Flying into Zurich this morning after a 14hr overnight flight from Hong Kong, I was gifted with an amazing sight. The sun had not yet risen but sent a promising glow across the horizon. It was lightly raining diffusing the light further. I turned my monitor to the camera that is mounted underneath the plane and the image was exquisite. I thought it was black and white – it looked like an old daguerreotype with layers of tone revealing an undulating landscape. As we approached the landing strip two lines of light came into view. At first they were little pinpricks but as they grew they began to emit a warm light until they glowed intense gold in the desaturated landscape. They lead nowhere – coming to an abrupt end just below the skyline: the same place where we stopped.
Then Heathrow…!@#%&*!! However – Heathrow is the gateway to London – this Mecca of treasures… another lug across town (refer Heathrow sentiment) and into my apartment in Clerkenwell. This is a great spot – very close to Farringdon station and all sorts of providores and coffee houses.
After a rest and a blessed shower I ventured across town to the British Museum.
I was completely blown away. Completely. I have never seen so many treasures in one place – I never knew I was interested in so many things. What prodigious plunderers the British were and I suppose we should be grateful that this was at least combined with the sense to catalogue and preserve.
I concentrated my energies on the prints and drawings room and the relics of ancient Greece… more than enough for an afternoons wandering. I think that if I lived here I would become a member and explore a few rooms only on each visit.
Germany Divided: Baselitz and his generation was the feature exhibition in the prints and drawings room and focused on the post 1945 works of German artists from both sides of the iron curtain. I was most drawn to the works of Gerhard Richter – who really explored all ways of approaching expression. He had a collection of photographs that he called ‘The Atlas’ – I have posted a picture here as I feel there is an element of observation and aesthetic that I already share with his Atlas.
Ancient Greece – It is marvelous to imagine this time BC and to actually see objects that were made and used by the people of this incredible civilization. Across the vast collection of red and black figured ceramics, the representations of the human body and human emotion is so knowingly observed and all areas of social life are given consideration. It is evident that this was a society actively conscious of their ability to love and fight and create beauty.
In the evening my lovely cousin Georgie took me out to a restaurant called the Tramshed and Cock 'n Bull Gallery where one can dine under a distinctive Damien Hirst installation of a bull and rooster in formaldehyde. The menu is simple - chicken or beef.