Tuesday, 2 November 2010

East v West


George Macaulay Trevelyan wrote in 1913 that he had two doctors "my left leg and my right leg" He also wrote "After a day's walking everything has twice it's usual value" [1]

My own pattern of walking fall into two categories, walking the dog and 'walking to see'. You would think the two served the same purpose but they don't. I have found it preferable to walk the dog on or around two circuits, the repetitiveness stops me from looking and allows me to lose myself deep into thought. I replay ideas and emotions over and over in my head and for a brief while I am all but anonymous defined by neither the chaos I live in or my occupation. My walks are very brisk which to those who know me would come as a surprise as I have a reputation for dawdling which brings me to 'walking to see' hence the slow speed as I am invariable looking for 'the moment' especially now, having found my photographic feet. The moments I record are few and far between but when I see them they are worth the effort.

As a child once we had moved to a village I found myself walking increasingly further and further simply has a form of escape, but also I loved the countryside where we lived, I can see now it helped preserve my sanity.

Just before we broke up for half term I realised I had a free day my exam classes were out on work experience, so after a couple of hours of paperwork I went to see Future beauty: 30 years of Japanese Fashion. It did not disappoint and my new style mantra is "What would Yohji say?" I bought the catalogue and it is my new style bible, the clothes are just astonishing in their concept and detail and what looked avant-garde 20 years ago still looks cutting edge now, What they were designing then has filtered through slowly although mostly into COS which does excellent asymmetry

As a pay off for truanting I had offered to take some photographs of historical buildings for the architecture project we do, it was a glorious sunny day and with no agenda I followed the spires snapping away. The City is teeming with office workers and it was tempting to just sit and watch them scurry past but I have spent very little time in the City of London after this visit I will be gravitating there more often if not just for the churches of which there are many.

  • Saint Nicholas Shambles

  • St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe

  • All Hallows by the Tower

  • St Stephen Walbrook

Just the names are wonderful, the history behind them even better. I was happy to wander but when St Stephen Walbrook offered me a Henry Moore altar I could not resist a peek. I may not believe in God, but much that is beautiful has been built in his name (although far too much has been destroyed too) I find English churches wonderfully spiritual places to be, I can't explain why but then I would say I was absolutely NOT superstitious but you will never catch me putting new shoes on a table!

This church was breathtakingly beautiful, if you don't believe me check for yourself here

On the way out I picked up a brilliant pamphlet replete with the history of all the City of London churches, most of them designed by Wren plus 3 walks. I have lived in London for 25 years and still I find something new. If you ever visit go see.


Last week I went west, my intention was to finally visit The Jonathan Clark Gallery, I went via COS in Kensington convinced it would be replete with a massive selection of size L since the entire population of Kensington is made up on teeny tiny french women. WRONG, either this branch has eschewed munter size altogether or there are some secret tubsy's out there as it was very slim picking indeed.
As was the gallery which media wise punches well above it's weight. I am wise to the way's of galleries but this one despite saying it was open was locked tight shut and it was as tiny as the locals. What a monumental waste of time, except it wasn't as I got a couple of good images for my book [2]
Plus the walk from Kensington down to the Kings road is so lovely, past great towering wedding cake mansions that sit snugly next to mews of such prettiness. In stark contrast to the east the streets are empty, everyone had decamped to the country for half term so the only sound was that of the builders kanga dinging yet another basement up.
In an effort to rest my legs I hopped on a bus and made my way to Hauser Wirth on Saville Row. This delivers in spades, the Louise Bourgeois Exhibition is awesome, truly wonderful fabric collages, I said it before but they would make wonderful dresses!

1More from the Guardian
2 I am for my sins compiling a folder of my most favourite images in the vain hope I might one day organise my sorry arse into gear and send them to blurb....

1 comment:

materfamilias said...

Interesting --- I can have have different gears in walking as well, even without a dog. And once I've begun a walk in one gear, I'm not likely to shift it on that outing.
I really wish I could see that Louise Bourgeois fabric exhibition -- it looks fabulous!
There's a Fashion Drawing ex. somewhere in London that I just read about as well and I thought of you right away. . .