London Sculptures: The Meeting Place by Paul Day at St Pancras Railway Station

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Meeting Place is a 9-metre-high (30 ft), 20-tonne bronze sculpture stands on the upper level of St Pancras railway station near the Eurostar terminal.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The sculpture was designed by the British artist Paul Day and unveiled in 2007 and was commissioned to be the centrepiece of the newly refurbished station.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The sculpture of a couple locked in a embrace is intended to illustrate the romance of travel. Around the bronze relief frieze around the plinth is several scenes depicting various passengers undertaking travel.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The sculpture received a poor reception from art critics but has been become popular with the public. It has led to the reputation of St Pancras station being a romantic meeting place.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The sculpture was commissioned by London & Continental Railways and offers an unusual experience by taking different views from different vantage points in the station.

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Exhibition Review – Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life at Tate Modern from 11 July 2019 to 5 January 2020

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Olafur Eliasson returns to Tate Modern following his Turbine Hall installation The weather project in 2003, for an exhibition of his career to date. The exhibition is the most comprehensive presentation of Eliasson’s work, and his first major survey in the UK.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Olafur Eliasson work is well known for engaging the public with artworks which offer experiences that can be shared by visitors. Tate Modern has bought together over 40 works spanning the last three decades from early installations to new paintings and sculptures. The exhibition also examine Eliasson’s collaborations in a wide number fields such as sustainability, migration, education and architecture.

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Eliasson was influenced in his time in Iceland by natural phenomena such as water, light and mist and these have often been key themes in his work. On the terrace outside Tate Modern, visitors encounter Waterfall 2019, a new installation measuring over 11 metres in height.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Works inside the exhibition include Moss wall 1994, a 20 metres wide wall entirely covered with Scandinavian reindeer moss.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Beauty 1993, creates the natural phenomenon of a rainbow inside the exhibition

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and Din blinde passager (Your blind passenger) 2010 takes visitors on a disorienting journey through a 39-metre-long corridor full of dense fog.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Eliasson throughout his career has created works that challenge accepted views of perception. Many of his installations play with light and shifting colours such as Your uncertain shadow (colour) 2010.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Yellow mono-frequency lights are used within Room for one colour 1997 reduce viewers’ perception to shades of yellow and black.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Kaleidoscopic sculptures include Your spiral view 2002 and the newly created Your planetary window 2019, create optical illusions that challenges visitors to see their environment in new ways.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition explores the artist’s fascination with geometry with many works, such as Stardust particle 2014, Model room 2003, bringing together around 450 models, prototypes, and geometrical studies of various sizes that record Eliasson’s collaboration with his studio team and, Icelandic artist, mathematician and architect Einar Thorsteinn.

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The show concludes with The Expanded Studio, which explores Eliasson’s engagement with social and environmental issues. His projects have included Little Sun, which provides solar-powered lamps and chargers to communities without access to electricity. Green light – An artistic workshop, in which asylum seekers and refugees, together with members of the public, constructed Green light lamps and took part in accompanying educational programmes and Ice Watch, an installation of glacial ice from Greenland, recently staged outside Tate Modern which aims to increase awareness of the climate emergency.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating and interactive exhibition provides the opportunity to enter the various worlds of Olafur Eliasson. The artist takes the visitor on a journey that often challenges our views of reality by distorting colour, light and perception. He also considers how art can be used in dealing with social and environmental issues by considering how we interact and understand our environment.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
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Hidden London: Clifford’s Inn in the City of London

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The City of London is a wonderful place to explore to find some of the hidden corners which takes you back into the past. One of hidden corners is Clifford’s Inn between Fetter Lane, Fleet Street and Chancery Lane.

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Clifford’s Inn is a former Inn of Chancery which was founded in 1344 and refounded 15 June 1668. It was dissolved in 1903, and most of its original structure was demolished in 1934. Clifford’s Inn had the distinction of being the first Inn of Chancery to be founded and the last to be demolished.

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The Inns of Chancery evolved with the Inns of Court. During the 12th and 13th centuries, Law was taught in the City of London primarily by the clergy. This changed in the 13th century when a decree was issued by Henry III stating that no institutes of legal education could exist in the City of London; and a Papal Bull prohibiting clergy from teaching law in London.

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Legal education led to lawyers carrying out their business within “inns”, which were used for accommodation and offices. The land on which Clifford’s Inn was built was granted to Lord de Clifford in 1310, Isabel, Lady de Clifford granted use of the land to students of the law for £10 annually. It was the first recorded Inn of Chancery.

