The Big Smoke
Last week I had a little nosey around London Village. It was a bit of a Birthday treat and it also gave me an opportunity to see some art and indulge in the stimulation that a big city offers – or at least is supposed to offer. Anyway this is what I found out:
- Inspiration is everywhere. – As demonstrated whilst buggering about in the food court in Harrods, where an overwhelming and multisensory experience ensued. The air tasted of decadence as the scent particles of each offering fought to tantalise the nostrils. This was probably as close to experiencing synesthesia as a non-synestete can get without taking LSD. Scent appeared before me, and my experience of the place is remembered not through vision, but through smell. I will certainly exploit this experience in subsequent works of art.
- Patrick Caulfield is a bit good. – I saw the Caulfield exhibition at Tate Britain. I love how he is able to capture the essence and atmosphere of something using simple mechanics. A size of a canvas is able organically to capture grandeur. Colour evokes emotions intrinsic to an atmosphere. And simple form places the paintings within a physical and readily relatable realm. There is a simplicity about Caulfield’s work that speaks volumes.
- It’s a lot greener than I remembered. – Yes, walking under a bridge you are smacked in the nose with a heavy burst of pollution and tramps tears, but when you emerge from under the bridge, a burst of greenery hits you – Such a juxtaposition of atmosphere can be embraced and utilised.
- There are lots of little hidden bits. – During my two days in London there wasn’t even a hint of the idea of using the Tube. Above ground and removed from the fear of having another man’s armpit in your face, you see more. Small pathways; buildings wedged between buildings; unbelievably small tea shops; roads of residential properties between two different coffee outlets; uncelebrated memorials and poorly conceived bus-stops. All of which is intrinsic to the vitality and beauty of the place
- The Great Fire of London was cool. – It just was. As were Dinosaurs, as it happens.
Aside from my Harrods experience, I don’t really know quite what I can extrapolate from all this and apply to my practice. But there’s a real feeling that visiting London has equipped me with tangible experiences that can doubtlessly be applied to my work. When do I get to go again?