art for free

what i love about london is that you can go and see so much art for free;  it doesn’t have to be just the bigger well known galleries such as the tate, national or british museum, but you can also visit more independent ‘jewels in the crown’ .  so even if you are working in town, you can always find time to see some culture in that half hour break, or on your way home from somewhere.  i recently revisited the wonderful two temple place where there is an exhibition of painters and artisans from the early half of the 20th C around sussex, including many of the infamous bloomsbury group artists;  i know we shouldn’t like Eric Gill, but his work is just stunning.   i  also loved the inscription on stone :

‘men rich in virtue studying beautifulness living in peace in their houses’

apparently taken from the bible.

once you have visited two temple place, pop into somerset house and see the photos by Malick Sidibe, retelling the youth history of young black africans and their wonderful relationship with clothes, style and culture;   in contrast, visit the wonderful wallace collection with its classic paintings set in a regal home.  i also managed to visit the wonderful  v and a museum of childhood – i must admit, i hadn’t been there since my children were very little, but you know, you dont have to have children to enjoy the museum.  my husband was introducing the  new exhibition of the photographs by Tom Hunter . ‘Searching For Ghosts is a moving, deeply human portrayal of different generations living on the Boundary Estate in Shoreditch, young Bengali girls and old white women sharing the same games in the same spaces, a brilliant portrayal of the way London life moves on yet stays the same. It is also part of Tom’s continuing crusade to portray the way that social housing provides dignity in our city, aa vital lifeline through the ages. The portraits of people in their homes are typical of Tom’s ability to strike up a rapport with the people he captures, a genuinely kind camera. It is free and it is fantastic, go and see it  Robert Elms


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