Friday, 29 June 2007
Tuesday, 26 June 2007
After 2 weeks away from the 'hood, yours was a much more welcome back to King's Cross than my crammed in-tray.
Once I've ploughed through my inbox I promise to post a much more interesting entry. But for now - thanks again Lauren; I hope you'll agree to come back for another KX visit sometime soon!
Sunday, 24 June 2007
183 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE
Distance from Kings Cross Station:
approx 1.6 kms or 1 mile.
Distance from Euston Station:
approx 400 metres or 1/4 mile.
Well, after many moons of being veiled behind closed doors, the Wellcome Collection is open, after refurbishment. And according to this resident artist, it is definitely well-worth the wait.
As far as the actual building goes, I didn't get much of a chance to really get indepth with the whole place, but it seemed to be very accessible and just as easy to spend half a lifetime in there as it is to zip in an out for a quick peek. Even the toilets are cool! And believe me, this matters.
Wittgenstein writings on the wall, above the mirrors in the ladies loo. i got busted by someone taking this and did the worst job at acting cool about the whole thing.
There has been heaps about the new exhibition written in the dead tree press, which is great for the Collection, the area and cultural tourism in London. Not so great for comparisons to this teensy post.
This exhibition has planted itself firmly in contemporary curatorial practice in its wholistic approach to the theme. The broadness of the theme could have been the death of it, but the show manages to have a perfect mix of general and specific. The show is a compilation of 2D, 3D, moving and sound works, which I think is vital in creating an all-encompasing experience for audiences. The musical responses to the heart (mostly about broken ones, actually) gave me a little tickle of joy and, combined with the heartbeak soundtrack of a healthy heart vs mitral regurgitation, I was able to really soak up the atmosphere of investigating the heart.
sketchings from the heart. note the poxy sketch of the heart seats you sit on to listen to 1+1=1
There was a great mix of historical and contemporary, anatomical and symbolic, objective and subjective. There was also a nice balance of the icky and the not-so-icky. I had to accept that while I could totally enjoy Jordan Baseman's 1+1=1 sound work about heart and lung transplant recipient, I couldn't do his Under the Blood video of open heart surgery. I was just too squeamish. Although, strangely, I loved the gory (but not quite so realistic) images by Ana Mendieta and Raymond Pettibon (c'mon, who doesn't love Raymond), which centred around using anatomical images of the heart, blood, veins to convey the pain and intensity of love.
Curators Emily Jo Sargent and James Peto have done a fantastic job of bringing art and research together for the purpose of enlightenment and understanding, without being too patronising or too high-falutin'.
Ms CreateKX is back tomorrow after a fantastic holiday, so that's it from me as your resident gal-about-town.
Thanks to the galleries, museums and architectural edifices of Kings Cross for having me. I might pop in every now and again to say hello (if Ms CreateKX lets me) and make sure you continue to go and support your local creative output. It's good for the soul.
Friday, 22 June 2007
'While controversy rages about some young people destroying the Bemerton Estate London N1, other young people have taken up the challenge, in a very tough climate, of reversing the negative connotation of the label “Hoodies.” Young people at the CYP ArtFlat have been working on sculpture which demonstrates their activities and interests.
The aim of the work is to challenge the Hoodie stereotype and to show that it is possible for a young person to wear a hood and still aspire to succeed, find their voice, and want to be taken seriously.'
Through the ArtFlat Window
First Exhibition by the CYP ArtFlat at Cally334
Opens Wed 27 June,
and continues thru 27July 2007, Mon- Fri 10am-5pm
see http://www.kingscrossenvironment.com for more details.
and then, of course there is the big re-opening of the Wellcome Collection:
"Something new will happen in Wellcome Collection every week from 21 June. Events vary from intimate discussions about issues such as organ donation, to provocative debates about religion and medicine and live shows from leading British performance artists.
Most events are free and take place in our dedicated events space, the Forum, on the first floor. Look out for occasional large-scale thematic events that make the most of the whole building."
more info at http://www.wellcomecollection.org"
I'm hoping to check out both of these later this week, but I encourage you guys to get along too!
24 Brittania St
London, WC1X 9JD
Distance from Kings Cross Station:
approx 800 metres or 1/2 mile.
Right around the corner from the Thameslink end of Kings Cross station, on Brittania St lives the Gagosian. A name well known in the international art world, hailing from across the Atlantic in New York and bringing London some great works. At the moment, Jeff Koons, king of post-modern is exhibiting works in a series called Hulk Elvis.
The other day I spoke about the mash-up of Kings Cross architecture. Well this exhibition reflects that mash-up well. There are about 20 huge paintings which are a compilation of modern imagery. Amongst the whole show the paintings featured, in some way or another a mix of:
blow-up kids toys,
reversed screen prints of Andy Warhol's Elvis,
tracings of Popeye (which tie-in nicely to the sculpture show in their other London Gallery),
loads of dot screens (the modern alphabet, really)
outlines japanese drawings
a frequency curve
a drawing that may or may not have been a picture of girls' bits (i'm not sure how appropriate the v*word is here)
and loads of colour.
If the works could be any more garish, they would be. In fact, aspects of it reminded me of images of graffiti, the overworking of image upon image that happens when one artists throws a piece over the next and it all becomes one image.
I ordinarily am not that into Koons' work - I can kind of take it or leave it, but I did really enjoy checking out the show, putting it all in context with other artworks and to be inspired by seeing such bold statements on such an enormous scale.
And whether you're 'into it' or not, if you're a creative type and especially if you live in the area, do go and check out the work, it's fantastic.
