Monday, February 11, 2013

London Journal - Just because you're broke doesn't mean you can't find art to appreciate

I've written entries before about London's incredible public art collection. One of my favourite things about this city is coming across little gems. Some pieces are obvious but others might go entirely unnoticed if you don't have a wander. 

I went for a wander to the Design Museum, despite being completely broke (Having spent all my money on fantastic courses that will help me to improve my design skills so I can follow my bliss) and knowing full well I couldn't afford the £11.50 concession. I decided against dipping into my savings and confined my visit to the gift shop. Being a Design Museum the gift shop had a lot of interesting stuff to look at. I will be back when I'm not skint as I'm quite looking forward to seeing the exhibitions.  

But on this particular visit I left after perusing what the shop had to offer and went in search of a place where I could sit and do some concept sketches whilst enjoying a hot beverage. 

Displayed just outside the museum on the North bank of the Thames
I find I can never go very far in London before seeing some new and wonderful bit of art I've not encountered before. I was on the East side of Tower Bridge, a bit of the Thames bank I'd not yet explored. Not far from the museum I encountered this delightful block of textured something. 

I also happened across a random sign. I didn't follow it although I may go back and do so on another day. I find these 'street art' signs pop up now and again - an indication of someone being creative or clever or possibly just surreal.

 The walk along the Shad was very enjoyable. The twisting street and tall shipping buildings converted to flats has a sense of being out of time. I also suspect this was the area which inspired the well known 'Shades' to any Pratchett fans out there. Something to look up, I suppose.

 But my favourite discovery of the day was after I'd spent some time sketching in a coffee shop. I was warmed up and ready to head home. Though my surroundings were unfamiliar I knew exactly where I needed to head to get to London Bridge underground. I was about to hit my commuter pace stride when I spotted this fountain down a little cobbled street to my left.

The centrepiece has women moulded into it, but it's this one on the edge, with her pen and notebook, which pleases me to no end. I also love the small collection of abandoned personal items that surround the edge of the fountain.

The watch looks very real. I suspect it's simply coated in metal.
I thought that would be the end of the surprises for the day as I quickly found myself on the familiar route past Foster's incredible London City Hall, but then I spotted the distinctive work of Julian Opie. He's probably best known for the cover work he did for Blur. An artist that walks that line between design and art, if it can be argued that such a line exists.

I may not have been able to go to the Design Museum this time around but I feel that I had a very cultured and productive afternoon, none-the-less.

1 comment:

  1. It was lovely taking a walk down London with you, thank you!


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