Well, I spent yesterday travelling around London and going to art galleries. Was good fun but my legs felt so terribly achy and sore yesterday evening. I forgot about the whole after ache that you get from that much exercise... Now feeling much better, though I haven't tried to walk around much.
I started off by taking the train to London Waterloo where I bought a roll (as I realised on the way I had forgotten to eat or drink anything beforehand... daft chickie). Then I went on the underground to Charing Cross where I visited the National Portrait Gallery. This is my favourite gallery of all the ones I have been to. I love how diverse the styles of art are and the fact that there is also photography and stuff. My main aim in going was to see the BP Portrait Award exhibition which I did do and it is amazing! If you get a chance, go and see it. There are some truly beautiful paintings in the exhibition that are photo-realistic and others that are not but are equally beautiful (though of course there were also some that I didn't like particularly, but they were in the minority).
My favourite was probably 'Imagine' by José Luis Corella - see an image here (hopefully the links still work - I just googled them). Oh, I've just realised that the same artist painted my favourite piece from last year, and I think it was another painting of the same girl (his daughter, I think). This is the piece from last year (or at least some of it).
Anyway, other pieces I loved were 'Ruth' by Isobel Peachey, 'Tom' by Michael Gaskell (I think this came second), 'Broken Heart' by Donald McDonald, 'Angela From Sri Lanka' by Hynek Martinec, 'Maggie' by Sue Rubira - closer picture here - I think the closer one better captures the feeling of the painting when you're standing in front of it (this one was hugely detailed and seemed very confrontational, the woman reminded me of the older version of Rose from the film Titanic), 'Agnes' by Natalie Holland (this is high up on my favourites) and 'Hats and Scarves' by Tim Okamura (though you don't really get the idea from this little picture, the painting is huge). There were others that I liked very much but you get the idea.
I wandered around the portrait gallery a little, the prominently displayed photos were very interesting and I really liked them. My favourites were 'Lily Allen' by Nadav Kander, 'Rebecca Hall' by Jason Bell (I don't think the original is as dull as the picture here but it was the best I could find...) and 'Harry Potter Actors' by Matt Holyoak (just looking it up I found another image that I like from that shoot as well... - though I really hate what Daniel Radcliffe is wearing, it looks like he forgot to put a t-shirt on under his jumper, though that's probably the photographer's fault).
So after my quick wander at the Portrait Gallery I went around to the National Gallery for a very short while but I didn't find it hugely interesting (particularly as I've seen them not that long ago...), I like more diversity and for me the National Gallery is a bit samey - even the more contemporary art doesn't seem that exciting.
So off I went again on the tube and made my way to Tate Britain. I can't remember that much of what I saw there but I did very much like the Turner section as he did such beautiful landscapes - I've studied Turner at college but it was rather interesting to see so much of his work all together and on it's proper scale. I also went to the 'Classified' exhibition which was quite interesting. Very modern sort of stuff, I particularly liked the Chapman Family Collection, which was a whole lot of sculpture pieces in a kind of African tribal stle, but they have McDonalds related things incorporated into them. I also liked 'Forms without life' and 'Life without you' by Damien Hirst, they are collections of shells and are beautifully chosen and arranged. Those were the most interesting things for me at Tate Britain.
By this time I was rather knackered but I was determined to visit all four of my chosen galleries so I next headed off on the tube to Southwark to go to the Tate Modern. I'd been there before but it was several years ago, probably 4 years, on a school trip. I always remember that because it's when I got the great quote "Gary you're a div, shut your face" from the teacher in charge of the trip, lol. But yes, I found the galleries relatively interesting but the only thing I can remember in particular that I admired was 'Portrait of a Young Woman' by Meredith Frampton, see it here.
So after that I got the tube and the train home (or rather, back to my sister's home) and collapsed on my bed, lol. Had quite a lovely evening, despite the seriously painful legs, but yes... 'twas good. I'm really glad that I did that day trip and I think it was quite a valuable experience. Plus, I'd forgotten how much I actually do like going around exhibitions, I love the atmosphere created in galleries. Though perhaps next time I will aim to go to fewer galleries and spend more time at each.
I've just seen an article about a Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake exhibition which I so want to go to! But unfortunately I doubt that I'll get to it. If I had known about it yesterday I would have gone there and not gone to Tate Modern... Ah well, these things happen.