The Tate Modern opened its doors tonight for its first Open House to members. It was fully booked several weeks ago – no doubt for the turbine hall’s ‘slide’ installation. I had a 7.30pm ticket and there was a huge queue for the cloakroom, before you even got near a slide, so decided to return another day for that (without a bag – they can’t be taken on the slide). However, the atmosphere was amazing. Somehow a gallery at night feels a bit naughty – and with obvious tourists absent, it felt even stranger and very, very good. The slides seem to give adults permission to enjoy themselves (as if they needed it) – one grown man finished his slide and beamed around him, wanting to share his experience. There is even a webcam of where the slides finish.
Instead, I took myself off for a look around the permanent collection. It included Joan Miro’s “Women & Bird in the Moonlight” which I remember copying from a book in 10th grade art, aged about 15 – a very long time ago! It seemed weird to see the painting in the flesh.
On the way to the Open House, you could see St Paul’s. There was also the most wonderful full moon.
It turned out that I was able to get to London House today after all – at least one nearby – the APT Gallery in Creekside. It was great to see inside so many artists’ studios next to the DLR line – as opposed to just looking at the outside. Cockpit Arts , which also had many studios also had an open day as part of Design in Deptford (& London Design). A couple of textile designers had beautiful knitwear (I know where I’m going for my winter scarf) – and they’re also going to be part of Origin craft fair at Somerset House next month. It was amazing to see so much creativity and buzz so close to my front door – about a 10-minute walk away.
Wallpaper* magazine’s February edition says that there are 10,000 artists living in East London with 120 galleries. That’s an awful lot of art. Thought I might take a walk through some of the area around Victoria Park at the weekend to see if I can find one or two of the galleries.
The magazine also listed its yearly awards. The ones which won me were the best bed – “Rea” by Chi Wing Lo for Giorgetti – with a wing-backed headboard that curves around at the sides like an old-fashioned arm-chair. Apparently the headboard can be covered in velvet – yum! The other award which also won my vote was best domestic appliance, won by “Rainsky”. Gone are the days of shower heads – this is a panel where you can control the amount, strength and pattern of waterfall as well as “fragrance, gentle mist and light sequences”. Its web site, though, says that it does not comply with US or Canadian building regulations; I don’t know why – perhaps conservation of water?
Today’s fave music: Eartha Kitt “Sell Me” on Green Lounge radio