On Saturday, I finally got my act together and took myself off to the Victoria & Albert Museum to see ‘Grace Kelly – Style Icon’. It is something I have been meaning to do for ages, however, prebooking is definately advised and I just hadn’t got around to it. So I opted for an early start. Yes, I can hear you laughing from here. Saturdays and early starts don’t normally go hand-in-hand with me. So I set off, late, and got to the ticket queue at 11am. Not early.
The sign at the ticket desk said ‘next ticket available 13:00’. As I stood in the queue, I flicked through my A-Z (I may have been late, but this weekend I was organised) to see what else I could do whilst I was waiting. And realised that at the other end of Exhibition Road sits Hyde Park & The Serpentine Gallery. Kerching! went the lightbulb above my head. Another one to cross of the list (a long story, the short version is that I aim to ‘do’ every museum and art gallery in London whilst I’m here – I’ll be keeping you posted!).
So, having purchased my ticket to see Grace Kelly at 12.30 (there are definately some benefits to sightseeing alone), I set off up Exhibition Road and past my ‘first choice – second choice’, The Natural History Museum. The queue was already well down the road. Good decision there then.
Saturday was a nasty grey day. I’m not sure exactly what has happened to our summer here in London but it seems to have rolled over to have its belly rubbed by the autumn. As a result, my photos aren’t great (and yes, a better camera would probably help there too). Before long, I arrived in Hyde Park. I love London Parks. Nowhere else would you have big shiny gates into a park (or that they would still be there a week later if you did).
However, it didn’t take me long to find my chosen destination, mind you, its hardly sublte I feel.
Jean Nouvel’s Pavilion. It is red. You may have gathered.
A quick peek inside, and rain was threatening. And so I went into the Gallery to have a look at the current exhibition by Wolfgang Tillmans. I’m not really sure how to relate this to you – I have to say, I will look at most art, and I can normally at least ‘appreciate’ the perspective of the artist. Perhaps I was lacking in caffeine, however, I can safely say, I’m afraid I didn’t ‘get it’. Nope. I could see where the folded photographic paper printed in various different colours was possibly coming from, but quite why you would sit beneath a man wearing a surgical gown and take a photograph upwards, I’m really not entirely sure. I did see the whole exhibition, I felt I owed it to Mr Tillmans. I then left.
On turning the corner out of the gallery, I realised the reason for all the red. Ah-ha. Jean Nouvel. I get you.
It transpired that there is another landmark in the vicinity. The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. I’m trying to find something positive to say & struggling. Even the ducks looked a little disinterested. So, in the interests of tourism, I took some photographs
and then went on a very important mission
Tea. It HAD to be done. Earl Grey with skimmed milk. Ahhhhh. In a sea of red. Where I sat, until my cones and rods could not take any more. And then, it was time for Grace
Well, it exceeded all expectation. It was brilliant. It was busy, and the lighting was low, and lots of people who were there at the same time struggled to read the labels and so stood right up against the cabinets, however, it was worth it. I was 6 when Grace died, and so I really wasn’t very aware of her influence, or even her style, per se. The outfits were stunning, she was beautiful, and we all oooh-ed and ahhhh-ed in unison (and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to add the ‘Kelly’ bag to my secret Christmas list, you know, the one you have that you know no-one will ever buy you anything from it but it doesn’t stop you wanting it!).
Unfortunately, you can’t take photographs inside the exhibition. However, they have a lovely book and a set of postcards that you can buy. And the exhibition is in the centre of the Costume History room. Ah, flash backs to ‘A’ level Fasion & Fabrics and undergarments of the 19th century. They’ve also got some excellent examples of 20th Century fashion.
And so to the gift shop. For some Christmas shopping no less, then I decided I’d ticked enough boxes for one day and went home for a bit of sewing and another cup of tea.
Until next time, B x