Here’s a post for all the things that I missed while I was enjoying my trip. It’s amazing that I even had the chance to gather most of my research material while doing my study abroad program and tourist things, all within a weeks-worth of time. Unfortunately I didn’t get inspired to take anything back with me except a few books on street art, of course. There were a lot of stores that were constantly having sales but the UK is still expensive even if it offers 50% off its retail. But I do have enough pictures to let me move on without regret.
Most of my memories were made in Shoreditch and so you will see a lot of images from that area. While I walked from one spot to another I stumbled upon a cafe called Pretty Cuppa owned by an older hispanic couple who run the front area. They were very sweet and allowed me to charge my camera battery several times while I ventured out. They knew me very well during my stay there and I gotta say it was a very lovely place to eat and drink some good coffee. I had a few pastries, a cappuccino, a latte, and a smoothie and they were all so delicious. I would definitely recommend the place to any traveler to London.
In the same area just down the street from the cafe was a gallery called Stolen Space owned by a famous British street artist named D*Face… obviously a clever play on words. There was a show in the front and also one in the back which interested me more because it was Roa’s work that was on display. His style did not change from the streets to the more private gallery space but he did play with perception more with the use of mirrors and rotating doors. It was pretty interesting. Other smaller galleries were also part of the scene in Shoreditch which further put graffiti on the map.
On Saturday night I was invited to to a rooftop party where I met a lot of good people who happen to be a part of the the Meeting of Styles. When a group of people come together in the UK they are not segregated by age, gender or race like I would usually see at parties here in America. There was a universal harmony amongst people which allowed me to mesh pretty well with these beautiful strangers. In the middle you see Wisher being the center of attention.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed being totally engrossed in the street art world, I saw a lot of fine art work in the more upscale galleries and museums that wouldn’t allow for pictures. One of the galleries was the Courtault which did allow me to take a quick selfie of me in front of Manet’s Bar at Folies-Bergere, one of my favorite pieces.
We as a study abroad group went to the British Museum were I was able to take a photo of a piece from the Athenian Parthenon that I wrote a small paper on in my Greek and Roman class I took just a weeks prior to my trip to London. It felt pretty great seeing it in person because it is much larger than I originally thought and I still couldn’t tell whether that small figure is a boy or a girl. The debate on the figures sex could change the whole meaning of the scene.
I also got to see one of my favorite public sculpture in London by Katharina Fritsch in the Trafalgar Square. The Blue rooster is a much bigger version of what I saw in last years Art Basal where she placed a foot tall blue rooster on a lime green cube. It was fantastic seeing the larger version, especially knowing the controversy that it cause during the time of its unveiling.
I did try to plan a time where I could go to the Marina Abramovic or Ai Wei Wei show but it never seemed to have been the right time. I also heard I missed the Digital Revolution show which was supposed to have been remarkable. London itself seems like a country, not a city so I wish I had just a little more time to do everything I wanted to do. But I think even if I had more time there would still be more things popping up just cause London is such a culture rich society with a penchant for all sorts of activities and people. I mean after
all, the city is known as one of the art capitals of the world. Can you really blame me for shedding a tear when I had to be dragged away from it all on my last day? 🙁 It’s over for now and my time there will be missed but I know I will be back soon!