Another discovery for me during Open House was Marlborough House on Pall Mall. Well I say on but pedestrians actually go through a little gateway and down an alley
before coming to this splendid entrance below. No photography was permitted inside as it is the headquarters of the Commonwealth of Nations and the seat of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Built for Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough and Queen Anne’s confidante, it remained the Dukes of Marlborough’s London residence for over a century. This grand palace backs on to the Mall – I’ve often seen the flags visible over the wall and wondered what they meant.
Now I know. Look at the size of it!
The flagpoles look tiny in this shot which gives you an idea of the scale
St James’s Palace is the next door neighbour seen here in the background, so convenient when Anne needed Sarah, which by all accounts was frequently.
and they even have a pet cemetery in a little glade.
Artist Andy Holden and his father Peter Holden share a fascination with birds. Peter is a bird expert, running the RSPB’s Young Ornithologists’ Club amongst other activities.
Father and son worked on Natural Selection, an exhibition staged by Artangel which was a combination of education and art. There was much more to it than this one room but I wanted to share the seductive beauty of the eggs, so realistic yet all painstakingly made of porcelain and painted by hand.
Olafur Eliasson shows us in the last part of Monochrome, Painting in Black & White at the National Gallery, that monochrome doesn’t automatically mean only black & white.
After a fascinating exhibition of more traditional interpretations, including some staggeringly convincing trompe l’oeil painting, you walk into a bright yellow room and everything becomes tones of that colour.
The ceiling is lined with sodium yellow monofrequency lamps, a colour that suppresses all others.
and even my pillar box red jacket cannot resist the influence of the shadow-free light.