Category Archives: Places

Shape of Light at Tate Modern

I often enjoy going to exhibitions unprepared as that can give me a cleaner sensory experience than having read reviews; such was the case for The Shape of Light at Tate Modern.

There is something about Minimalism that resonates deeply and here are some of the pieces that stood out for me: part of  Alison Rossiter’s  expired photography paper seriesPhoto by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline BanksBarbara Kasten’s cyanotypes Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks Edward Ruscha’s parking lot photos next to Carl Andre’s Steel Zinc PlainPhoto by Caroline Banks

Black by Inge Dick  (the people and shapes are all reflections)Photo by Caroline BanksOne of Jay Defeo’s Untitled pieces Photo by Caroline BanksJohn Hilliard’s Seven Representations of White (with more reflections)Photo by Caroline Banksand, seen at the end, Thomas Ruff’s massively scaled virtual photogramsPhoto by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks


Tacita Dean – Landscape at the Royal Academy

The inaugural exhibition in the new Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries at the Royal Academy is LANDSCAPE, one of the three concurrent London exhibitions by Tacita Dean. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but was really impressed by the scale and sensitivity of the work shown. Zooming in and out is an essential part of the experience (I use those terms deliberately).

Here’s a view through to The Montafon Letter, a huge chalk drawing on blackboard of a mountain (there’s a bit more to it than just that).  Photo by Caroline BanksMajesty, one of a series of works on paper from 2016Photo by Caroline Banks

Cloud drawings, also from 2016,  in front of her collection of round stones.Photo by Caroline BanksI really liked the contrast of jade reflected in the glass frame of this massive print Quarantania.Photo by Caroline BanksHer film Antigone is also on show – I wasn’t able to see all of it so will complete the experience on my next visit.

The expanded Royal Academy

This is huge in the history of the Royal Academy and it’s such a positive development. The reconfiguration of space and intervention by David Chipperfield Architects to connect both buildings of Burlington Gardens and Burlington House now takes you through a myriad of environments. Here are a few photos of some of these spaces – not all quite finished when I visited – which will, I hope, give you an idea of the journey now possible.

The steps down from Burlington House show The Vaults towards the Weston Studio with a glimpse of the stairs up to the Weston BridgePhoto by Caroline Banks

Looking back from The Vaults to the stairs.

Photo by Caroline BanksOne of the RA Schools corridors just before reaching the Weston Studio.Photo by Caroline BanksUp the stairs from the Weston StudioPhoto by Caroline BanksDetail of the staircasePhoto by Caroline BanksView of the Weston Bridge windowPhoto by Caroline BanksFinal touches to the Benjamin West Lecture Theatre Photo by Caroline Banks

Art wherever you look in King’s Place

I sometimes feel envious of the workers at King’s Place as they are surrounded by a constantly changing display of art by artists represented by Pangolin Gallery, housed in the same building. I came across this selection of work when I popped in the other evening between two private views.

William Tucker’s charcoal drawings from the human form and his bronze sculptures exude powerPhoto by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks

Looking Glass by Abigail Fallis is a beautifully crafted piece, something important to her in making work and encompasses such a multitude of associations I’d go over my time limit if I listed them.

Photo by Caroline Banks

Photo by Caroline Banks

The career of Zachary Eastwood-Bloom has taken off since I first met him at his RCA degree show in 2010. I have to confess though that I thought this was a Tony Cragg from a distance, an impression soon corrected once I got closer.

Photo by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banks

The Linnean Society, London

Whenever visiting places not normally open to the public I’m struck by the range of hidden enclaves. Such is the Linnean Society, one of several societies housed in Burlington House in London.

As the name suggests, this is a natural science society, the oldest one in the world, and still very active in all aspects of the life sciences.Photo by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline BanksAmongst its many treasures are these beautifully delicate botanical illustrations. All photos are skewed as I was trying to avoid direct light on glass.Photo by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline BanksThis book from 1542 by Leonhard Fuchs is remarkable in that the three artists involved in its production are credited with both their names and portraits: Albrecht Meyer (botanical illustrator), Heinrich Füllmaurer (woodblock draughtsman) and Veit Rudolf Speckle (wood engraver)Photo by Caroline Banks

Breathe: A Green Lung – installation at the Barbican

There is always more to see than anticipated when visiting the Barbican  and this was exactly the case whilst on my way from Yto Barrada’s Agadir in The Curve to Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins in the gallery.

