Friday, 25 June 2021

The Mosaic House

 I had read about the Mosaic House when doing some research for Chiswick Park underground station but I had no idea that it would be such an amazing work of art. I decided it needed a post all to itself.

The house is home to artist Carrie Reichardt who wanted to create a piece of public art that was uncensored so she decided to use her own home as her canvas. Both the back and front of the house are covered with pieces of coloured tiling. The design tells numerous stories and features work from some of the world's best mosaic artists. It has taken over twenty years to complete.


In every corner there is another story being told. Every visit would reveal something new. 

This black cab outside the house is also completely covered in mosaics. It is known as the 'Voodoo Zulu Liberation Taxi'. It was hoped that this travelling mosaic would raise the awareness of the incarceration of an American prisoner called Kenny 'Zulu' Whitmore. He spent 36 years in solitary confinement.

Outside the house are two vehicles. This bright orange one is the Tiki Love Truck. It commemorates John Joe Ash Amador who was sentenced to death in Texas. It is part of  the artist's art campaign against the death penalty. The truck was originally exhibited at the V and A museum.

Monday, 14 June 2021

Turner's Modern World.

 Art galleries are open once again and I took the opportunity of booking this exhibition at Tate Britain. You have to book to do anything at the moment and I found myself outside the gallery one hour before my booked entry time. As it wasn't busy they let me in early and I was in the unusual position of being just one of three people visiting at that time.

J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851) is a British artist who painted a wide range of subjects. He lived through a changing world of revolutions, Napoleonic wars, abolition of  the British colonies as well as witnessing the industrial revolution with its introduction of railways and the construction of canals throughout the country. The exhibition featured all these contemporary events which had an influence on the subject matter of his paintings.
High Green, Wolverhampton
So much to see in this painting of Wolverhampton's annual July Fair, which he did after visiting the town in 1794.

Turner filled many sketchbooks with drawings and watercolours while travelling around Britain in the 1790s.

The Battle of Trafalgar.
Turner admired Nelson greatly and regarded him as a national hero. Turner painted this picture as a tribute to Nelson rather than an accurate depiction of the event.
The Chain Pier, Brighton
Many of Turner's paintings featured water.

Venice, the Bridge of Sighs
Byron was Turner's favourite modern poet and he illustrated Byron's Life and Works. When Turner exhibited this painting he did so alongside a couplet from Byron:
I stood upon a bridge, a palace and
A prison on each hand.

Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway.

The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, 1838.

The last two paintings I photographed are probably the most famous of his works. They show his skill at painting light, colour and atmosphere in his work. I enjoyed the exhibition as there were a number of paintings I hadn't seen before but more than that I enjoyed the experienced of visiting an art gallery once again.

Sharing with  Our World Tuesday

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Above the Underground - the second half.

 I have now started visiting the second half of the underground stations in my 'Above the Underground' challenge. This was a challenge I set myself in 2014 as I wanted to know more about the places I travelled through on the Underground where I was familiar with the names of the stations but no idea what was above ground. There are 270 different stations and my latest one is the 136th I have visited. Stamford Brook is perhaps one of the most surprising, as I used to travel through the area on my way to work in the seventies but I had no idea about some of the gems just a short walk away from the station. If you want to find out more check out my other blog: 62andthenext10pathways

Thursday, 3 June 2021

A decade of blogging

 The idea of a blog occurred to me  when I decided to write a bucket list prior to retirement in 2011. A photographic record and a description of places I might visit seemed a much better idea than shelves of photo albums. Little did I realise how much the blog would mean to me. Looking back at my posts, it is an accurate and detailed record of my retirement with many things I would have forgotten had I not written about them. I didn't really think I would continue it for ten years, but here I am now writing two blogs and thinking about the next ten years.  I wrote that bucket list thinking that some things were beyond reality such as walking in Darwin's footsteps or snorkelling above The Great Barrier Reef. More were physical challenges like walking the Thames Path or walking from one side of England to the other. Putting them in writing was the motivation I needed to work out a way to make them a possibility. Here are just a few of the places I have visited this past decade.

White water rafting in Costa Rica

Migration of the Monarch butterfly in Mexico


A Singapore Sling in Raffles, Singapore

              Snorkelling in the Galapagos and the mating dance of the blue footed Boobie.

New York

Canadian Rockies

Cycling in Russia

The Grand Canyon

Out of the 100 things on the list I have completed 80; another two are ongoing ( conversational Spanish and Above the underground challenge); two were cancelled due to Covid 19 (climbing Scafell Pike and visiting Monet's garden). Some I realise will be impossible such as trying to complete a round of golf in less than 80 strokes or waving a flag at the last night of the proms. Others I have lost interest in wanting to achieve. With the impact of climate change and Covid 19  the world and my perspective of it is different.  I will endeavour to travel more by train than by air and it is unlikely that I will be doing that many long haul flights but I am still hoping to continue with my adventures.