A Very British Summer

How are you enjoying the British Summer?  It certainly feels as though we skipped a season here in the North East and jumped from Spring straight into autumn.  That said, given the heatwave that has consumed most of Europe over the past month we should probably be thankful for the grey skies and rain.  

Weekend in London

Having decided to take a few days off we had a great weekend in London.  The plan was to have a bit of cultural immersion with theatre and art.  We went to see the Pillowman at the Duke of York theatre.  Loved the play, although a bit less keen on some of the acting.  It was an usual from Martin McDonagh, a rather unusual play.  He is the writer who gave us In Bruges, Three Billboards and The Banshees of Inisherin.  The staging was great and some of the graphical illustrations used perfect.  I’d recommend it if you’re looking for something a bit different.

We also managed to squeeze in a couple of exhibitions – the RA Summer Exhibition and the Hockney Light Show at Light Room.  

Summer Exhibition

The summer exhibition as usual was a delight.  It was great to spot the works of Ali Mackie and Jane Hooper, artists I follow on Instagram. 

My favourite piece of the show was a sculpture by Jemma Gowland entitled ‘Facebook Turns 18: Coming of Age in the Digital World’. 

It was a mesmerising piece with character figures of different ages alongside a sculpture of mobile phones through the time period.  Definitely a talking point as people identified the various phones they have had over the years.  I’m sure I spotted a Noika or two, the Motorola flip I had and also the dreaded Blackberry.  How things have changed!

Hockney Light Show

The Hockney exhibition was also very different.  I visited the Van Gogh light show when it was touring a few years ago and enjoyed the experience although it fell short of the delight of an actual exhibition.  But the Hockney one is very different.  Rather than an immersion into his life story and art you actually hear from the artists himself. 

He narrates a 40min journey through this approach to art which was well worth the visit.  I do think there is merit in these light show exhibits as they seem to open art up to different audiences. 

You rarely see children running around a gallery and I’m sure it would be frowned upon.  But with these immersive shows it feels right to have toddlers chasing shapes across the floor or trying to catch painted rainshowers.

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