Welcome to my blog

This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Sunday, 30 August 2015

Balloons

This is Heartbeat in Covent Garden. An art installation by the French artist Charles Petillon  and his first outside France.

It is 54m in length and 12m across, filling the roof space with white balloons.

Some of the balloons pulsate with light symbolising the heartbeat to represent the energy of this area.











I was there on Thursday, on its first day and the photographers  were out in force.



It felt like you were looking up at clusters of fluffy clouds.



The publicity information said there are 100,000 balloons which I doubt very much. However there are a considerable number of them floating above the market. The installation will be up for a month so it will be interesting to see if the balloons remain as inflated as they are now.
Sharing with Our World Tuesday

Friday, 28 August 2015

City reflections

Walking through the City of London you can't avoid seeing reflections with each turn you take.









Sharing with James at Weekend Reflections

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Magna Carta

The Magna Carta is probably the most important document in English history. It is 800 years since King John signed the document in 1215. The Magna Carta signalled the birth of English liberty and was the forerunner of the American Bill of Rights in 1791 and the United Nations Charter of June 1945. The City of London was sent a copy of the revised charter in 1297 after it had been confirmed by Parliament on the orders of Edward I, thus giving the document statuary powers. All major cities were given copies of the document. I believe 17 were made but I'm not sure how many have survived. This one on display at the moment in the Guildhall Gallery , London is said to be one of the best as it still has the original seal and the writing is very clear.









Monday, 24 August 2015

Sculpture in the City

Sculpture in the City is a series of installations in public spaces. They are a part of an outreach education programme sponsored by city businesses. In a number of workshops school students have creatively engaged with the sculptures, not only giving the students an opportunity to discover new places in the City of London but also to learn about the value of public art. There are 14 sculptures scattered around the City and I have chosen a selection for you to see. I have included an explanation of the sculpture taken in essence from information boards sited near the sculptures. 






Broken Pillar by Shan Hur.




In his sculptures, Hur likes to incorporate found objects, usually relevant to its location. The location here is St Helen's Churchyard. There has been a church on this site since the 13thC and its neighbours nowadays are the Gherkin and other high rise office blocks. The artist encourages the viewer to question the world around them and the objects hidden within.












Charity by Damien Hirst.






This is a 22 foot bronze sculpture based on The Spastic Society's  (now called Scope) charity collection box which was commonly found outside local chemists and shops in the 1960s and 1970s.  Hirst's version has been vandalised and a number of coins lie on the ground next to the crow bar.











Carson, Emma, Takashi, Zezi, Nia by Tomoaki Suzuki







Japanese artist Tomoaki has moved away from traditional Japanese tradition of woodcarving and has executed these figures in painted bronze which is a first for him. Using his experience of living in London he has created these detailed figures of urban youth at one third their actual size( personally I think this is incorrect as they looked more like one tenth of actual size). Because of their size the artist felt he could focus his attention on the figures in a way that would not be possible on a larger scale.

                         


                        






Organisms of control by Keita Miyazaki




After witnessing the 2011 tragedy Miyazaki wanted to create artworks out of rubble with sculptures pointing to a new beginning. The artist marries traditional Japanese techniques with parts of old car engines to create a new visual universe. This sculpture also includes sound which took a little while for me to realise.  (I assumed it was from a nearby coffee shop). The jingles you hear are original compositions inspired by music played in Japanese supermarkets; sounds of Tokyo and London; tunes played in the Tokyo public transport system. Miyazaki wanted to create a geographical connection between London and Japan.




Altar by Kris Martin




This is a metal replica of the multi panelled, 15th C Ghent Altarpiece by Herbert and Jan Van Eyck. Also known as the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb it is located in the Cathedral of St Bavo in Ghent. The artist has only reproduced the frame leaving out the twelve folding panels. Rather than marvelling at the painted religious scene in which flora,fauna and figures are painted with astonishing accuracy and brilliant colours, we are invited to look through an open structure at the real world beyond.




'O my friends, there are no friends' by Sigalit Landau




Laudau states the work is 'a commemoration of the future, when we will be able to slip into these shoes and be part of a community that will create a better history, with more solidarity, more generosity and regeneration'. Real laces, soft and vulnerable link together pairs of bronze shoes.






Rays (London) by Xavier Veilhan
This piece is part of Veilhan's series 'Rays' Other pieces in this series have been installed in Marseille (France), Los Angeles (USA), Murcia (Spain) and Tokyo (Japan). The artwork, frames and questions the views of the City opened up by recent construction activity.




Sunday, 23 August 2015

Sand sculptures



These sculptures are being created by the banks of the River Thames. The sand looks perfect for sculpting.  I didn't wait to find out if it was a well known face he was sculpting.
 
This sculptor was interested in engaging people in a conversation about politics. He was discussing the forthcoming election for leader of the Labour party.








On the other side of The Thames near St Paul's was another sand sculpture. This was a promotion for the latest book by Lonely Planet. They were sculpting famous buildings from around the world. I'm sure I don't  need to tell you which ones they chose.