Last week I took a trip to London to visit some art galleries and exhibitions I had wanted to see. Going to galleries is a big part of my practice, seeing the real art instead of on a screen is important for me, even if I come away unimpressed – I have seen art first-hand, I’m surrounding myself in art, which allows me to generate ideas/thoughts, in how I want to adapt my practice or artwork at that time. I’m always happy to see new art, new exhibitions as it adds to my ever changing practice, I don’t think I will ever assign myself to one specific style-it’s too much of a restraint, I’ll always call myself a multi disciplinary artist, and I think that’s because of visiting galleries and seeing art or concepts in different mediums.
I started my trip at Tate Britain. This is the first time I had been here, and I was attracted this time as the notorious ‘My Bed’ by Tracey Emin was being exhibited, which I have only ever seen online and comments surrounding this piece are so mixed, I thought it better to see it for myself.
I’ve always been a bit sceptical of Emin’s ‘my bed’, there’s an ongoing argument in my head as to what is art? Can it be putting your unmade bed in a gallery for it to become a million pound work of art, and I think I will always question this to every artwork I encounter, but I’ve changed my mind on this piece. Before I saw it as joke, how can this woman put her bed in a gallery and it be worth millions of pounds and become a focal point of British art, but I’ve always judged art on technical ability (blame school for that) and now seeing it, Bacon explains his work as ‘it’s an incredibly personal piece of work and considering the description of the exhibition, ‘leaving a trail of human presence and memory trace of past events’ and this is exactly what my bed represents, and I think that alone is quite compelling. Humans have a natural curiosity for everything, especially things we won’t ever know of and Emin has give us rare glimpse into this curiosity through this piece which is another reason I’ve changed my mind about it.
Other works in Tate Britain I was struck by:
I then travelled to the Tate Modern, which I have visited before but again it was really great. All the works are so diverse and a huge array of varied art practices in a fantastic industrial setting that is Tate modern. It was great to see classic artists works; Warhol, Lichtenstein, Dali and also to see contemporary works, that were very refreshing as they are so inventive in terms of materials and concepts. Below are some photos of my highlights in Tate Modern;
I then took a trip to Bricklane, to see many streets, all adorned with masses of graffiti and it did not disappoint. Each piece is so unique, and I can’t help but think of bricklane as an outdoor art gallery. Images below are some of my favourite pieces I discovered on bricklane:
I finished my trip in London by visiting The Hunterain Museum, part of the Royal college of Surgeons. This is an accumulation of human anatomy at its finest and most weird. The two floor room is filled with test tubes of bones, organs, scientific wonders – if it’s a part of your body; it can be found pickled at the Hunterain museum. I visited this as as well as having a fear and fascination with death, I am also struck with the human body and how amazing that we work the way we do from just muscles, tissue, organs, blood and bones – it’s one of those things you just can’t explain. Unfortunately as you cannot take photos, i wasn’t able to capture much, but i couldn’t resist taking a snap of the human skull display, seen below. I’m so please I visited here – it’s so incredible to see what we cannot see of ourselves – another must see.
Overall, I’m really pleased with how this trip turned out. I’ve come away from this with ideas to make and ways to tackle concepts within my art, no major ideas just yet but I’ve taken small areas from each place and I feel they will affect my work in some way, no matter how small.
All photos are my own.