Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Tate Modern

My baby (or should I say child? He/She/It is Six after all..) liiiiiiives! My laptop seeems to have found a new lease of life.. Things are still a little touch and go.. I've backed up all my files just in case, but for now, things are looking up! (I may have done a happy dance to celebrate..) 

In celebration, enjoy a little peak of my trip to the Tate in London. :) 

I got the train to Waterloo, and then on to Westminster Bridge, and the South Bank.

From there, I meandered along the river side, taking in some of the best bits of the tourist trail in London; Big Ben, Parliament, St Paul's, the Millennium Bridge. I'm sure the locals could give you a better, quieter, faster route to the museum, but as I was a tourist in the city, it seemed a shame to miss out on such famous landmarks!

Unsurprisingly, I wasn't the only one to have had this idea, so the first section  of the walk (from Westminster to The Eye) was packed with people. But from the National Theater onward the paths were delightful shaded, and quiet, and I felt free to enjoy the skyline at my own slow pace. :)

After about twenty minuets or so, I made it it the museum.

The former power station dominates the landscape and houses an eclectic mix of modern art; from Picasso, to Turner, to Monet (and currently an exhibition by Matisse).  The work ranges from the more traditional paintings, sketches and photography, to sculpture, craft work and film.

I spent a couple of hours in the museum, and managed to get round most of it, but I would definitely recommend taking a little more time, and really taking it all in properly.

 Picasso.. This stuff's weird.. 

I really loved the work by Henry Wessel, simple black and white shots of everyday life in America. I think it was just my nosiness coming out, but I loved the glimpses he gives his audience into not just his life, but, also into the lives of his subjects. And on a much less academic note, I just thought the shots were aesthetically beautiful.

 Henry Wessel, Incidents 

The museum has a coffee shop and balcony on the third floor, perfect for taking in those beautiful London views!

Seung-Taek Lee, Godret Stone

The whole ambiance of the space is really special, its such a bright, airy space, that really does the art work justice. This was especially noticeable in room 3, level 4 -Arte Povera and Anti-Form- where the high ceilings, and natural light form the perfect lotion for the dramatic sculpture.

After my experience in Bristol the other week, I was thoroughly impressed by the curation at The Tate. The rooms were well laid out thematically, and everything was so well labeled, even an art newbie like myself could understand.

In fact, one of my very favorite pieces was The Penelope by José Leonilson. This simple piece consists of several squares of sheer fabric, stitched roughly together, with some basic embroidery.  At a glance, the piece appears modest, and unassuming,  but once I understood the piece, and the artist, the uncomplicated work took on a whole new meaning.  (Created in the last year of his life, as he battled with HIV, the piece is based on Homer's Odyssey, and the story of Odysseus' wife, who plots to delay a new marriage by agreeing to pick a new suitor only once she has finished weaving  the burial shroud of her husband-in-law, which she secretly spends her nights unpicking, meaning the piece would never be completed.)  With such a tragic back story, how could I not fall in love with this plain embroidery.

Two favorites, The Penelope by José Leonilson, and a very handsome Self Portrait by Robert Mapplethorpe. 

I ended my tour in another of my favorite galleries, an Artists Room dedicated to the life and works of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Specializing in black and white photography (I'm sensing a theme here..), Mapplethorpe's work documents his glamorous life in New York, and offers his audience an intimate glimpse into the lives of some of the coolest celebrities of the last thirty years.

The Tate modern (like many of the museums in London), was free, and compared to many of the other attractions along the south bank, it was very quiet. It was the perfect way to kill a few hours, before meeting the beautiful Bella, and I highly recommended it to anyone looking to soak in some culture in the center of London. :)

Much Love,


  1. We use to go down to the Tate Modern for day trips when I was doing A Level art and I agree it's a great place to waste a couple of hours. I love how they converted the building and it's space/

  2. London is one of my favourite places to go, tourist wise I've only seen half the city haha. I'm not a big fan of art, so I don't tend to go to galleries and such but I am intrigued by those first two photos of the art.