London is my birthplace and, although I only spent the first three months of my life there, of which I remember very little, one could even say nothing, I have always had an affinity with the city and it feels like home. Fortunately, I get the opportunity to visit very often, which I did on the weekend of 8-10th April for an action-packed weekend
We* had managed to secure tickets to see the much in demand Infinity Mirror Rooms art Installation by Yayoi Kusama at the Tate Modern, which is currently sold out through September. Kusama is a Japanese artist who uses art as an expression of her mental ill health and currently resides in a hospital (by choice) close to her art studio in Tokyo. Two of her Infinity Mirror rooms, Filled with the Brilliance of Life and Chandelier of Grief are currently on display at the Tate Modern along with a collection of photographs.
We entered the Chandelier of Grief first. It is a simple concept that produces an amazing result. A single chandelier surrounded by mirrors in which it is infinitely reflected so that waking into the room feels like you are walking inside the chandelier.
The second room, Filled with the Brilliance of Life, was my favourite. While the Chandalier of Grief is an enclosed hexagon, you walk through the Brilliance of Life, along a path way surrounded by water. Again the room is completed surrounded by mirrors, this time highlighted by hundred of tiny coloured LED lights that reflect through the mirrors and water giving the impression that you are walking through space. The lights change colour on a timed rotation leaving you in complete darkness for a few seconds each time. I really did not want to leave this room, but sadly, other people wanted to see it too.
Once we had finished in at the Tate we strolled around to Shakepeare’s Globe and then for lunch at the Swan at the Globe nearby. For all my love of both Shakespeare and London, I have never actually visited the Globe. We did not go inside on this occasion, but tours are available and it is also a working theatre. This is not, of course, the original Globe where many of Shakespeare’s plays were first shown in the early 17th century, nor is it even on the same site, which is commemorated by a plaque just a few minutes walk away. This globe was the brainchild of Sam Wannamaker, who sadly passed away without being able to see his dream to completion, and is the third Globe, the original having burned down in 1613 after a misfired cannon set the thatched roof on fire. Opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 1997, this is a reconstruction of the original building complete with thatched roof, for which they needed special permission as thatched roofs were banned in London after the Great Fire of 1666, standing area for “groundlings” oak beams, and lime-plaster walls. I would love to see a play there and one day I shall.
After lunch, we headed off to nearby Borough Market via this wonderful Shakespeare mural which we managed to catch just at the right time with the sun lighting up his face. After a walk around the beautiful, Southwark Cathedral which houses a Shakespeare memorial and stained glass window, and Borough Market, where we found Prosecco cocktails to take away, we finally found our way to The Anchor pub for drinks.
I loved this little pub with it’s many different rooms and nooks and crannies, it was truly hard to tear ourselves away, but somehow we did. And that was day two – stay tuned for more Shakespeare and Richmond Park.
Check out the gallery below for more photos some of which you can buy as wall art or digital licence at ciderprints.picfair.com
*when I say we I mean my dear friend Jenny who spent ages in a virtual waiting room and queue while I popped off to Scotland