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Blog: Saturday Night Lights

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Last year The Rooms In My Gallery and I instigated a system of (roughly) fortnightly SOJOURNS, to ensure that we got out and about in That London and BEYOND to LOOK at stuff and DO things. We have a very comfy sofa and access to ALL the telly, so it's important to have a system in place!

This weekend just gone saw us embarking on the first such SOJOURN of 2018, heading first of all to Tate Britain to have a look at The Impressionists In London Exhibition. Here is my review: it was DEAD GOOD. I didn't realise that loads of French Artists FLED France around 1870 due to WAR and the regular bout of Murdering Each Other, and it was fascinating to see ACTUAL PHOTOGRAPHS of Paris after battles. I also liked the fact that, at the time, critics wondered if the French artists might be taking the mickey out of the English, especially with an ACE painting of some tourists Looking A Bit Lost. I don't THINK they were, but who knows?

We followed a deliberate policy of Not Reading All The Labels, which meant we got to float round in just over an hour, IMBIBING the ART rather than standing squinting trying to read about it. It was dead good, I'd recommend having a look if you're nearby!

We got kicked out at 6pm when the gallery closed, which was IDEAL for the next section of our SOJOURN, which was to wander around looking at London Lumiere. This is a FAB event which we also went to last year, where LIGHT SCULPTURES are put up all over London and streets are closed so that people can LOOK at them in safety. Our first port of call was Westminster Abbey, where one of the doorways had been lit to look as if all of the columns and statues within it had been COLOURISED. It looked UTTERLY AMAZING, and apparently at other times the whole FRONT of the Abbey was done the same, which I fear might have BLOWN my tiny mind as that one bit was incredible enough. We then - sensibly - went for a couple of BEERS before heading over to Trafalgar Square, where there was a BRILLIANT installation featuring a couple of hundred helium balloons that swayed around and lit up in time to music. It may not sound much here, but seeing them all DANCING in the square together, forming light shapes and THROBBING, it looked ASTOUNDING!

To be honest I thnk the brilliance of those first two rather put the next batch in the shade, but remaining sculptures were still pretty good and the overall atmosphere was MAGICAL. As with last year it felt like a FESTIVAL as everyone reveled in the freedom to stroll down the middle of major thoroughfares GAWPING at things, and in the pubs and on the tube everyone seemed to be talking about it. It was ACE!

After looking round Westminster we nipped into Tibits for tea and were astonished to discover that it was too busy to fit us in, although somehow The Food On My Plate DID manage to get us a spot next to the BAR, which seemed to be where the staff also went to eat. It was EXTREMELY handy for getting to the aforesaid bar, which I really liked!

With that done we had a quick zip into Soho, saw the Giant Psychadelic Globe over Oxford Circus (the one that apparently ESCAPED last week) then got the tube over to Kings Cross to look at the lights there. The best from that lot was in Granary Square, where they had LAZERS creating SINE WAVES in dry ice which hovered over everybody's heads. It looked AMAZING from a distance and even MORE so when you were actually underneath it. While we were there I also MARVELLED at the fact that, in a couple of months, I'm actually going to be WORKING round there, when I go to my new job at UAL. I mean, I know it's not always going to have LAZERS and DRY ICE, but I think it's going to be fairly groovy nonetheless.

We ended up being out right until it all finished at 10:30pm, which was unusually KRAZY of us. It's a long old time since I was regularly out in town on a Saturday night, so being reminded what it was like came as something of a surprise. Did everybody always talk SO VERY LOUDLY all the time, and use SWEARING quite so much? I am pretty sure that in my weekend boozing days myself and my companions spoke gently of highbrow topics in a respectful tone, and I also reckon that we wrapped up warmly against the weather. The younger people out and about must have been FREEZING!

It was, all in all, a magical evening, and as The People In My Crowd said, it was lovely to think that so many people had gone out just to look a LIGHTS. I was well chuffed that it had come back again after how SMASHING last year's was, and I hope it becomes an annual thing from now on!

posted 22/1/2018 by MJ Hibbett

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