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The Society of Clifford’s Inn purchased the freehold of the property in 1618, however in 1903 it was decided that the Inn was not needed anymore, so its members unanimously agreed to dissolve the society, selling the buildings and giving what was left to the Attorney General for England and Wales. The Inn was sold for the sum of £100,000 and the buildings were demolished in 1934.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The only surviving part of Clifford’s Inn is the gatehouse in Clifford’s Inn Passage, which is believed to have been designed by Decimus Burton, a former student of the Inn.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review: Takis at Tate Modern from 3 July to 27 October 2019

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The Tate Modern presents the largest exhibition related to Takis (Panayiotis Vassilakis) in the UK, the exhibition features over 70 works and includes the rarely-seen Magnetic Fields installation and a group of antennae-like sculptures called Signals.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Over a 70-year career, Takis has been at the forefront of kinetic art and has pioneered new forms of sculpture, painting and musical structures to harness invisible natural forces. Takis was born in Athens in 1925 and as a self-taught artist moved to Paris in the 1950s and gradually became a well known figure in the artistic circles of Paris, London and New York. The exhibition is not chronological but is arranged around a number of themes that have fascinated the artist over his long career.

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In 1959, Takis moved from figurative work to experimentation with magnetic energy, the first room in the exhibition features Magnetic Fields 1969, on display for the first time since the 1970s, in which magnetic pendulums trigger movement from nearly a hundred small sculptures.

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Also in this room is Bronze Figure 1954-55 and Plastic Figure 1954-5 which shows that the artist was inspired by the work of Picasso and Giacometti.

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The next room entitled Magnetism and Metal includes works like Telesculpture 1960, Magnetron 1966 and Telepainting 1966. Takis experimented with metallic objects that float with the use of magnets to create a dynamic sculpture of movement.

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His inventions and the dialogues around the works drew praise from diverse artist circles from William S. Burroughs and the American Beat poets to artists like Marcel Duchamp. Takis travelled regularly to London in the 1950s and 1960s and his work was featured in Signals London gallery which was an important meeting place for the transmission of ideas about breaking down boundaries between the arts and sciences.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The artist’s Signal series became known for their ability to respond to their surroundings, they often consisted of thin, flexible poles topped with objects or electric lights.

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In the 1960s, the artist began to include sound with the use of electromagnets that would vibrate instrument strings. Musicals 1984-2004 shows the whole process in action.

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It was not just sound but electric lights that began to interest Takis, the Light and Darkness room includes a Signal series that plays with light and energy.

The artist was influenced by a number of artistic and social movements in the 1960s and worked with scientific institutes to develop work into renewable energies. He was also one of the founders of the Art Workers’ Coalition which sought to widen diversity in museums and protect the rights of the creative community.

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In the 1980s, Takis began to build his research Centre for the Art and the Sciences, now known as the Takis Foundation. At the centre of the foundation is an open air theatre space organised around a central Gong. A group of these sculptures are featured in the final room entitled Music of the Spheres which incorporates some of the artist’s ideas of cosmic harmony and how energy and natural forces interact to create the universe.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This intriguing exhibition introduces the work of Takis to a wider audience in the UK. Although better known in France, Greece and the United States, the artist’s work has generally failed to engage interest in the UK. This is somewhat surprising because there is often a fun element to the artist’s work which often has a very 1960s ambience when the cult of the ‘modern’ was in vogue. Although light and sound sculptures are now commonplace, it is worth considering that Takis was one of the early pioneers in this type of work and deserves wider recognition.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Tate Modern website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review- Félix Vallotton: Painter of Disquiet at the Royal Academy from 30 June to 29 September 2019

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The Royal Academy of Arts presents a survey of paintings and prints by the Swiss artist Félix Vallotton (1865–1925). This will be the first exhibition of the artist’s work in the UK since 1976. Although the artist is admired in his native Switzerland, Vallotton remains relatively little known elsewhere.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition features around 100 works from public and private collections across Europe and the U.S and includes representations from every period of the artist’s career.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The first section of the exhibition presents a number of Vallotton’s work from the 1880s, following his arrival in Paris at the age of sixteen. Although he was influenced by contemporary movements such as Impressionism, the artist followed more closely artists of the Northern and Dutch traditions with works like his earliest known self-portrait, Self-portrait at the Age of Twenty, 1885 and the painting The Sick Girl, 1892.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Vallotton at this time had yet to find his own particular artistic style, however in the early 1890s he formed ties with the Nabis, a group of avant-garde artists including Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard. It was around this time that Vallotton began to experiment with print making especially Japanese woodblock printing. These type of illustrations were very popular in newspapers and magazines and Vallotton made a steady income from magazine illustrations, he became the principal illustrator for the influential journal La Revue blanche.

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Many of his prints were satirical, the series Intimités, 1897–98 and paintings of interior scenes, 1898–99, such as The Visit, 1899  exposes some of hypocrisies of the Parisian bourgeoisie.

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When La Revue blanche closed, Vallotton entered into marriage with a wealthy widow Gabrielle Rodrigues-Henriques in 1899 and concentrated on painting. His work from this time often featured psychological dramas in domestic interiors, the artist plays with perspective and lighting to create idea that behind the familiar lurks all kinds of dark secrets.

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This theme is carried on from around 1904  when the female nude became Vallotton’s principal subject. This section of the exhibition presents works such as Nude Holding her Gown, 1904 and Models Resting, 1905. The nudes seem consumed by shame and unwilling to play the game of being alluring, this style was very different from other painters of the period.

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Often the nudes are in pairs and look to be in conversation whilst in the background mirrors and reflections offer a dark background to the light foreground.

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A section focuses on paintings and prints produced during the First World War, the artist’s initial enthusiasm for the war was changed by a visit to the trenches and his portfolio This is War!, 1916 features splattered red ink on the cover, while the six images, in black and white, capture the danger and terror of the ordinary soldier fighting at the front.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The exhibition concludes with a selection of Vallotton’s landscapes and still-life paintings. The landscapes like Sandbanks on the Loire, 1923 have a surreal quality with limited colour and simple compositions.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating exhibition offers a rare opportunity to discover the often original and innovative work of Felix Vallotton, this often overlooked artist provides a very different perspective of Paris at the turn of the 20th century. Vallotton indicates with his work that it is a city that underneath its bonhomie harbours dark secrets. This psychological interplay plays a major part in Vallotton’s later works especially his nudes series. It is possible that the artist’s painting and prints were a little too close to the mark for the wealthy patrons from the Parisian bourgeoisie which exposed many of their less pleasing qualities. This may be part of the reason, why his work was not highly valued at the time and why it is only in recent years that his originality and innovation have been more widely recognised.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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The Golden Boy of Pye Corner in London

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Golden Boy of Pye Corner is a famous small monument located on the corner of Giltspur Street and Cock Lane near the City of London. The Golden Boy marks the spot where the 1666 Great Fire of London was stopped. The statue is made of wood and is covered with gold. The building that incorporates it is a Grade II listed building.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

It bears the following small inscription below it:

This Boy is in Memmory Put up for the late FIRE of LONDON Occasion’d by the Sin of Gluttony.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The main inscription, 10 ft below the boy is The boy at Pye Corner was erected to commemorate
the staying of the great fire which beginning at Pudding Lane was ascribed to the Sin of Gluttony
when not attributed to the papists as on the Monument and the Boy was made prodigiously fat to
enforce the moral he was originally built into the front of a public-house Called The Fortune of War
Which used to occupy this site and was pulled down in 1910.

‘The Fortune of War’ was The chief house of call North of the River for Resurrectionists in body
snatching days years ago. The landlord used to show the room where on benches round the walls the bodies
Were placed labelled with the snatchers’ names waiting till the Surgeons at Saint Bartholomew’s could run
round and appraise them.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The area was known as Rennerstrete in the 15th century, famous London historian Stow considered that the name “Pie Corner” from the sign of the Pie, “a fayre Inn for recipte of travellers, but now divided into tenementes “.

Pie Corner in the 17th century was often mentioned for its food, Ben Jonson writes in the Alchemist in 1612 remarks

“I shall put you in mind, sir, at Pie Corner,
Taking your meal of steam in from cooks’ stalls.”

In the 18th century, Strype mentions Pie Corner, as “noted chiefly for cooks’ shops and pigs dressed there during Bartholomew Fair.”

As noted in the information on the wall, The Fortune of War public house was known for resurrectionists who often displayed their corpses to surgeons at nearby St Bartholomew’s Hospital. The public house was mentioned in William Thackeray’s Vanity Fair and Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities before being demolished in 1910.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Despite the knowledge of the area, the origins of the Golden Boy is shrouded in mystery and little is known when he appeared on the wall on Pie Corner. Many have mentioned that although the Golden Boy is associated with gluttony, he is not really a fat little boy. In fact he resembles a cherub but where he came from is not known.These mysteries are quite common in London where the origins of these objects are often lost in time.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Messengers by Bridget Riley at the National Gallery

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Since January 2019, a new large-scale wall painting by the British abstract artist Bridget Riley has been on display at the National Gallery. The painting spans 10 x 20 metres and consists of a combination of coloured discs painted directly onto the surface of the Gallery’s Annenberg Court.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The title of the work, Messengers, is inspired by a phrase of the landscape painter, John Constable, referring to clouds in the sky.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Bridget Riley is considered one of the most important artists of her generation and has long associations with the National Gallery. Riley studied at Goldsmiths’ College from 1949 to 1952, and at the Royal College of Art from 1952 to 1955. In the 1960s she developed a style called ‘Op-art’ which explored different aspects of optical phenomena in paintings.

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She has had solo exhibitions all around the world and represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1968. The National Gallery staged her exhibition Bridget Riley: Paintings and Related Work in 2010.

For more information, visit the National Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we attract thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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