Monday, 10 August 2020

London Visits pre-lockdown, Tate Modern … part 3 …

I’m not comfortable visiting south of the river … the development of the South Bank started when I was overseas, and then continued on after I returned settling in Eastbourne, and I’ve no idea where I am or what I’m doing – so had to do some exploration …  
Red Tear sculpted by
Emily Young

Red Tear - sculpted from Persian Onyx ... (onyx with iron oxide colouration)

Emily Young's 'Stillness Born of History II'

Onyx with Volcanic Pyroclastic Breccia  
(produced by volcanic explosion)

… but I wanted to see the Emily Young sculptured heads  at Neo Bankside – ‘Stillness Born of History II’ – where geological time is charted in the marble that’s been used for the sculpture … 

(Breccia - Italian for loose rock fragments ... bonded on volcanic explosion)

Rudra - by Emly Young
(Purbeck Freestone (stone taken from limestone beds found
in Dorset England.)
... asking us to think about deep time … the geological cretaceous period that the metamorphosed limestone was laid down (145 million to  66 million years ago) forming part of earth’s crust today.

Purbeck Marble has been mined since Roman times, and used as a decorative building stone, though the industry is no longer active.  Purbeck stone is still used … and may have been used as far back as the Bronze Age – based on workings in Sussex).

Steve McQueen with his 2014 Oscar

Next I went inside to look at the exhibits presented by Steve McQueen – who has directed four feature films, including the Academy Award-winning 12 Years A Slave.

Here I was lost … he also had a simultaneous exhibition at Tate Britain, which I do feel able to comment on … so I will research further to post at that stage of this journey … I felt ashamed to leave and not spend time … but my day was rushed.

My photo ... looking down on this
amazing sculpture

However I did spot, couldn’t fail to – actually, a monumental sculpture, only 13 metres high (43 feet!) commissioned for the huge main Turbine Hall, with a gallery height of 99 metres (235 feet) …

I doctored this one I copied from an
article - and haven't done it or myself
any justice ... can you see the water
fountaining out from her neck area

… I had no idea what it was or was meant to be … however as luck would have it I came across the details about six weeks later – and it’s really interesting: an afterthought bonus for me/you to find out about.

The sculpture, Fons Americanus, by the American artist Kara Walker … is an uncomfortable take on the Victoria Memorial, that fronts Buckingham Palace.

Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace

Interestingly the installation was in place in October 2019 – this is because it represents a more painful parallel to our past … yet by not attempting to eradicate that, it presents an inviting open door into the world of today … good will can come through these challenging historical times.

Winslow Homer's 
The Gulf Stream (1899)

I’ll link to some more information on it – Fons Americanus … is, for me, an interesting artistic find – to be explored more, to learn too …

It seems you like the extra information via the links – and, of course, I like having them … as good referrals in the future …

Emily Young's sculptures - my #WATWB post - being sunk into the Tuscan Sea to protect the fishing grounds ... 

Emily Young's website ... wonderful sculptured heads to see - including those at Neo Bankside

Kara Walker's Fons Americanus page c/o Tate Modern

Kara Walker references Winslow Homer's 1899 painting 'The Gulf Stream' ... and the Tate article is really informative ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

London Visits, pre lockdown, Cartography and Illustrations at Matches Fashion … part 2 ...

I’m sure you know me well enough to know that fashion is not my scene … 
Carlos Place

... thank goodness you all say, so do I!

… but geology and maps are …

London 1831
 ... going to Grosvenor Square (Carlos Place runs off it) and seeing where I used to work – near to the old American Embassy, before it moved south of the river, was tempting …

1970 - Near side of the Moon by
US Geological Survey
… but the draw was the antiquarian scientific illustrations, natural history prints and maps on display at The Fashion House in Carlos Place, which I thought would be interesting … just not to become a fashion icon!

A waiting or viewing room

When I walked in … I was directed towards their private viewing room … uh uh ... 

Cafe area looking out over rooves
I backed away laughing and saying I only wanted to see the antiquarian exhibits – they were very polite and really helpful …

Much mirrored toilet - and thus at least two of me
… I was taken to the top and allowed to wander around and down looking at the prints and peering around … an interesting experience.

Individual prints were to
be found ... a boa

So a few images and some links … I could have spent (a lot) longer there … and could, but didn’t, have lunch – as they have a cafĂ© on the top floor overlooking the local rooves …

Described as a monumental map of New York (1874)
by Egbert Ludovico Viele (1825 - 1902) - he became the
Chief Engineer of Central Park; his main claim to fame was
this map ... which took two decades of intensive research
 ... and is still consulted for developments in the city!
… it was elegantly furnished, but there were no clients … which was a pity – as that would have been interesting though I probably wouldn't have had a free rein.

