Visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral – Monday 20th February 2023
Photo: Andrew Thomson.
Photo: Andrew Thomson.
On a pleasant spring day we greatly enjoyed our visit to St. Paul’s cathedral. It is a spectacular, elegant building, which although great in size, has an intimate feel. The continuity of daily prayer and air of reverence transcend the busy traffic of visitors.
Our urbane guide, with his friendly concern for his charges on all steps and stairs, entertained us with anecdotes and historical details, impressing us with his enthusiasm and knowledge. Everyone felt enriched by the visit.
Visit to Cezanne at Tate Modern on same day
Still Life with Fruit Dish, 1879 – 80 (copyright Tate Modern)
It was a luxury to travel by coach as far as St. Paul’s, with only a short walk across the wobbly bridge to reach the Tate’s vast complex of spaces and make our way up to the floor where an excellent exhibition represented the artist’s development over a life-time. The first rooms were assembled to show the artist’s friends and early influences. The rooms beyond presented groups of paintings: still lifes, bathers, Provençal landscapes, and new to some of us, water colours, a medium to which he turned later.
Looking at the same household objects painted in different combinations or studying similar landscapes together, engaged the eye and mind more intensely. His radical departure from conventional perspective makes seas rise up vertically and jugs look misshapen, but what a legacy of rich colour and a new interpretation of form. Cezanne said ‘With my apples I will take Paris by storm’. In the exhibition a fellow viewer said ‘ I think he paints the very essence of apple’, so the artist’s work continues to have the power to challenge and impress in London to this day.The value of an exhibition lies in the arrangement of objects. The Tate’s homage to Cezanne was clear, coherent and educational.
Visit to the Murray Edwards Women’s Art Collection: Monday 21st November 2022
The Women’s Art Collection at Murray Edwards College (formerly New Hall) is Europe’s largest collection of art by women, dating from the early twentieth century to the present day. Established in 1986, with the acquisition of a series of works – Extase – by the American artist, Mary Kelly, it now includes 600 works by leading artists such as Barbara Hepworth, Paula Rego, Lubaina Humid (the first woman of colour to win the Turner Prize in 2017), Faith Ringgold, Tracey Emin and Cindy Sherman. The aim of the collection is to challenge the under-representation of women artists in museums and galleries, and one of the Tracey Emin prints – Believe in Extraordinary – well summarises the ethos of the college.
The Modernist building, with its white brick walls and huge windows, make it an excellent backdrop for modern artworks. Our Hunts Arts group was divided into two and guided by Harriet Loffler (Curator) and Naomi Polonsky (Associate Curator), we were introduced to a selection of artworks by different artists in different media.
Given the time constraints, this could only be a tantalising introduction, but the collection is open to the public daily from 10am – 6pm – and is free – so many of us were determined to return at our leisure, and to alert members who had not taken part in today’s visit to what they had missed.
Ceramic works by Charlotte Hodes and Claudia Clare. Photographer: Wilf Speller.
Reports (and/or photos) of visits always welcomed! Please send them to the Honorary Secretary, Jane Woods at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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