12 May 2012

creative lunches

Yesterday I was working in London. I've decided I need to make a conscious effort to do more with my lunch breaks - to make the most of being in London. Otherwise I tend to sit at my desk not doing much at all. When we lived in London we would visit galleries most weekends - The Tate, The Hayward, The Whitechapel, The White Cube, The Barbican, The Royal Academy and more. We'd also visit the small ones, especially around where we lived which meant a lot of cool ones - little places with little names, names you forget but art that you don't. Now my life seems void of all that. I spent years soaking it all up like a sponge not full appreciating the luxury of my/our situation. Now we're living in a village and well it's lacking the culture that we'd come accustomed to. We've got Cambridge up the road now - some great galleries there no doubt, but it's finding the time. Our priorities have changed we need to work on our garden - something else we are passionate about and our main reason for moving in the first place. So I've decided to get out at lunch and do more - it's only an hour but an hour is quite a long time spent just looking, taking stuff in. 

Yesterday was the start, I popped along the road to the Courtauld Gallery to see Mondrian and Nicholson: In parallel. Before buying my ticket I asked if it was possible to see the whole exhibition in under an hour, the lady assured me it was and suggested I could probably get round the whole gallery - so I climbed to the top starting with Piet Mondrian and Ben Nicholson. I've been aware of Mondrian's work for a long time - since school I'd imagine, but Nicholson wasn't so familiar. What a thrill to discover him now, to admire his muted colour palette a sharp contrast to the black, white and primaries of Mondrian. Seeing their works together in a room really bought home to me just how incredible these artists were at that time - the 1930's, how unlike the celebrated artists of their day they were it's no wonder that they formed a strong friendship and influenced one another. I guess comparable in a small way to us bloggers now finding comfort and friendships with like minded souls. I really wanted to take some shots to share with you but the Courtauld with it's old fashioned grandeur intimidated me too much! Fortunately I bought a few postcards. The exhibition was just two rooms so I had a little time to spare to view some of the other rooms. I found myself engrossed in the minute brushstrokes of Seurat, gazing at Renoir's barmaid trying to read the expression on her face and imagine her world, and that of Lautrec's muse Avril there really is so much to see at the Coutauld including a self portrait of Van Gogh with bandaged ear, Gauguin's Nevermore with its wonderful colours and Dufy's Les Passants. I could have stayed all afternoon but lunch was over and work beckoned. I hope to return soon for another visit and recommend the gallery and exhibition wholeheartedly. Mondrian and Nicholson is on until the 20th May so if you haven't been and can go - go now!