Now, a look at modern London and I must say that I am seeing some impressive innovation. It is quite a challenge to create new ideas and forms without damaging the old and revered London to create modern London. I like the new spaces especially where there is a cleanliness and invigoration of places adjacent to public areas like railway stations – a case in point is the newly created haven around the Grand Union Canal, Little Venice and Paddington Station – Paddington Central. I like the smooth curves of Zaha Hadid’s building housing the restaurant next to the old ‘Magazine’ building in Hyde Park and I really like the new space around St Paul’s and glimpsing parts of Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece in unexpected places.
Caught the underground to Southwark to check out modern London in the shape of Tate Modern and the Contemporary Applied Arts Gallery – a great artist find there in Zoe Hillyard who works with broken ceramic pieces covered in vintage material and stitched back together – fabulous shapes, colours and patterns http://www.zoehillyard.com/home
The Tate Modern did not disappoint but I almost find the architecture and building placement more interesting than the artworks – the fascinating juxtaposition of old and extremely new works.
Finally, while visiting my daughter and partner I have been watching ‘The Crown’ on Netflix – a series I had been desperate to watch as the reviews were extremely positive. I have not been disappointed – I have always been fascinated by Britain’s Queens. Elizabeth I for her incredible talents in holding her nerve and managing and manipulating a series of events and machiavellian courtiers for 45 years and bringing peace and prosperity to a tiny island. Queen Anne has my huge sympathy for having to reign while having about seventeen pregnancies – only one of her children survived but died at the age of eleven – she seems never-the-less to have been a reasonable queen. Victoria, especially as a young girl (she acceded to the throne at the age of eighteen) refusing to sign over any degree of power to her mother and her powerful comptroller, Sir John Conroy even through mightily threatened by them. I have found it fascinating to watch this current ‘take’ on Elizabeth II and the early years of her reign.