Thursday 3 January 2008


A week before Christmas a friend and I had an away day to The Smoke. It was an arty day. We planned to visit both Tate Britain and Tate Modern. The key exhibition that we went to see was the works of the Pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett Millais. Probably his most famous painting is ‘Bubbles’ a picture of his grandson purchased by and used as an advert for Pears Soap.

A lot of people with a broader than the norm disposition towards art might dismiss his pictures as twee or prissy, but I think that would be doing him a great injustice. It’s worth going to the exhibition for the intricacy of his painting alone. I particularly enjoyed his sketches and pen & ink drawings, which, in my opinion, are equally as absorbing and fascinating as any by Albrecht Durer. Hurry if you want to go and see this exhibition as it is only on until 13th January.

Whilst at Britain we also went into the Turner Prize Retrospective. This I would describe as a ‘bit of a curates egg’. It ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous. Disturbingly my favourite of this exhibition was a large 'tiled effect’ piece by Gilbert and George. Thankfully I found Damien Hirst’s cows in formaldehyde as offensive as I hoped I would.

Gilbert & George.

For those that don’t know, there’s a jolly nice boat service that runs between Tate Britain, Tate Modern and the London Eye. We took the boat between the two Tates. It is, the only way to travel!

Over at Tate Modern the emphasis was on looking around the Louise Bourgeois exhibition. She is a remarkable lady who has produced some wonderful sculptures, (Eat your heart out Tracey Emin) Big spiders, voluptuous amorphous phallic bobbly things and soft sinky fabric sculptures. Bloody good stuff!

What made the visit all the more special was that I’d been given membership to the Tate. This enables me and a guest to enter all the exhibitions for free, access to the member’s lounges and discounts on the boat travel, book shop and restaurants. Fan-bloody-tastic.

In between all the culture had some time to take a few photos as well:

It was a great day out. Must do it again soon.