Andreas Cellarius' 17th century chart explaining
the phases of the moon
My photos aren’t great - the lighting wasn’t easy … but there’s some highly recommended links – should you wish to find out more.

The Map House – exquisite art works: see what I saw here …

Illustrations of the Copernican
System - see Wiki

Cartographic  heavenly’ charts by Andreas Cellarius (1596 - 1665) dating to 1661;

Brodtmann's majestic beasts

Antique Lithographs of majestic tigers, jaguars and lions by Karl Joseph Brodtmann (1787 – 1862). 

Swiss artist, lithographer, as well as printmaker, publisher and bookseller.

Ernst Haeckel's Sea Anemones
c/o Wiki
Ernst Haeckl (1834 – 1919)– the German scientist, philosopher and artist – he was one of the most prominent men of the Belle Epoque (1870 – 1914) – championing both early Evolutionary Theory and profoundly influencing the Art Nouveau style.

Tulips by Robert Thornton - to be found in his
"The Temple of Flora" illustrated botanical works

Robert John Thornton (1768 – 1837) – English physician and botanical writer  - prints from “The Temple of Flora” …

James Sowerby by Heaphy (1816)
James Sowerby (1757 – 1822) – English naturalist, illustrator and mineralogist – his studies quickly became the main source of information at the time, when geology and mineralogy were extremely fashionable.

Geological Chart by Yaggy
All the geological rock periods are name
Levi Walter Yaggy (1848 – 1912):  American illustrator and innovative publisher of educational maps and charts, explaining the Earth’s physical features. 

Nature in Descending order

These are amazing … as the ‘This is’ site shows them in their full glory …

Sowerby's miniatures - hand coloured copper-
engravings from his British Mineralogy (1817)

There were other cartographic works on show … from the 1600s to the 20th century … maps, the moon, city plans – eg London, New York …

A map of the world
on the top landing

The exhibits came from The Map House, established in Beauchamp Place, Kensington … while their site also has an incredible range of works available for sale and to see: I recommend a digital visit.

This links to some of the pieces that were on display at Carlos Place … and is definitely worth looking at …

Thornton's Lilies - also in
"The Temple of Flora"

National Geographic has a site on Yaggy too ...

I really could have spent ages here ... but my schedule was 'pretty tight' ... I'd be off to the South Bank and Tate Modern once I'd left Carlos Place.

I hope you'll get a chance to look at the links - absolutely staggering what could be produced in earlier centuries ... and how much they could piece together ... we're lucky we can 'see' it so easily today.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Friday, 31 July 2020

We are the World Blogfest # 39 UK Medical Student creates handbook to show clinical symptoms on darker skin …

This youngster’s idea that skin types vary so much – yet medical reference books are usually written from a white skin perspective – with no mention as to the appearance on other skin types, he felt that aspect needed to be addressed.

… it reminds me of my #WATWB #30: Invisible Women … their female humanness is often not included in something designed by the other half of the population.

Malone Mukwende - junior doctor at
St George's Medical School, London

Here we have a medical student who sees skin colour as an important condition in deciphering what could be wrong with specific peoples – and which needs to be noted.

Young Malone Mukwende, a medical student at St George’s University of London (St George’s Hospital Medical School) working with two of his senior peers has put together this handbook – the hospital authorities are looking to publish it – making it generally available.

The First Edition
'A Handbook of Clinical Signs
in Black and Brown Skins'
It cannot but help trainee doctors, nurses, paramedics and medical experts become more aware of different skin types ... 

... and how conditions on black and  brown skins will vary – and not always present exactly as reacted and reported on a paler skin person … eg blue lips may not be a useful descriptor for a black patient.

The handbook is going to look at other ways that could help with communication skills with clinical language – so a more holistic approach can be taken.

This to me – sounds a much needed medical reference book … there are so many different skin types – in this country we are a very mixed bag having been peopled over millennia from around the globe … as many are finding out when they check their genealogy and DNA.

Fitzpatrick Scale
Brilliant – at least I think so! – Malone’s book deserves high recognition and massive publicity in the near future … which I’m sure it will get.

Congratulations to Malone Mukwende – looks like he’ll make an empathetic doctor as he passes his exams up the ranks in the medical profession … 

... I wonder how far he will go and where his speciality will be: a name to look out for.  He will make a great contribution to helping many ... #WATWB peoples.

