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Eyes Wide Open ...

24th May, 2017 by Steve J

Just back from a terrific day in London. Eyes open at 5am to make sandwiches for the 6am train journey to Euston then a bleary eyed walk through the sleepy streets of London followed by a wonderful coffee at the Founders Arms on the Southbank with views across the sparkling Thames towards St Paul's.

We got to the Tate Modern as it was opening for the last chance (almost) to see the private collection of photography owned by (Sir) Elton John. It really is a gem. A collection of Modernist works largely from the 1920 to 1950 period. There were some truly iconic works on display. If I had to pick a favourite I would be hard pressed but the Great Depression American portraits certainly stuck out. Taking photos in this exhibition was strictly forbidden but I did buy some cards and guide afterwards - the latter is a good read.

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Back to the Founders Arms at lunch and a couple of beers then exhibition number 2. Giacometti. This one runs until 10 September and is well worth seeing. A celebrated painter, draftsman and sculptor, we drifted through 10 rooms of exhibits which traced the artist’s work throughout a 50 year career. Amongst the visitors there on Saturday I heard a few bewildered voices but the more I looked at these works, the more I saw in them. Some of his sketches were sublime. The paintings were at times a bit ‘Francis Bacon’ and had an intense dark beauty. Just a wonderful hour or two soaking it all up. The sculptures were iconic and in some instances quite fun!

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Finally we had some time to kill before getting the train back home. Rather than head for the ghastly Euston Station we stopped off at St Pancras for another feast for the eyes. If there is a better way of being introduced to our capital city I have yet to see it and as we sipped a cocktail in the platform bar a young couple were having their wedding celebration next to us with live jazz drifting up into the vast void above. A magical day. Eyes and ears wide open all day (apart from at Euston!).

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