Today was the last day of class with Andrew, and for our final tour we visited the Tate Modern: specifically, the Richard Hamilton special collection. Since it was a special collection we were prohibited from taking photos. I would have stuck to the rules, but a couple of pieces in the exhibit really caught my eye – luckily we live in the world of smartphones, so it was surprisingly easy to take a quick snap before placing my iPhone back inside my pocket.
The first art pieces that caught my eye were located in the same room. Originally, like I said, I wasn’t planning on taking photos. I had brought out my iPhone to take notes of the names of several art pieces when a security guard came up to me and started scolding me for ‘not reading the signs’ and ‘taking photos without respect to the rules’. After the rather public dressing down, I decided to take photos out of spite.
The next set of artwork I enjoyed were Hamilton’s series of reliefs based on the exterior of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum, which opened in 1959. According to the informative plaque, “sprayed with cellulose lacquer or coated with gold leaf or metal flake (used in customized cars) these highly seductive reliefs suggest that the iconic appearance of the museum had become as impactful as its collection”.
Finally, the final two artworks I admired were a portrait and a collotype (photograph) on paper. The former is an oil painting based on a still from the Bing Crosby film White Christmas, thus its title: “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”. The change from white to black is due to Hamilton’s use of a color negative, “an idea which relates to his other investigations of photographic processes”.
The latter work I favored is called “Sunrise”, a 1975 collotype on paper piece (now part of a private collection). I really like the haziness of the sky and how the colors blend in with one another, yet you can clearly see the horizon mapped out in the distance. The use of dark colors in the foreground really brighten up the sky.
Overall, our last class tour with Andrew was an exciting one. I am really glad to have been accepted into the ACM London/Florence Spring Program this year – the London as Visual Text class really allowed me to learn the history of London (from Roman times to modernity) from a more visual perspective, and touring the sites as we talked about them really gave me a sense of what Londoners must have been like at the time.
After the class was over, Andrew brought us all to the tube station so that we could have a bit of a munchies break before heading off to our final class-scheduled theatre performance, Midsummer Night’s Dream. On the way we passed the beautifully decorated Lord Nelson cafe – a place I want to visit if I have time over Spring Break!
When we arrived at the station, Andrew decided to treat us to a small glass of Prosecco each. Unfortunately I think we may have bothered the waitresses (the bartender was pretty chill) since we had all gathered by the entrance. The wine was really delicious, but we only had 10 minutes to buy food so I had to say my last goodbyes (and thanks) to a wonderful professor.
I ended up going to good ol’ McDonald’s since the line at Pret a Manger was too long. I decided to stick to what I knew, and bought one order of large fries (to go) with a mcflurry to accompany it. Weirdly enough they did NOT have Oreo as a flavor, so I chose Crunchies, hoping it wasn’t nuts. Turns out it is actually a bit like Rice Crispies!
After buying our food, we all met up under the clock to wait for the train to our final class-scheduled theatrical performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream. Since it was out of our Zone 1-2 passes, we had to buy the top-ups to Kingston beforehand. Rose Theatre, here we come!