Sunday, January 18, 2009

One good Turner deserves another - 17 January 2009

Lambeth Palace, the London home of the Archbishop of CanterburyBeing the last possible weekend to see the 2008 Turner Prize finalists at the Tate Britain, we thought we had better finally subject ourselves to the culture provided by this great British institution. It is amazing the feelings that are whipped up (usually by the media) every year as the Turner Prize finalists are announced and then, ultimately, the winner.

After being exposed, by the aforementioned media in the past, Tate Britainand in-the-flesh this year we have to lay bare our bourgeois taste and admit that we find the art of the original Turner, after whom the prize is named, much more satisfying and so, while at the Tate, we revisited the familiar Constables and Turners and also a new interactive presentation which graphically displayed the different colour palettes Turner used as he travelled around Europe; it was very well done, quite fascinating and educational.

Houses of Parliament across the Thames
The King has lost his headBack on the South Bank of the Thames we called in at the recently refurbished Garden Museum where they have made some major additions to the inside of the old church that houses the museum. The additions are most tastefully done and beautifully blend in with the colour of the interior stonework of the church. The museum cafĂ© offers some of the best value meals in London, very generous mains for £6: we had a cake and a cuppa.

The Bobby has lost his britchesMaking our way downstream, past the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye (broken) we arrived at the South Bank Arts complex. Always thronged with tourists and strollers it is a prime area for the outdoor entertainers and buskers as well as a magnet for skateboarders and BMX bikers. An area under the theatres has become a graffiti canvas for the skateboard and bike fraternity.
The boys on display
Over the river again the ice-skating was still in full swing at Somerset House and just around the corner, tucked away down an alley, is a National Trust property, an original Roman Bath House. Unless a private viewing is organised, it is only available to view from the outside through the window.

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