The last time I left London, it took 16 years to return. It would make me sad if so many years were to elapse before my next visit. However, one assumes, sitting here in our crisp, white, wifi enabled apartment in Hong Kong, jet lagged in the early hours of the morning, it will be quite a while.
We spent our last day in London packing but found a few hours to explore the Tate Modern and the nearby Borough markets, where, once again, small kindnesses mean so much. We were having an excellent, inexpensive mezze plate at The Turkish Deli when, what proved to be a rather superb Turkish coffee and delight, appeared. I was teasing the girls, who are fans of these sweets, that to get one you needed to have a coffee. They declined, the man laughed. He reappeared a minute later, with two scrumptious Turkish delights. It is good business and karma. The girls were delighted and it is just another, of the many kindnesses strangers have shown us.
Created in the year 2000 from a disused power station in the heart of London, Tate Modern displays the national collection of international modern art. This is defined as art since 1900.
The Tate Modern is a superb space and I particularly enjoyed the photography exhibitions. These included, Boris Mikhailov, an important, challenging chronicler of the Soviet period and Ryukichi Shibuya (1904-1995) whose work was exhibited in, ‘States of Flux: Japanese Photography and the Bauhaus’.
My favourite, new discovery was the photography of Guy Tilliim. Anyone trying to show, ‘how complex and conflicted the world is, and how difficult, and ultimately false, a single representation can be’ has a philosophy I admire and the kinds of shots to disprove it.
I felt inspired and messed around with some experimental shots, manipulating ISO and aperture. I was quite happy with this one:
Lucy and Sarah really were also inspired and liked the Tate Modern’s ‘postcard’ initiative (below). We found it hard to drag them out of the gallery, as the appointed hour for departure and prospect of a slow cab ride to Heathrow, approached.
The space is very well arranged to engage young children, in an artistic and physical sense, with the gallery environment. When was the last time you rode a slippery dip at an art gallery? This (below), however, looked suspiciously like gambling.
We always try to have brief discussions about whatever catches the eye and both girls were less than impressed with some of the stats presented re: women having solo exhibitions in prestigious galleries.
Outside the building are some nice spaces and trees. We wished we had more time to sit. The light was gentle and we all felt sad to be departing London.
While walking to the London Bridge tube station we stumbled on Clink Prison but did not have the time to visit this cheerful place.
Sarah was very sad to leave Eden, her new friend and we had many tears from both of them as the cab was being packed. ‘At least there’s Skype’, said Sarah, through wracking sobs, as we wrestled with the traffic.