Photography, art and music in London

A late train on Tuesday evening got us into London in time to find our hotel and crash out. On Wednesday morning we were out reasonably early and walked down to Millbank to the Tate Britain. I was keen to see the Painting with light exhibition which explores the relationship between photography and painting in the UK in the 19th and early 20th century. I loved it for a number of reasons: I am the curator of family photographs dating from the 19th century, use photography as the basis or to assist in painting and the exhibition had some familiar paintings and many that were new to me. I loved the old sepia prints of Edinburgh taken in the 1840s and the move to landscape painting. There were Pre-Raphaelite works, early 20th century landscapes and some from the Glasgow boys who had a more decorative approach influenced by their travels to Japan. Photography was not allowed in the exhibition so here are a couple from the exhibition website:

painting with light

Bowder Stone, Borrowdale c.1863-8 Atkinson Grimshaw 1836-1893 Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1983 Bowder Stone, Borrowdale c.1863-8 Atkinson Grimshaw 1836-1893

After lunch and a wander through Chinatown, we enjoyed ‘Sunny Afternoon’ which is a musical based on the Kinks’ music.
Chintown Arch London 8 June 2016-1
Sunny Afternoon London 8 June 2016-1

There had been a lot of storms all around the country in the last few days with flash floods in places and people struck by lightning. Heavy showers had been forecast for London later in the day but the downpour happened while we were in the theatre so we escaped it. On our way back to the station we saw two cyclists knocked over by cars in the space of a few minutes. Fortunately, no-one was hurt, they cycled off after an exchange of angry words with the drivers and we did not need to do any first aid. Our train was delayed but at last we were home.

Jackson Pollock in Liverpool

Since James stopped working Wednesdays in April, we have usually spent the day catching up with chores in the house or garden and running errands. That was not what was planned and today we finally got back to the original idea of using the time to visit places nearer to home. There are lots of things in Liverpool that I have not seen despite working there for the last seven years. Some will have to wait for another day because I had been intending to see the Jackson Pollock exhibition at the Tate Liverpool since it began and as it ends on Sunday, today was the day for art. The exhibition is entitled ‘Blind Spots’ and concentrates on his lesser known works, some of which are monochrome. No photography is allowed (no doubt because they want you to purchase items in the shop) and I am really missing my camera while it is being repaired. So here is a detail from one of his untitled paintings which I have in my book.

Tate Liverpool Jackson Pollock 14 Oct 2015 (1 of 1)

An adjacent exhibition was the work of Glenn Ligon, a postwar American artist. Much of his painting is abstract expressionist and focusses on the civil rights movement. Other works he referenced are included and the black and white photographs of the treatment of demonstrators by the police was as powerful as those of the impact of the Mafia that we saw in Sicily last month. Afterwards, we walked back towards town, found some more Christmas presents (I like to be organised) and in Oxfam, the inevitable music and books. Liverpool Oxfam shop is the only one I know which has a large section just inside the door of unsorted ‘New Arrivals’. It was then time to head back to Lime Street and home. The only unusual thing spotted on the very familiar train journey was a field of blue sheep who had obviously just been dipped. A little more colour to add to a colourful day.

Liverpool waterfront 14 Oct 2015 (1 of 1)