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Blog: Barrels of Art

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Saturday found myself and The Items In My Catalogue once again heading out in search of ART. Spoilers: we found some!

Our first stop was Hyde Park, where we were planning to undertake our annual look at The Serpentine Pavilion. Earlier in the morning the aforesaid Letters In My Bundle had been chatting to our Postman (it's called East Village where we live and it sort of IS a bit like a village - we expect Mrs Marple to turn up to solve a Complicated Society Murder any day now) and he'd mentioned a huge installation of BARRELS. When we arrived in the park we wandered down to the lake to see if we could spot it and GOODNESS ME you could not help but see it because it is BLOODY MASSIVE!

The official title is The London Mastaba by the artist Christo and it is a HECK of a thing - a HUGE pile of what looks like stacked multi-coloured oil barrels LOOMING out of The Serpentine. It looks BEAUTIFUL and also like something out of a SCIENCE FICTION film, as if there's an enormous SPACESHIP in the lake and this is just the top. It also follows you around the park, peeking out from behind trees. It seems UNREAL, and it was only really the FACT that there were loads of people out in BOATS (it was a lovely day) LOOKING at it that convinced me that it was real.

It is, in short, GRATE, and well worth a look. Unfortunately after that the actual Pavilion was a bit underwhelming, though the exhibition in the gallery next door, all about the Mastaba, was DEAD good. Seeing the plans for all the unmade ones made the real one seem even more BIZARRE.

Also in Hyde Park, between the lake and the pavilion, we passed a tree which was making a RIGHT racket. Standing under it and looking up we realised that an entire FLOCK of Starlings was sitting in it and having an EXTREMELY ROWDY DEBATE. I have honestly never heard the like, it sounded like somebody had made a recording of birdsong and was playing it over a SPEAKER what they had nicked from the Brixton Carnival.

After all that I went to Tate Modern to see the PICASSO exhibition, which The Angles Of My Lines had a) already seen b) recommended. It's all about Picasso's work in 1932 when, evidently, he did a LOT. There was room after room after room of stuff, and it was amazing how VARIED it was. My favourites were the big colourful paintings of women sitting down, especially Reading and Nude Woman In A Red Armchair which were GORGEOUS. When I was at school the ONLY bit of Art Appreciation we did in ART was about PICASSO (other than that we drew a lot of pictures of plant pots and, of course, went on a school trip that forged my destiny in ROCK) and seeing those paintings reminded me of the teacher going on about how Picasso painted movement, and CRUMBS you could really see it in those pictures. I also really liked the head sculptures, which looked like something out of "Yellow Submarine" (or possibly vica versa).

Other parts of it were less enjoyable but still dead interesting, and it was amazing looking at the DATES of them all and seeing how busy he'd been. It's amazing that he found the time to have an exhibition AND an affair in the same year!

All in all it was a GRATE day of ART what I would highly recommend, especially the BARRELS - they're only there for a couple more weeks, so if you're in London between now and 23 September I would suggest popping over to Hyde Park and having a LOOK!

posted 3/9/2018 by MJ Hibbett

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