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Blog: The Annual Art And Architecture Adventure 2017

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Every year The Exhibits In My Gallery and I like to have a day where we go and look at the Serpentine Pavilion and The BP Portrait Award and this year that day was the Saturday just gone.

It all began with some additional MUSIC, as the aforesaid Voices In My Chorus was taking part in the Chorus Festival at the South Bank Centre, along with her CHOIR. She set off early so I ended up rolling up on my own to wander round looking for her lot and getting a bit CONFUSED as there were many many choirs and they had ALL decided to wear BLACK. I eventually found our team just in time to go to the outside stage where they were performing and it was PRETTY FLIPPING GRATE, especially their version of "Fix You" which was approx 17 times nicer than the original. It was really good!

After a quick change out of STAGE GEAR we headed West to Hyde Park where, despite having done this annually for YEARS, we managed to get A Bit Lost. We did find the Serpentine Gallery in the end, though not before a walk round the Round Pond which featured lots of a) SWALLOWS b) DUCKLINGS. I would happily get lost like that any time!

This year's pavilion was Quite Nice - it looks like a very posh Bus Station, and smelt deliciously of freshly planed WOOD, but ALAS (for it) could not compare with how much we liked last year's. On the way into the pavilion we'd noticed a QUEUE into the gallery itself, which turned out to be for a Grayson Perry exhibition, so we queued up for a couple of minutes and went in for a look at that too. The first two-thirds were good - lots of POTTERY about BREXIT, basically - but I liked the last section the best, where he'd done a customised MOTORBIKE and a bicycle and a Marriage Shrine. It was funny AND moving, two things which most ART singularly fail to be, and I liked it a LOT!

At this point we had been STOMPING and being CULTURED for quite some time, so went back into town to TIBITS for a BIG LUNCH, then stomped round the corner to the National Portait Gallery for the BP Portrait Awards. It was, basically, All Right. There seems to have been a real push towards REALLY realistic pictures in recent years, with quite a few that you had to STARE at really closely to work out whether they were a painting or a photograph. The question in these cases is, as The Words In My Manifesto pointed out BALLA had asked, "Why bother?" If you can perfectly replicate a photograph, why not just take a photograph and save yourself HOURS of painting? We weren't sure whether this was ART being a bit boring at the moment or just The Curators of the exhibition being REALLY into something slightly dull.

There were SOME paintings that we both liked, all of which seemed to have a point to them BEING paintings. I liked My Father Studying Form by Gary Lawrence, The Strokes Of My Brush liked Archipelago by Brian Shields (which in real life is painted on a sort of mirror), and we BOTH liked The Mayor Of Woollahra by Sinead Davies. There were a few other good ones, and it's always worth a visit, but all those highly detailed realistic portraits don't half get samey after a while!

With our artistic impulses SATED we headed home, arriving JUST after Doctor Who had begun, which for me meant 55 minutes of DILIGENT Not Looking At The Internet until it popped up on the iPlayer. COR! I was glad I kept myself relatively unspoilerised! I mean, I knew quite a few things that happened (esepcially re: the ending) due to repeatedly looking at FORUMS for MONTHS beforehand, but there were HUGE CHUNKS of surprise, also FUN and EXCITEMENT. Roll on Christmas!

posted 4/7/2017 by MJ Hibbett

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