Anselm Kiefer - Opening Night
One of the perks of my job is an occasional fancy after-work event that I am invited to. This time it was the opening night of the Anselm Kiefer exhibition at the Royal Academy.
I wasn't that familiar with his work, and so went in with an open mind - found it quite astonishing, the sheer number of large scale pieces on display; the largest and most heavy sculpture ever shown in third space.
The subject matter was similarly large and heavy - born in the ashes of 1945 Germany, the artist seems to have dedicated his entire body of work to ensuring the atrocities that took place are forgotton by none. A room full of pictures juxtaposing the nazi salute against Greek figures of heroism, the eagle wings lifting from a pile of smouldering books, a serpent slithering out from the rubble.
Rubble is in fact a good word to describe the emotive range of many paintings, as he uses anything from lead, to diamonds to straw and acrylic to give depth and texture to his work, layering them onto a canvas in a sort of reverse-archaeology. The closer you stand, it's as if a cracked muddy river bed has been plastered onto the wall, and yet as you step further back a stunningly detailed forest will emerge, or a looming empty perspective of national socialist architecture. fascinating.
Morris dancing - something I'd only read about in books before I moved to the UK. I met one of the dancers through an art class, and so went along to watch his team, the Wild Hunt (www.wildhunt.org.uk) dancing in the George Inn, Southwark.
The dancers were dressed in black rags with dark masks on, with one only dressed in green, representing summer. In all, they did 4 dances, complete with holly-wood sticks and bells on their legs. My favourite was a 3 minute dance describing both the beginning and ending of the world, to the music of flutes, drums and accordions. It was the last day the green man could dance before winter. Astonishingly beautiful and artfully pagan. What fun to watch the heart of the countryside dancing on the cobbled streets of London.
Banksy-hunting in Shoreditch
Never content with a quiet weekend at home, we ventured out into the streets of London to take in the profusion of street art, slapped haphazardly across the walls of shoreditch.
Dave, our guide, walked and talked us through the 'outdoor gallery' of brick lane, stopping to point out the stickers on lamposts, tiny sculptures hiding away on signposts and the myriad of paintings which he attributed to various artists. We learned of the history of the area, each wave of immigration bringing another flavour to the city and leafed through the layers of art left by street artists on the colourful walls.
Superb Sunday morning stroll with a twist - walking through London will never be the same again. Check it out for yourselves: www.shoreditchstreetarttours.co.uk
With a career ranging from design and publishing to finance, marketing, and snowboard instructing, Cara has a wide range of professional skills and is always looking for new things to inspire her.