Friday, 24 April 2009

A day in April

OK I confess, I played hooky yesterday afternoon. I had no classes and feigned a dentist appt, wouldn’t you if the sun was shining? But just in case you thought it was all fun, fun, fun let me tell you things do not always run smoothly.
First stop from Charing Cross is St James Square, once home to the most expensive address in London it is a beautiful square made doubly so by this stunning blossom tree planted to remember the rather senseless death of PC Yvonne Fletcher in 1984.
Onwards, to the Chris Beetle Gallery to visit the Cecil Beaton exhibition.

I went to push the door which was locked, a couple inside intimated that I should ring the bell, which I duly did expecting to be buzzed in. After what seemed like an eternity a man came huffing and puffing to the door and with great ceremony and rattling of keys opened the door. After I walked in he closed and locked the door. He turned and ask that I give him my bag, at this point I should have left, but I was locked in so succumbed to the humiliation of having to take out my purse, camera and phone which I then had to clutch in my hand. I was assured my bag would be “quite safe”
I wandered around and in the space of 5 minutes the bell was rung a further 7 times each time someone came huffing and puffing up the stairs and removed any bag bigger that 6 inches square, like an episode of the Keystone Cops. As I went downstairs I realised that all the bags were slung in the corner of their office and anyone and everyone was walking inside to collect their own! I then failed to get the attention of anyone so that I could be released from captivity and I could feel a very large sense of panic welling up inside me. (I have a real fear of being locked in; I think it must be a form of claustrophobia that I can trace back to my pot holing days, when we got momentarily lost as the water started to gush in from a sudden shower. I could tell you some funny story’s about climbing out of windows, suffice it to say I absolutely cannot be locked in, ever, how I fly I do not know).
Finally someone huffed and puffed back up the stairs and 2 of us shot out whilst another 6 went in. To a man all seemed confused by the system. Many small galleries will have a bell, but most buzz you in. If this gallery did not want or trust the hoi polloi to wander in and out they should have a strict appointment policy. Instead the exhibition has attracted a huge amount of publicity hence the amount of people trying to visit. I will not be back.
The Nancy Cunard suffers from a bit of flare in the top left hand corner so I did not buy, this had nothing to do with the £3,500 price tag!

I then went and bought a box of sushi from Wasabi and ate it in the RA courtyard. There are no seats at all, despite this being a natural place to sit, most people have to perch where they can.
It seems a rather cruel gesture on the part of the RA to make its octogenarian members have to precariously balance on the edge of a cold plinth, whilst peeling a soggy sandwich from its foil wrapper with one hand whilst chain smoking with the other.
The London Original Print Fair was dull, dull, dull. Most galleries appear to replicate each other. My favourite ‘would that I could win the lottery’ buy, was a beautiful Sean Scully aquatint

Tag Fine Art was the best and most interesting gallery, my favourite was this woodcut by Robin Duttson.

There were other artists which I will explore next week.
I then revisited the Kuniyoshi exhibition to restore my faith before walking up to Sprüth Magers to see the Cindy Sherman Exhibition. Having been buzzed in I saw three monumental canvases which were stunning. I tried to find more but I was told that’s all there was to see. THREE!

I then carried on up Bond Street to Sotheby’s seeing one of the most awesome Picasso’s well worth the trip on its own.
$16 million estimated.

After this I walked and visited a few more galleries including a brilliant Joe Tilson print show at Alan Cristea and then people watched.

Dover Street Market.

I want one of these in each colour.

I forgot to write down where this one came from but I like photographing fragments of paintings.

I did pop into a couple of clothes shops primarily Kew to try on a lovely stripy blue top, but something about it did not feel right (probably knowing my mother had got there first) but more likely because I already have a lovely one from COS. Instead I bought a really flattering jersey dress that skims not clings (now there’s a mantra we all need) reduced to £19. I have it on today with a very narrow pair of jersey trousers and a turquoise cardie. It is the most unbelievably comfortable outfit. When I bought the dress the girl in the shop very perkily pointed out that I could wear it with a variety of different belts. I perkily replied that the chances of me ever highlighting the thickness of my middle aged spread were some where between fat chance and no chance.
She winced and wrapped it a whole lot quicker.

I am developing a bit of a crush on Foyer Flowers.

Despite the trial and tribulations the day has recharged my batteries which was just as well since my A level students had done virtually nothing over the Easter break so I spent 4 hours spoon feeding them ideas.


materfamilias said...

I played some hooky myself yesterday, taking a break from the writing I should be doing -- but not such splendid hooky as you managed with such fab photos! It's important to stoke the creative fires, isn't it?!
(and I absolutely sympathize re the belt!)

Seth said...

What a great day. Glad I could come along!

La Belette Rouge said...

I want to play hooky with you and Mater someday. I really do. It is on my list of things in life I would really like to do.
Thanks for sharing your day. And, congrats on finding a jersey dress that skims not clings. That is a miracle.

Cheryl said...

Great comeback! And I loved following along with you on your gallery sojourn. When I visited London a while back, that was one of the things I enjoyed doing the most. Though I didn't run into any as uninviting as the first one you went to. But I remember seeing some amazing artwork unlike anything I've seen before.

pia said...

I see that you are interested in art why dont buy my Joe tilson that are for sale at or you maby
know someone that want to buy it
sorry for my bad english :)