Art doesn’t hurt ;)

So, as I told you in my first post, going to museums is an activity I adore doing. I put my headphones on, walk through alleys and let my eyes look at what they attract them.

Alone or with a friend, going to a museum will be a big breath of culture and inspiration for you, so don’t hesitate. It takes times to find what kind of art you are sensitive to, and spending the all afternoon in a museum would never be, in my opinion, a waste of time. In my case, I have to admit that I prefer romantic art. I could stay a whole hour in front of a Botticelli’s tableau. And everybody has different tastes.

I assume that it can be boring for some people but I find this activity so relaxing.

To go to London from Brighton, it’s quite simple. You can buy your train tickets cheaper in the 1 Stop Travel Shop, on North Street. I have always been to London without spending more than 23£, return included. I arrived at London Victoria Station, and with my oyster card, I could go anywhere.

So! Whenever I am in London, I try to visit the more museums I can. Most of the museums are free, so go for it! Lately, I’ve been to the National Museum Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum and I went to a big photography exhibition called “From Selfie to Self- expression” in the Saatchi Gallery.

First, let me talk you about the National Museum Gallery. I think it’s my favourite museum in London. Located on Trafalgar Square, surrounded by street singers, dancers and artists, the ambience is wonderful. They have a huge permanent collection, and what a collection! Da Vinci, Gauguin, Van Gogh…

You can use an audio guide for 4£, only 3£ if you are a student (and if you can prove it with your student card). According to the language you select for the audio guide, all the paintings will not be explained, but there is a little explanation under every painting. I was so impressed and moved to see real paintings by Van Gogh and Cézanne, because they remind me of my childhood in a way. Also I must admit that, to me, this museum was a maze. There are so many alleys, even with a plan I always was in a different room than the one I wanted to go at first.

The explanations about some painting were so captivating, and you could understand better what the artist tried to tell through the painting. Otherwise you can make your own interpretation and I think it’s even more better. Unfortunately, some paintings weren’t in the museum because they needed some restoration.

Switch to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Located in the Royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea, this is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. I must admit that after spending the all afternoon in the museum, at the end of the day I couldn’t feel my legs ☹. But it’s a good sign, isn’t? You’ll be spoilt for choice in the V&A. Korean, South Asia, Japan, Islamic Middle East section …

One of my favourite thing was the Ardabil carpet. In the Islamic Middle East section, this is the world’s oldest dated carpet and one of the largest, found in Iran around 1540. I was literally stunned to see a piece so well preserved. It is lit for ten minutes on the hour and a half, to preserve the colours, so be on time 😉.

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They also have a breath-taking sculpture collection dating back to the Italian Renaissance (my favouriiiiiiite) and a huge collection of catwalk clothes from great couturiers, movie costumes and many other dating back from a lot of different periods.

To finish the visit, there is a little café and a wonderful gift shop for vinyl and notebook lovers.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t see the Pink Floyd exhibition, it was still in preparation when I was in London but I know this exhibition will take place until October 1st.

To finish this post, let me talk to you about the exhibition in the Saatchi Gallery, “From Selfie to Self- expression”, which takes place until July 23rd.

The Saatchi Gallery is in Chelsea borough, the place and its surroundings are really beautiful, even more when it’s sunny.

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This exhibition has quite moved me, because you are faced to the selfie phenomenon and this smartphone addiction which are huge and keep increasing more and more. You will be exploring the history of the selfie from the old masters to the present day, and find that some of the pictures in the exhibition are pure egocentrism whereas others are really relevant (and other are funny montages).

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I entered a big room with thousands of videos projected on the walls. Thousands of people filming themselves. In this room, you are surrounded by people, looking at you, it’s a kind of a disturbing. You can realise that this phenomenon of the Selfie has expanded everywhere and it may develop a form of narcissism in some people lives.

There are a lot of interactive animations in every room, but the most impressive to me was the Pom Pom Mirror of Daniel Rozin. Stand in front of it, move your arm and the pom pom will move according to the movements of your body. I know that it could be complicated to understand so go see this for real!

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This exhibition links so well old paintings and form of art like Van Gogh for example, with new technologies. In a room, you could put a like on a false Van Gogh or Rembrandt Instagram account, and see who would have been the most famous on Instagram.

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So, that is how I love spending my afternoons… Selfie !

Eli

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