When a birthday falls mid week, mid winter, mid-school holidays (not to mention mid-life) – a less inventively inclined type might find this precludes fun activities – y’know, with friends, outdoors, not surrounded by a gazillion anxty families…. One thing was for sure, I wasn’t going to spend it in the office pretending it’s just another day. (Too many years have passed that way – a postponed birthday never really works for anyone over the age of 6)
So taking advantage of being close to London, I took myself off to the V&A.
It’s indoors (even the walk from the tube station is underground and out of the rain) and although families visit, it’s museumy and sedate with minimal shouting and squealing. (Even from me)
I’ve visited many times before, but despite this, hardly begun to see all there is on offer. I didn’t realise how much there was to see until I looked it up just now (thank you wikipedia)
The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as the V&A), London, is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects.
The V&A covers 12.5 acres (51,000 m2) and 145 galleries. Its collection spans 5,000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day, from the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. The holdings of ceramics, glass, textiles, costumes, silver, ironwork, jewellery, furniture,medieval objects, sculpture, prints and printmaking, drawings and photographs are among the largest and most comprehensive in the world.
Several hours and 4 aching feet later, we sat down for a tea and food before wending our way back post rush hour chaos. Minds were blown. Awe was inspired. The extremes of the ancient, the enormous, the itsy teeny detailed, the extravagant and ornate are all there. Most too amazing for words.
A tiny handful came home in my camera and in my mind’s eye.
Some of these will be characters in future art…
And as always I’m drawn to the abstract imagery, both in the art and in the architecture, it kinda blurs into one big gestalt experience.