A day in London

I haven’t been to London since June last year. Every time I go I think ‘I’ll do this more often’, but rarely manage it. When the trains work, which they did yesterday, it only takes about an hour and twenty minutes. I must get into the habit; I love going, and I love the river, blessed as we are here in Birmingham with a poor hidden little river; so the Thames always thrills me. I also love the London plane trees everywhere, so special in winter, with their beautiful bark, and dangling seed spheres.

However, I didn’t see the river yesterday, as the two exhibitions I visited with a friend were within walking distance of the station. First of all we went to see Grayson Perry’s Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman. I’ve followed his work for years and he has become incredibly famous, and he deserves to. I would so much like to be let loose in the British Museum and its stores as he was to choose and curate my own show! He produced some fantastic work based upon his choices too. I also enjoyed seeing such a range of objects from the Museum all in one show, there was something new to me, and different, in every show case. His own work included new ceramics, work in metal, textiles and mixed media. I can feel a book purchase coming on…

A close up of the pot on the leaflet, the Rosetta vase, 2011. It was about 60 cm tall. Copyright Grayson Perry, Courtesy Victoria Miro Gallery, London.

Then after a refreshing walk through wet Bloomsbury, and lunch at the Foundling Museum, we went to the British Library to see the Royal Manuscripts exhibition. There were 150 illuminated books and manuscripts on show; I don’t really need to say how glorious they were. I hope they stay burned on my brain for a long time; I’ve never seen real manuscripts of this quality before, only images in books and the interesting tv programmes that have been on recently. I’ve kept those to watch again. Bring on the gold leaf…

2 thoughts on “A day in London

  1. Steph – I am so glad you made it to the Grayson Perry. I was there in January and it was truly inspirational.

    I have not seen the manuscripts – thanks for the tip. Next time I am there and have a bit of time.

    Hilary G

  2. It’s worth trying to see them Hilary. Much as I loved Grayson Perry’s show, it’s the manuscripts that I keep thinking about. Well, that is slightly unfair as the GP show had such a variety of work, whilst the manuscripts have similarity on their side. There’s a fantastic permanent exhibition at the British Library too, with the likes of 3 Leonardo manuscripts [ no queue…], herbals, Jane Austen’s manuscripts and so much more all on show. I have never been before so that was all new to me, but I couldn’t do it justice on Saturday. That one’s free too. In the spirit of keeping the printed book alive I have ordered the GP book…

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