Tuesday, 19 June 2007
I apologise for the lapse last week. It has been a very busy week, going to Swan Lake at Royal Albert Hall and Interesting 2007 at Conway Hall. Neither really within the bounds of Kings Cross (but if you're into creative stuff, you should check them out anyway).
So, today, when visiting one of the galleries in the area (which I'll post about tomorrow), I decided to check out the architecture in the area. Architecture is the large-scale way in which we, as humans, identify our area to everyone else. We have a close, yet distance relationship with architecture and the more we engage with it, the more intimate we are with our area. Oddly, the more graffiti there is, the more creative craving there is and subsequently, a fantastic resource for dynamic creation.
Today, as I wandered around just a small area near Kings Cross/St Pancras Station, there was such a hodge podge of architectural styles, with more development happening all over the place. I think this signifies the real mash-up of the area, which is really exciting, although I can imagine difficult to really get a handle on. [In fact the show I went to is a perfect match for the area, given that]
I saw the highly utilitarian design (but oh, so beautifully coloured) of the estate, the amazing grandeur of the developing St Pancras (and the station) and everything in between.
In fact, when I was at the Building Centre on Store St last week, I noticed that Kings Cross is targeted for a whole bunch of revitalisation, shopping areas and development. This will be interesting to keep an eye on, especially as some of the city's great design firms are getting on board.
I think the key will actually be to take into account this mashup of current styles and either try to bring something consistent to them, or to take advantage of the diversity and range of identity and keep going on that trajectory.
And don't forget - The Wellcome Trust opens this week.. I'll be checking it, so don't forget to do the same!!
Thursday, 14 June 2007
William Hogarth, Moses before Pharaoh's Daughter from 1746
Courtesy of the Foundling Museum.
40 Brunswick Sq
London, WC1N 1AZ
Distance from Kings Cross Station:
approx 800 metres or 1/2 mile.
In trying to source out some cool places "within 2kms radius of Kings Cross Station" (which is the definition of Kings Cross I've been given), I discovered the Foundling Museum and it's amazing! It comes with an array of very impressive credentials:
*Britain's first public art gallery to exhibit British artists,
*Its first governor was none other than William Hogarth
*Britain's first model for 'philanthropic charity' i.e runs on private funds.
*Houses a stack of Hogarths and other amazing historical works, including portraits of Thomas Coram and Hendel.
A 'hospital' that looked after, housed, raised and educated the city's abandoned children, Foundling Hospital was started in the early 18th Century and while parts of it are 1930s replica, the Museum is a shrine to a century of children's charity, which only moved out of London last century.
The highlight of the visit for me was the Court Room and Hogarth's Moses before Pharaoh's Daughter from 1746. A grand painting slightly in the vein of the History Painting, but reflecting the nature of the Hospital's charity. The painting holds court (literally) in the centre of the western wall and is breathtaking. In fact, the rococco design of the whole room is amazing. Who needs to go to the Wallace Collection, when you've got the Foundling Museum on your doorstep!
On Brunswick Square, not far from either UCL or Euston Station, it's at once a chance to absorb some culture steeped in altruism and humanist care, and a chance to connect with the idea of childhood innocence. Hogarth set out to improve the image of 'the child' to that of innocence and naivete, which had previously been as a carrier of their parents sins and reputations.
And, if you've got children, it's a great place to find some activities for the kids. Especially with the summer holidays coming up, the Foundling are focusing on kids' creative space, with a whole months' work of free art activities and concerts, continuing the tradition that the great British Master set up of nuturing children's minds in order to produce 'outstanding citizens'.
** Tea update: While I didn't get a chance to have a cuppa there, there is a cafe attached to the museum, so if you're a bit thirsty, hungry or tired, there's something there for you.
Monday, 11 June 2007
I will be here, holding the fort for a short while, and, as previously mentioned, taking you on a trip as part of my mission to go to a gallery per day. Now, I'm not going to subject you to the whole thing, but while I'm resident artist, I'm going to make sure I visit at least 2, if not 3 cool gallery/museum places in Kings Cross each week over the next fortnight to include with my other gallery jaunts.
I'm hoping to uncover a few gems that you've got hidden in there, to make sure I get to the main attractions and I'll post them here and on my other blog.
And if you guys feel like helping out and suggesting some good places to get a cup of tea while I'm on my travels around the area, that would be much appreciated. Unfortunately, my trust gallery guide doesn't include them.
See you soon!
Thursday, 7 June 2007
She describes herself as an 'australian installation artist wannabe who swears alot'.
This should be interesting.
Lauren has her own blog... actually two. Her latest one 'Gallery per Day' follows her mission to, erm, visit a gallery per day. She's agreed to take BlogKX along for the, slightly exhausting, ride for a couple of weeks.
Lauren - thanks and have fun.
see you in a couple of weeks...
Catholic mother, but even the most rigorous athiest would find peace in St. Pancras Crypt. The Crypt is a very popular exhibition space, with a steady stream of artists exhibiting here. There is currently a beautifully curated exhibition by sculpter Emily Young, which beats the hell out of the Euston road's central reservation.
Tuesday, 5 June 2007
Images of artworks courtesy of:
Friday, 1 June 2007
Although I was sorely tempted by the bumper packs of jammy-dodgers and wagon wheels, my favourite stall featured trees of underwear.
Cockpit Open Studios: Friday 1 to Sunday 3 June, 1 – 7 pmEntry £5, valid for all four days.
Cockpit Yard, Northington Street, London, WC1N 2NP