Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Rocking Your World Wednesday – week 18

OK, OK, so I get how this works now…. when I intend to post on a Friday, I invariably fail and end up posting the following Monday.  When I give up even thinking about posting on Fridays, and aim instead for the – theoretically much more achievable – Monday, I still fail, and so here we are on Wednesday!

Oops.  Never mind, better late than never and all that jazz.  

So….where were we?  Ah yes, week 18.  This week started with a rainy Saturday and a walk into town in between showers – a walk that took us past the recently opened Museum of Computing (which looks like it could be fun for a visit when we have both the kiddies with us).

In the front window of the museum was a lovely old (not too old, am guessing late 70s / early 80s) typewriter, with a big sign on her (she’s definitely a she, she has a name badge that says Erika :) ) that read “STEAMPUNK TYPEWRITER, £14”.  Now, she isn’t remotely steam powered, or very punk for that matter – but £14 seemed like a bargain to me, so they got a sale.  (big thanks to Jay for lugging her all the way home, she comes in a lovely little made to measure suitcase, which gives the illusion of portability, but she weighs a TON!)

I can tell I will be using Erika a LOT in my journals and other artwork.

This same Saturday was, according to Facebook anyway, which I presume is going on the date we did the “….is in a relationship” thingummy, mine and Jay’s third anniversary of official going out-ness.  So hip hip hooray and happy anniversary to us and here’s to many more fun years together :)

Hee hee :)
The next day we got up bright and early (well, early anyway) and drove down to London town for the Animals Inside Out exhibition at the Natural History Museum.  

I had bought tickets for 11am thinking that would give us an hour to look around the rest of the museum first before we went in – but the traffic was so awful with the Hammersmith Flyover being shut, and the torrential rain, that we ended up being late, even with that hour buffer.  But it wasn’t a problem, firstly a nice security guard outside waved us past the huuuuuge queue outside in the cold and the rain and straight into the museum (I felt a bit guilty!  Apparently people were queuing for at least an hour), and then the chap on the door of the exhibition itself let us in straight away with a smile despite us having missed our slot.   

The exhibition itself was mindblowing!  I thought it a little expensive at first at £25 for 2 adults and one child but it was worth every penny (in fact it was almost worth it just to avoid queuing in the rain for an hour :) ).  German scientist Gunther von Hagens – he of the controversial human anatomy show Body Worlds - has developed a process for preserving real bodies – in this case animal bodies not humans – in tremendous detail so that we can see at close hand all the major anatomical systems in the body, such as blood vessels, muscles, the nervous system etc.

They were very strict inside about people taking photos, so I only managed to sneak one little phone pic – of this shark with everything removed except his circulatory system and his teeth.  This is one of the first things you see when you enter the exhibition, and it certainly grabbed our attention!

I’ve nabbed some other photos from the internet of some other highlights.  But this is just a tiny fraction of what’s there.  I can thoroughly recommend a visit if you get a chance.

Next we hopped back in the car and drove across town to Brick Lane, passing Buckingham Palace (the flag was up, so I guess her maj was home) and the Tower of London on the way.  I am pretty sure I have never seen either of these close up before, I really need to go on a proper, classic, sightseeing trip around London one day, we can go on the open topped double decker bus and stuff, it’ll be fun!     

Brick Lane was amazing – I haven’t been here for 20 years, and apart from the curry houses which are all still there and going strong – everything has changed so much!  Spitalfields Market is super trendy!  It has a bit of a Camden like hipster vibe to it now.  And delicious food too.  And the street art (which was the main reason for our visit) was everywhere, and on such a scale, both in terms of the size of some of the pieces and also the big names that are represented.  I was in heaven :)

I took a huge number of street art piccies and I definitely don’t have room to include them all here – but if you look on my Instagram feed you can see them all (you might have to scroll back a way though, sorry I can’t find a way to link just to a collection of photos from a specific day).  Here are some of my favourites:

by C215

by Roa

by Pez

bird by Roa, and I can't find who did the extremism=fundamentalism mural

not so much street art as a publicity stunt by Marks and Sparks, but it looks cool :)

by Vhils - image made by chiselling away at the wall, amazing.  Connor was trying to be 'sad like the man' :)

more Pez, so smiley :)
As well as all the public, outdoor art, we also went to two gallery exhibitions – the first by Belgian artist Roa (the chap who painted the big hedgehog up there ^) and the second by Spanish artist Pez (the one who paints the happy fishies).  So much eye candy my brain was ready to pop with all the inspiration :)

the gallery staff were totally ok with us touching and interacting with the artwork, which was cool

Oh – and Connor spent all his pocket money on a luchador mask :)  Which he wore to school the next day :)  His teachers must have us marked down as the weird family lol

For the rest of the week it was back to stressy old work, and rotten weather throughout, but there were still a few more Rockin’ moments:

- I watched Iron Man and Iron Man 2 on Tuesday and Wednesday nights while working in my art journal – in preparation for going to watch the Avengers – and enjoyed them a lot more than I thought I would – both Robert Downey Jr and Mickey Rourke were a lot of fun to watch
- Glee on Thursday was almost back to its old form, and made me glad I haven’t given up on it yet

- I got two fab new pairs of Vans to replace my trusty old ones that are literally falling apart

- And I went to a really cool exhibition near to work on my Friday lunchbreak, it was in celebration of the Jubilee and had a theme of “Best of British” – with hundreds of postcard sized contributions from the public in all sorts of media from paintings and drawings to textiles and collage and digital creations – really interesting

That’s a wrap, people.

I’ll link this up now over at Virginia’s, and then I’d better have a quick look round at all the other Rockettes’ blogs to see what they have been doing, before the Friday posts start afresh any day now!


Antonia said...

Brick Lane looks awesome - will def have to stop there next time I am in London town! Where was the local exhibition near work?

Sarah said...

it's in the Corinium, Toni, well worth a look

Unknown said...

Brick Lane was very dull when I was there about 3 years ago. It was midweek.I wonder if it just comes alive on the weekends?

SusieJ said...

Wow! What a week - so much art and inspiration!
Hugs xx

Carmen Wing said...

I need to visit Brick Lane! Never properly been to London, just to shows/concerts and once to Madame Tussauds (freaked me out!) I am so impressed with your knowledge of street artists -well, artists in general. I never seem to grasp names!

Loving this post - I miss my Vans - they literally did fall to bits! What does that pair say along the bottom?

See you friday? :D

Sarah said...

they say "I don't care anymore" - not sure why - but I like them :)

oh and my knowledge of street artists isn't that great - I was convinced that Roa was Portuguese, and told Connor so very loudly in the gallery, only for Jay to say quietly "uh, honey, it says here he's from Belgium...." - oops :) there goes all my street cred :)

But having seen the Apprentice last night, at least I know more about street art than that Tom person lol.

Luna Art said...

Brick lane looks fantastic, all that amazing street art-have to admit to never hearing of brick lane before, I am a little isle of wighter after all!
Love the photo of you and your partner, made me laugh!
Hope you have a good week x

Unknown said...

I love the street art! I am always amazed at the talent the artists have. your naked photo cracks me up...the bodies actually look real!

Virginia said...

Now explain to me how I managed to miss this - I'll blame the vertigo - your post is amazing, loving all of it in particular the fantastic art that you find - love it completely! Your days out are great, the shark picture is also fantastic, what a fantastic post!