I came across this small installation tucked into a corner called Breathe: A Green Lung, devised by Cityscapes with Heywood & Condie  in which a stained glass greenhouse is enclosed within two green walls.       Photo by Caroline Banks

Photo by Caroline Banks

Photo by Caroline Banks

Increasing greenery within an urban environment is preaching to the choir here; what really appealed to me creatively was the stained glass greenhouse Photo by Caroline Banks with its amended imagery. To see more of their stained glass work click on this link.Photo by Caroline Banks

The Bird Hide by Sara Heywood at Bow Arts RAW Labs

If you get off the Docklands Light Railway at Gallions Reach, one stop before the end of the line to Beckton, a short walk will bring you to a new development called Royal Albert Dock, right on the river Thames and opposite London City Airport.Photo by Caroline Banks

Bow Arts has worked with the developers to help create a soul and community to this location with RAW Labs, a purpose-built affordable studio complex with a gallery and cafe around one of the pools. It’s a wonderful place for artists to work with big skies and the light from the water. And, luxury of luxuries, the studios are heated! I’d be there in a shot if it weren’t so far away from where I live.

Photo by Caroline BanksSara Heywood, the recent artist in residence, was influenced by the waterside location and the proximity of London City Airport across the river. Bird life includes cormorants as well as the ubiquitous seagulls. The big birds, however, are the planes which fly directly overhead in to land. Her hide helps you identify both from its location facing the water with binoculars provided.

Photo by Caroline BanksPhoto by Caroline BanksIt’s cosy inside with views up to the flight path and there’s a handy identification chart too.Photo by Caroline BanksI was outside when this one came over and no, I can’t tell you what type it was.Photo by Caroline Banks Photo by Caroline Banksthere are little spyholes to see what else is going on around the hide.

Photo by Caroline Banks

In the ladies’ at the Hotel de Crillon, Paris

Before you say it, yes, I am intrigued by the conveniences in public establishments – they’re one of the key indicators to the quality of a place as far as I’m concerned.  So here is another in my occasional series of what I consider to be interesting loo interiors. This time it’s the newly refurbished Hotel de Crillon, one of the most sumptuous hotels in Paris.

Hotel de Crillon. Photo by Caroline BanksIt’s a beautifully designed jewellery box: a small space that is feminine without being girly and with exquisite detailing. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Palace hotel.
Hotel de Crillon. Photo by Caroline BanksHandmade mosaics abound. Hotel de Crillon. Photo by Caroline BanksHotel de Crillon. Photo by Caroline BanksI like the slight irregularity of the flooring pattern Hotel de Crillon. Photo by Caroline Banksand appreciate that the toilet paper is discreetly placed where you can only see it when required, not as soon as you walk into the cubicle.Hotel de Crillon. Photo by Caroline BanksI spoke to the lady attendant who had been working there for 18 years and had been kept on the payroll throughout the four year refurbishment. That hotel has shown loyalty to its workforce which is now being amply rewarded by them.

Rail Mail, riding the train under London’s streets

The experience of riding in the Rail Mail train at the London Postal Museum is a joy for any age (unless of course you suffer from claustrophobia). RailMail. Photo by Caroline BanksFrom the excitement of seeing the little train arrive RailMail. Photo by Caroline Banks RailMail. Photo by Caroline Banks RailMail. Photo by Caroline Banksto getting in (it’s a pretty tight squeeze for two adults side by side as these carriages were designed for mailbags, not people)RailMail. Photo by Caroline Banksthen riding through the tunnels, sometimes only centimetres away from the walls.RailMail. Photo by Caroline BanksWatch an audiovisual history on one of the platformsRailMail. Photo by Caroline Banksbefore returning to base. RailMail. Photo by Caroline BanksYou can even sit in the engineer’s train and press some switchesRailMail. Photo by Caroline Banksbefore moving on to interact with more exhibits. I enjoyed seeing engineer John Scott’s toolbox made from an old mail carriage, look at all those tobacco tins lined up and labelled.RailMail. Photo by Caroline Banks