Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Highlights Of London

Having been to London half a dozen times, there was no dire need for me to run around the tourist sights. However as I had about 6 hours to kill before I needed to turn up at Heathrow airport, I left my bags in D's office in Covent Garden, and sat down to a coffee at Nero's (which is the only coffee chain in Brighton and London which serves a decent cuppa - LP's opinion which I wholeheartedly endorsed after having to chuck a cup of coffee from the Cornish Pasty Cafe where I had lunch later that day because it was burnt and foul-tasting) and started planning what I really, REALLY wanted to see in London.

As usual, Tate Modern topped my list. Doris Salcedo, a Colombian artist was exhibiting. The installation (I suppose that is what it is) in the main Turbine Hall of the museum was huge cracks which were created in the floor of the hall. The floor had been opened up and the chasm beckoned one to go closer to take a better look. The artwork was one with the venue of the work. It was interesting but I was more curious to know how they were going to close up the void once the exhibition is over.

The only disappointment was that the works of Chris Ofili, a Turner Prize winner, who I had researched so much on and wrote about in Art School, was no longer exhibiting there. I had really wanted to see the controversial works which incorporates elephant dung especially "The Last Supper".

Having fed my soul at Tate Modern, I had time to squeeze in another museum, the Museum of London which I have never been to, all the times I've been in London. I soon realised why. It was overrun with school children and the exhibits were tailored more to the school crowd. I did a quick 20 minute run of it and took my leave. This is not a museum like Tate Modern, which I would be happy to revisit again and again.

London was its grey self the six hours I was there. Gone was the sunshine of the two weekends I had. This technicolour version of Blackfriars was taken on my way from Brighton to St Albans when the train was going through London. What a contrast. And that is one of the main reasons why London remains a great city to visit for me, but not a city where I can see myself working or living in. Winter depression would probably be too much. Give me sunshine, give me light, give me colour!

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