Today in London I had plenty of time to spare. Admittedly I was fairly tired from yesterday’s excitement at the Legacy Centenary Torch Relay. I had enjoyed our previous fun family day looking at sunflowers in the National Gallery, I still had the National Portrait Gallery on my to do list, got to love a good portrait. Little did I know it has actually been closed for almost three years and does not reopen until June 2023. That was a shame, I made my way over the Millenium Bridge and settled for Tate Modern.
The art gallery was enormous. I am a ‘admire art on the move’ kind of guy, although I had not planned for another London Marathon today. Some of the modern art was impressive, as you would expect from central London. However, some of the art, I am just going to say it, some artists were surely taking the piss. I am not the most artistic guy myself, but some of the pieces, dare I say, were lacking gusto.
Tate Modern was certainly not lacking artistic diversity, I’ll give it credit for that, for those of you that love blinds or bright lights.
I thought these computer-generated composite photos of the main entrance were clever.
There was even a Super Mum exhibition room. To be honest, I think Super Mum’s are better.
As I said, there were some real headscratchers. I was doing my best to stay open-minded, I must be missing the deeper modern art meaning. If I had the opportunity to display art in the center of London, I would have put in a bit more effort at least.
After glancing at hundreds of pieces of modern art, I was glad that I had stumbled upon the “A Year in Art: Australia 1992” exhibition, one year older than yours truly. My obviously non-biased opinion was that this was the best part of Tate Modern by a country mile.
Tate Modern is an art gallery located in London. It houses the United Kingdom’s national collection of international modern and contemporary art, and forms part of the Tate group together with Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives… Tate Modern is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world… Tate Modern is housed in the former Bankside Power Station, which was originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect of Battersea Power Station, and built in two stages between 1947 and 1963. It is directly across the river from St Paul’s Cathedral. The power station closed in 1981. Tate Modern was opened by the Queen on 11 May 2000. Tate Modern received 5.25 million visitors in its first year. The previous year the three existing Tate galleries had received 2.5 million visitors combined
I left more puzzled than when I had entered, that was enough modern art for one day. I continued plodding along, it would have been a perfect day for the London Eye, but I couldn’t imagine doing it without the kids.
The sun is out, COVID-19 is down (presumably?) and the tourists are back in force. As a result, I had to literally battle my way across Westminister Bridge. I gave Tate art one last chance and followed the River Thames along to Tate Britain.
Fewww, I breathed a sigh of relief, this is where Tate must store the ‘proper art’. Now, these were incredible, completely unfathomable how people can actually produce this.
I could imagine how the kids would have been in here, Lachlan would have been darting about, honking, testing out all the room’s acoustics. They would have loved the childrens’ digital Tate drawing room, they are both quite creative.
Tate Britain, known from 1897 to 1932 as the National Gallery of British Art and from 1932 to 2000 as the Tate Gallery, is an art museum on Millbank in the City of Westminster in London, England. It is part of the Tate network of galleries… It is the oldest gallery in the network, having opened in 1897. It houses a substantial collection of the art of the United Kingdom since Tudor times, and in particular has large holdings of the works of J. M. W. Turner, who bequeathed all his own collection to the nation. It is one of the largest museums in the country. The museum had 525,144 visitors in 2021, an increase of 34 percent from 2020 but still well below pre- COVID-19 pandemic levels. In 2021 it ranked 50th on the list of most-visited art museums in the world. The gallery is on Millbank, on the site of the former Millbank Prison. Construction, undertaken by Higgs and Hill, commenced in 1893, and the gallery opened on 21 July 1897 as the National Gallery of British Art. However, from the start it was commonly known as the Tate Gallery, after its founder Sir Henry Tate, and in 1932 it officially adopted that name. Before 2000, the gallery housed and displayed both British and modern collections, but the launch of Tate Modern saw Tate’s modern collections move there, while the old Millbank gallery became dedicated to the display of historical and contemporary British art. As a consequence, it was renamed Tate Britain in March 2000.
For those heading to London, I would recommend Tate Britain over Tate Modern any day of the week, just in case you couldn’t tell. Now that I have most likely insulated our modern art followers it was time to move on. To be fair, it was too nice of a day to be inside. I was feeling fairly drained, the sun was making me feel even more lethargic as I sat and watched the boats go by.
Meanwhile up north, Super Mum had successfully made her connection at Edinburgh Station. Work had generously trained her down to join her Groovy Husband. But “where are the kids?” We hear you all screaming, unbelievably Mum Extraordinaire was toddler-sitting both of them. This was their first friend’s sleepover and they were pumped. Massive thank you again Jane! We owe you a few after this one.
On my way back to the hotel to put up the feet, I noticed that Mr Bond had done a quick job repairing MI6.
After a quick recharge, I headed to Platform 9 and 3/4 just in time for Super Mum to appear.
We then got dressed to impress as we arrived at Mayfair’s Lansdowne Club. We were extremely lucky that we got to attend the London Legacy Centenary Gala Ball #kidfree.
Dr Brendan John Nelson AO set the scene with an incredibly moving speech that really hit home the importance of Legacy Australia and highlighted the sacrifice the women and men in the armed forces make that allows us to live the privileged lives we do.
The eucalyptus centerpieces, Tim Tams and Allen’s minties made us all feel very much at home. I am getting pretty good at singing ‘God Save the King’ alongside the Australian National Anthem.
The parents enjoyed the #kidfree night, hopefully, the kids were sleeping for Mum Extraordinaire. We had a quick cuddle of the torch before the really loud band blew our heads off. Must be a UK thing, or we are just getting old.
The Lansdowne Club is a private members’ club in London, England occupying a large building, notable in its own right. It was established in 1935 and occupies most of 9 Fitzmaurice Place, a street connecting Berkeley Square to Curzon Street in Mayfair. The club formed later than many London clubs, and it permitted women from its inception. It has always had a relatively young membership, with an active social scene. The building’s main Adam and otherwise 1930s Art Deco interiors, with some authentic frontages, mean it has been Grade II* listed since its first assessment in 1970. This is the mid-category of listed building, a statutory scheme of protection which has a pyramidal hierarchy.