We are the World Blogfest
In Darkness, Be Light

‘Mind the Gap’ – St George’s Hospital’s: First Edition of A Handbook of Clinical Signs in Black and Brown Skin

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

London visits, pre lockdown, completely exhausted me … part 1 – the introduction …

One day in London town, five or six exhibits, a journey down memory lane …. by the end a whirring brain … worse a shattered body – my feeeeeetttttt, shinnie shin shins, hips – hips – hips – smoothly clickety click - they still work I’m pleased to say ….

Quizzical early me

You know … quizzy me … I suddenly thought I’d better get up to town and do, what I wanted to do … quick in and out visits with a strange mix of  7+  subjects …

5 Carlos Place - the fashion house

First: Antiquarian scientific illustrations, together with natural history prints and maps – in a fashion house;

Emily Young's sculpture 'Rudra' - a Rigvedic deity equated
to Lord Shiva, associated with wind, or storm and
the hunt - one of the statues found outside Tate Modern
Second: a visit to find Emily Young’s sculptured heads outside Tate Modern;

Third: into the Tate Modern for the first part of Steve McQueen’s work spanning film, photography and sculpture (12 Years a Slave);

part of 1841 "Map of Kensington"
The Hippodrome is lightly coloured;
the streets where I lived had followed
the contours of the race course

Fourth: up to Notting Hill for a nostalgic walk past my old flat, and …

Fifth: on to an art exhibition at the west of the Hippodrome – the race course that ultimately became north and west Notting Hill;

Poster for the film:' 12 Years a Slave'

Sixth: on to Tate Britain, where Steve McQueen has the second part of his exhibition about Year Three (aged 7/8) pupils in London;

Seventh: last but not least … to the Saatchi Gallery to see the Tutankhamun exhibition … I missed the 1972 one – long queues I seem to recollect which are just not my scene – thankfully nearly fifty years on I’m still here and it’s come back!

Brochure for the Tutankhamun exhibition

There’ll be a few of these … not sure how many – depends how carried away I get writing them … the history of the Hippodrome area could easily stretch to an A - Z …

I was completely exhausted ...

Well … this is a start of some postings – and should see us through to the end of August or perhaps even (probably) September.

It was a very long feet day … lots of walking … 9.30 morning train to Victoria arriving 11.00; 11.30 I get to the fashion house … at 4.30 was my timed entrance at the Saatchi Gallery – it closed at six.  Giving me time – just – to drag my aching body to Victoria and my 7.15 evening train home …

August's prompt 'Long Shadow'

The quizzing blogger had had her chips that day … was I glad to get home – the next day I don’t think I moved!

That will cover my next ‘few’ posts … ‘We Are the World Blogfest #WATWB’ will appear at month end, then the WEP challenge mid-August – with the prompt being … ‘Long Shadow’ …

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Slowly does it … excuses, excuses!

It was Wimbledon time … and the Beeb had re-winds for the fortnight … it’s easier to watch the tournament – as one can watch bits and bobs …

Wimbledon from the air
… whereas re-winds are always interesting with some excellent tennis – some of which occurred when I was in South Africa for those 14/15 years, the years my mother was ill, and the Canada year …

I’ve been distracted!   Seafront stretching eastwards - viewed through perspex canopy ... 


… so some pics … of flowers … and some pics – what more can I say … lock-down – or semi in my case as I do carefully get out and about a bit …

Double hollyhock

Also I’ve never been on a ‘big wheel’ … there’s one on the seafront …which I can now tick off my list … no queues, small payment and easy peasy up I go …

The Big Wheel company ...
Our big wheel came down from Manchester (280 miles = 450 km) – the truck is driven by female operator, saying she loves it … 

Roof of Bistrot Pierre, where I had my birthday
lunch back in January; the Redoubt - a 200 year old
defensive emplacement

... four trips with the bits, the guys I guess put it all together … (35 metres high = 115 feet) …


Seafront plantings

… and last but not least I wandered past Camilla’s the bookshop that some pyromaniac idiot set on fire … it’s open again …

… and managed to grab a quick photo of Archie – better go back at some stage and get one that’s in focus!!

Illustration by
Keulemans, 1891

I will now attempt to catch up with your blogs and reading etc … better late than never … actually it’s the Beeb’s re-winding of the Olympics this week! 

Olympic Park, Munich

Again an interest – I worked for the British Olympic Association for the Munich Olympics in 1972 and was privileged enough to be flown out for it …

Hydrangea with bee
… I’m sure if it had been the previous one in Mexico – they wouldn’t have gifted me a 3 day trip - I have various marketing materials … can’t say I remember much … but I enjoy the various sports …

Better stop before this week disappears … I will see you all soon … thanks in advance for stopping by … and stay safe all of you

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories