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Exhibition Review : The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition at Burlington House – 8th June to 16th August 2015
The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is one of the great English Art traditions, it is the world’s oldest open-submission exhibition being established in 1768 whose long line of exhibitors reads like a Who’s Who of British Art. Some of the earliest exhibitors included the likes of Reynolds, Constable and Turner, however the exhibition prides itself that it offers a snapshot of contemporary art.
This year there will be over 1,200 works on show which were selected from an original entry of 12,000. Unlike many major exhibitions, many of the works in the exhibition will be on sale.
In the courtyard, visitors are confronted by a formation of steel ‘clouds’, created by Royal Academician Conrad Shawcross, before Jim Lambie’s kaleidoscopic stairs lead you up to the Main Galleries.
Part of the fun of the exhibition is trying to recognise pieces by the more well known artists and discovering new artists from the wide range of works on display. This year’s co-ordinator of the Summer Exhibition is Michael Craig – Martin who has focused on a new layout of the Main Galleries which emphasises the vibrant colours of the rooms.
The staircase and the Central Hall sets the tone for the exhibition with explosions of colour. Dominating the Central Hall is Matthew Darbyshire’s Captcha No.11 (Doryphoros) with Liam Gillick’s Applied Projection Ring.
Other notable highlights include Grayson Perry’s extraordinary supersized tapestry, Julia and Rob.
The striking As Ye Sow So Shall You Reap: An Allegory( Acknowledgements to Holman Hunt) by Michael Sandle with Salome by Allen Jones in the background.
An intriguing mix of celebrities with Una Stubbs by Grayson and Measles, Harry Hill by Damien Hirst and Simon Cowell by Jenny Samtula.
An Acrylic sculpture Untitled by Sir Anish Kapoor with a Triangle painting by Alan Charlton.
These are just a small selection of the wonderfully eclectic works on display, there is really something for everyone regardless of your particular artistic taste. The Summer Exhibition is one of the highlights of the art world’s summer and attracts a wide range of visitors. It offers a rare opportunity to buy works from well known and not so well known artists with prices ranging from a few hundred to over a hundred thousand pounds.
Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended
If you would like further information or to book tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
June — 16 August
Main Galleries, Burlington House
£13.50 (without donation £12). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free.
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The Prospect of Whitby
Location – 57 Wapping Wall, Wapping, London, E1W 3SH
The Prospect of Whitby in Wapping is one of the most famous pubs in London, its origins was a simple tavern on the site in 1520.
However it was in the 17th century that it became known as a meeting place for smugglers and river pirates, it was at this time known as the ‘Devil’s Tavern’. It is also claimed that patrons watched the hanging of pirates at the nearby Execution Dock from its balcony.
In recognition of this claim there now stands a noose and gallows outside the back of the pub overlooking the Thames.
In the 19th century it became a place where artists used for a vantage point for their paintings of the Thames, Whistler and Turner amongst others painted many pictures of Wapping.
Famous customers have included Samuel Pepys and Charles Dickens, however in the 20th Century it became the pub of choice for many celebrities and famous people.
In the 1950s Princess Margaret was a regular visitor and the pub became a regular stop on the tourist trail.
Although the pub building is mostly 18th century, its original flagstone floor, wooden barrels, pewter bar, odd shaped alcoves and large terrace with great views of the river are very atmospheric of days of smugglers and pirates.