Monday, September 29, 2008

Visit to UK

After a lightening visit to Yorkshire, London and Dubai, I am home again. Our new little granddaughter is all "peaches and cream", I adore her after spending only four days with her. This is a whole new dimension, a whole new era!

Our three days in London were packed with gallery visits, theatre, catching up with friends and a visit to Waterstones in Piccadilly for new art books.

We have a much-loved experience that epitomises London for us, we have our morning coffee listening to the classical buskers at Covent Garden. Musicians play a variety of classical pieces, hoping for support in the way of a few coins in the strategically placed hat.
I visited an exhibition, "Poetry and Dreams" at the Tate Modern, featuring works of Picasso, Kandinsky, Bacon and various Surrealists. An installation, "30 Pieces of Silver" really moved me at a visceral level. The artist had collected hundreds of pieces of silverware from markets and carboot sales. She had the pieces flattened by a steam-roller and then suspended in 30 circular arrangements 50cm above the floor. The title relates to Judas Iscariot. While observing the flattened knives, forks, trays and goblets, I had the most overwhelming sense of poignancy - here was a collection of personal treasures, these pieces once took pride of place in peoples' homes, they reeked of history. The pieces emanated a sense of loss and terrible sadness. Wow! This is art. This work had the power to really move me!
I stood looking at a Francis Bacon painting, trying to make sense of it. His faces seem to emit a sense of anxiety, fear and violence. The disturbance felt in my gut is fascinating! Next to his painting, I read, "His visceral figures inhabit a climate of uncertainty and anxiety, (and then quotes Bacon) "as if a human being had passed between them, like a snail, leaving a trail of the human presence and memory trace of past events".
This quote was so relevant to a conversation that I had had with my husband that morning, we had walked past the bronze statue of Winston Churchill sitting on a bench with Dwight Eisenhower on New Bond Street. Our children had sat on the bench in the space between the figures 20 years ago. We had mused at the possibility of leaving something of our essence, DNA or soul as we inhabit a space, a tiny piece of ourselves remains somehow? Bacon actually painted his figures with this concept in mind.

8 comments:

Kathy Hebert said...

Hi Dianne!
What a beautiful baby!!!!! You must be so ecstatic to have this lovely new life to cherish!
I was in London many many years ago and I just loved it. Thank-you for sharing your visit and insights with us. AND, I added myself as one of your followers. Thank-you for the tip. :) - Kathy

Carol said...

Beautiful!!! Doesn't it make your heart ache being so far away?

Art with Liz said...

Oh well done Di!

Sharon Wright said...

Hi Dianne,
You sound like you had a very good time over here. It makes me very nostalgic for the time, not so long ago, when I used to pop down to London as often as I wanted. I do miss it so!
Beautiful, beautiful baby, how did you manage to tear yourself away from her!
Anyway, thanks for your lovely comments. I have always painted just whatever took my fancy, and selling was a bonus, the icing on the cake. Someone to like a picture and pay good money for it was thrilling. When I lost my job last December, I saw it as an opportunity to be a full time artist. Now I HAVE TO sell pictures, or get a job, and that is why I got dejected. I am no business woman, unfortunately.
Cheers Dianne, happy painting.

Sylvia Jenstad said...

I agree what a beautiful baby!! ...I also wanted to say love --The Dance2 and Let the winds of the heavens dance betwen you... beautiful amazing paintings....

soulbrush said...

i am south african, been in england for 22 years, love london and have just found your blog, so am in love with it too! lotsa love floating aroun dthis friday morning!

soulbrush said...

and your little grandie is so sweet, we are having our first grandchild(daughter) in january, can't wait!!!

Dianne McNaughton said...

Hi Soulbrush, thanks for dropping by! Great to meet you. Congratulations on the little granddaughter that will be appearing in January, you are so going to love being a granny.