Monday, 29 August 2016

Watts chapel and cemetery

This Grade 1 listed chapel was designed and created by Mary Watts along with the help of local villagers.

When Compton parish council created a new cemetery one of their residents, Mary Watts, offered to design and build a mortuary chapel. Mary, an artist, was the wife of Victorian artist and sculptor George Frederick Watts and it was he who financed the project.
Mary started to host 'terracotta home arts classes' in her studio, for local people. Her husband suggested that if they held a pottery class people might like to make simple patterns to decorate the Chapel and in  doing so would have a deeper connection with the building. Almost every villager was involved with the decoration of the Chapel under Mary's guidance

The whole of the interior is linked by the Tree of Life from the roots up to the Dome of Heaven, where the branches become vine-like and weave together in Celtic designs.

Friday, 26 August 2016

St Christopher's Place

The silver balls hanging in an alley off Oxford Street reflecting the scene below.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Cartoon Museum (London Museum #28)

I mentioned this Museum in my series Above the Underground. It is a small museum close to the British Museum and features original cartoons from the 1700s to the present day.

Here are a few that caught my attention.

Friday, 19 August 2016

The night tube

For the first time in London's history we'll now have  24 hour weekend Tube travel. The night tube begins tonight on the Central and Victoria lines and 3 more lines will follow in a few weeks. Many shift workers have been asking for this for some time.


Monday, 15 August 2016

Sculpture in the City.

As part of the City of London's education programme each year, there is a sculpture trail of new works in public places. A large number of children enjoy numerous workshops based on these sculptures.There are 20 sculptures altogether of which I have chosen a selection of the ones I found most interesting to share with you.

 This one is called 'Laura' by Jaume Plensa. It is a large, bronze solid looking statue. The surprise for me was looking at it head on, just not what I expected at all.

This is 'Fire Walker' by William Kentridge and Gerhard Marx. It was originally commissioned by the City of Johannesburg in 2010 and depicts the silhouette of a street vendor carrying a burning brazier on her head. Fire walkers sell pieces of coal to other vendors and are the poorest of the city's urban labourers. The sculpture is made up of fragmented pieces and I found it very difficult to find the exact spot which would align the pieces and give me the best view.

This view is from the City of London website which shows you a much better image of the sculpture than I could capture.

These are two out of a series of twelve giant masks by Ugo Rondonone. They are named after the months of the year so this is Sunrise. East July and Sunrise East October. They are cast bronze and painted silver and  have a resemblance to the stone heads of Easter Island.

Bronze and river stones by Giuseppe Penone needed a second look from me. I didn't realize at first that the tree wasn't real but was bronze. In its branches are five large river stones. For some reason it suited the surroundings of the large modern city skyscrapers. The explanation from the artist is that 'the bronze encapsulates the memory of the tree, memorialising and extending its life as it appears to rise out of the ground, undeterred by the weight of the boulders.'

Magic Lantern Small by Mat Collishaw was my favourite. It is situated in an out of the way, very small square, surrounded by huge buildings. At first I wasn't sure what it was supposed to be but the explanation quickly enlightened and delighted me. In 2010 Collishaw created a grand zoetrope for the cupola of the Victoria and Albert Museum. It showed a group of moths fluttering around a lit lantern. There was a small replica of the giant cupola in the courtyard providing a close up view of the moths.

Looking closely you can see the moths rotating around the lantern as though they are fluttering towards the light.

High up hanging from the ceiling of Leadenhall Market is a plastic mesh sculpture.
 Try as I might to photograph this one I just couldn't do it justice. It did impress me but I doubt I can impress any of you with these photos. It is called 'Falling into Virtual Reality' by Recycle Group. The duo created this from recycled materials
They were reflecting on what our time will leave behind for future generations, what artefacts archaeologists will find after we've gone.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Summer reflections.

The blue skies this week gave rise to lots of reflections in London

 especially at St Katherine's Dock.