I was in London recently for a series of meetings. I usually have a few hours to kill before getting the train back so I often have a bit of a busman’s holiday, checking out a new exhibition or snooping around some gallery. I always seem to end up frantically rushing back to Euston in rush hour too. This trip was no different and although I like to think I’m an experienced visitor to the capital at one stage I had to ask a postman, a shop assistant in Liberty’s, and two bobbies where the nearest tube station was.
London is a fascinating place, and at times for me, quite claustrophobic, which takes some doing for such a megacity. Getting off the tube at Westminster I was greeted with the click click of tourist cameras looking up towards Big Ben (technically the Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben is the great bell and it is partly built with good old Yorkshire stone). I doubt Big Ben is seen as one part of the complex of the Palace of Westminster, the meeting place of two houses of the Parliament of the UK, but rather a big old clock which conjures up images of London, and indeed England, like a red bus, the Queen etc the list goes on. For me personally other than seeing someone with a camera dangling from their neck or constantly checking a tube map, I could not tell you who was a tourist or not, and for me, that’s what I like about London.
I walked down Millbank and fell into Tate Britain, located in a rather imposing but beautiful building with a classical portico entrance (not too dissimilar from our very own Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. building) which was funded by sugar magnate Sir Henry Tate and which opened in 1897. I saw the rather controversial Chapman family collection of wooden sculptures, which although seemingly authentic artifacts were apparently made quite recently by the artists Jake and Dinos Chapman.
Back up North I have just received some good news regards our Transatlantic Slavery touring exhibition which has reached Guyana as part of the 250th anniversary of the 1763 Berbice Slave Revolt. The exhibition has been on the road since 2008 and has previously been hosted in Nigeria and Brazil.
Keep an eye out for some of our exciting events later this month, particularly on the 28th, such as the UK premier of PBS America’s The Abolitionists and in conversation with the artist Nicola Green which I am hosting. Hopefully see you there.
Bye for now,