided that we would have a treat of some gelato from the amazing Gelupo.  I thought I would be “good” (ha) and had the yoghurt flavour.  It was really yummy with the tart flavour of natural yoghurt.  And well worth it.

I quite like being a student and having days off during the week.

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

17 Dec

Yesterday I went to the annual photographic portrait exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.  I have been for the last few years and am never disappointed.

I love how portraiture captures moments and people and how the composition of a photo can give you real insight into a person’s life.  I must admit I thought the winning prizes weren’t the best pictures but I don’t suppose the label next to a picture saying “first prize” really makes a difference to the overall impact of the exhibition.

It is open until 12 February and I would definitely recommend you go.

This was one of my favourite photos from the show by Claudia Burlotti.

Power of Making and tea

3 Nov

Last week T and I went to the Power of Making exhibition at the V&A.  It is a really impressive exhibition which explores and celebrates the way that things are made.  There are more than 100 objects (I would go so far as to call them object d’art).  Unfortunately I couldn’t take any pictures as no photos were allowed but there were really some beautiful objects: a set of pencils with the alphabet carved into the lead; several beautiful bikes – one in particular made with the same technique of boats made with mahogany; a giant knitted item.  They are so many more.  The exhibition is free and open until January.  The only suggestion I would make – don’t go during school holidays.

Last week I also stopped by the Secret Soho Tea Room with my friend.  I had seen it posted about on several blogs and was eager to step back in time.  When we eventually located the pub (which is very much what I call an old man’s pub) which looked like it had seen better days.  Despite only a few lone drinkers in the pub the Tea Room was buzzing with chatter and the clacking of tea cups against plates.  We each had a sandwich (with the crusts cut off) and a piece of cake – chocolate for me, carrot cake for my friend.  It was fairly priced and the cake was really good.  An egg and cress sandwich is pretty generic but I wasn’t expecting too much from that anyway.  All in all though it is a delightful place to visit and I thoroughly suggest you do.

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