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Purbeck Marble has been mined since Roman times, and used as a decorative building stone, though the industry is no longer active.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

38 comments:

bazza said...

Interesting that the huge sculpture was specially commissioned for the Turbine Hall. What a fabulous huge space that is! The world's tallest sculpture is the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower in the Olympic Park. If memory serves it's 144 feet high and is also the world's longest slide.
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s deliberately defamatory Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

John Holton said...

Thanks for including a picture of Steve McQueen. I saw where you said he won an Oscar for "Twelve Years A Slave" and all I could think was "He's been gone since 1980..." Different Steve McQueen...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

This is a rather disturbing take on the original statue, especially with water coming out of her neck.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
I do love having links to explore at leisure... and your 'nutshells' always intrigue! YAM xx

Elephant's Child said...

Huge thanks.
These links are going to require a lot more thought and exploration from me.
I opened the link to Fons Americanus and was blown away. Emily Young is next.
Not comfortable reading or thoughts, but so very worth while.

Jz said...

Oof! There's a lot to unpack in that statue!
Super interesting, tho'.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Those heads look really big. I wonder how long it takes to create one?

Liz A. said...

Rock is rather fascinating. Some interesting scupture.

Annalisa Crawford said...

That's one heck of a sculpture - and an interesting response to the original. Our history really is incredibly uncomfortable, isn't it?

Hels said...

I am with Elephant's Child. Examining uncomfortable material can be very confronting, but it occasionally expands our thinking.

Mason Canyon said...

That sculpture is huge, amazing and quite different. So much history. Thanks for sharing.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

The sculptures are very dramatic, Hilary, and I can see why you hastened to see them. Thanks for the many links you provided. I will set aside a little time to do some exploring.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bazza – yes … the Turbine Hall is ginormous, isn’t it – and wonderful it can be utilised so often – artists are so creative (as they should be!). I’ve always wanted to see the Arcelor/Mittal Orbit … ever since it went up for the Olympics – and if pos go for a slide, or preferably two!

@ John – thanks … last time I only put the poster of the film up – but this time thought I’d better put his pic up … his experimental approach to his visionary film-world deserves a good look at – which sadly I didn’t have the time for. But more when I get to Tate Britain …

@ Alex – the allegorical take on the Victoria monument is fascinating – Kara’s website link is definitely worth a visit …

@ Yam – great, I know you’ll enjoy the links … it’s all a learning curve for me …

@ EC – pleasure – I enjoy writing my posts and learning as I go along this blogging curve. I was so pleased I found out more about Fons Americanus … described in the article as ‘how to subvert monumental Victorian sculpture’ – I need to see Kara’s Tate website again.

Emily Young’s sculptures belie belief … wonderful how she creates these heads out of a piece of rock … and then titles them.

@ Jz – yes … Kara Walker has given us a great deal to think about in her Fons Americanus ‘statue’ … I need to look into her article and site at the Tate more often.

@ Diane – these heads are a bit larger than ours, but she sculpts other larger ones – and I don’t know how long she takes … just had a look and can’t easily find out – when I do I’ll let you know.

@ Liz – yes, planet earth has given us some beautiful natural building blocks … which we regularly use …

@ Annalisa – yes Kara Walker’s sculptural work is pretty amazing – and as you say an interesting response to the original – getting us to dwell on our history …

@ Hels – I was amazed to find the details about Kara’s work … so am fascinated with looking at it with more detail and understanding each part … then thinking about the parallels to today …

@ Mason – I was delighted to get to see Emily’s sculptures … as well as this unexpected monumental one by Kara Walker.

@ David – sometimes one just needs to get to physically see … Emily’s work is extraordinary; while how Kara envisions her creations … is interesting (via the Tate link) … it always fascinates me how people reflect our world today – yet reminds to better ourselves.

Thanks to you all – delighted you enjoyed the overview of these two creative women ... enjoy the links – and stay safe - Hilary

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I love that each material Emily Young sculpted from lends the pieces such different looks! Just fascinating. Thanks for sharing with us!

Joanne said...

Love the Emily Young sculpture. And that huge one with water spouting out the neck - wow - the artist must have had quite a vision to play from the original.
I need more from that Steve McQueen exhibit - quite the filmmaker - must see more!
Thanks for heading south and into a different zone - looks like a lot to explore.

Jacqui Murray said...

What a wonderful trip. I'm imagining the joy of viewing rocks created millenial ago. Imagine what else touched them? I am awed.

Friko said...

You do visit the most interesting exhibits and rather whet one’s appetite. It is years ago since I last went up to London and it probably won’t be possible for quite some time yet. I am sure you must miss your cultural pursuits, as I miss mine. But 'dining out’ on past joys is the next best thing, I suppose.

I wish you well, stay sane, stay safe.

Sherry Ellis said...

Very interesting! But like Alex said, kind of bizarre that water is coming out of her neck. Definitely an uncomfortable take!

Sandra Cox said...

I love that you get out and feed your mind. You go to the best exhibits.
Stay safe. Be healthy.

Inger said...

Emily Young is a fabulous artist, so creative, talented and interesting.

I have noticed how much south of the river must have changed since I lived in London and its suburbs.

retirementreflections said...

Yes, your links are always very helpful. Thank you for including them. Wonderful to see more of Emily's work.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

I am glad I came and checked this out

Anabel Marsh said...

Not on the same scale, but Glasgow has a very distinctive Southside and I’m lost when I leave my side of the Clyde!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Elizabeth – Emily’s works are quite incredible aren’t they – and she’s a very talented artist … I love her work …

@ Joanne – the sculptures were all amazing … I was so pleased I found more about Fons Americanus after I’d got home.

The Steve McQueen exhibits were obviously extraordinary … and I should have spent a whole day there – but hadn’t realised – yes I’ll write up more on what was available …

The south bank is a wonderful repository for theatre, arts and film … along with the accompanying eateries, museums, the Globe Theatre … and Southwark Cathedral – let alone Borough Market – an upmarket market! I hope they all survive …

@ Jacqui – I love the thought of history of time bedded down into those sedimentary layers of rock … I suspect early life was there … the rest of us (humans and animals as we know them today): way too early in evolutionary terms. Yet of course – extrusions occur – which we then utilise in various ways …

@ Friko – I’d rather go to the smaller more avant-garde exhibits – it’s easier and quieter … some of the popular ones horrify me – I run around and get out … I take note – but not much more …

I’d love to get up to London again – but the thought of the train somewhat appals me … however I hope Londoners are getting around and enjoying the freedom of fewer people …

I’m taking this time to catch up on some of my posts that have been waiting for me … and I can research a little more and read up …

@ Sherry – Fons Americanus – is an allegorical sculpture – reminding us of the Empire’s ill use of other people’s countries … so it’s very appropriate for today … the water represents another liquid – not such a good thought …

@ Sandra – yes … I’ll get up to London when I can – live and learn at the same time … but for now I’ll stay here …

@ Inger – Emily Young’s works are extraordinary … she’s so talented. Yes the South Bank has really developed – the infrastructure too … tube stations etc and the various creative places I mentioned in Joanne’s comment above …

@ Donna – that’s great thank you … I’m just glad friends pop over to look at the links. Emily’s work is special.

@ Jo-Anne – thank you for checking in …

@ Anabel – I loved Glasgow when I visited … and would like to spend a week wandering around (sometime!) … and so pleased to know you get lost too … ?!

Thanks so much for visiting and being here … it’s wonderful to have such appreciative blogging friends – take care … from a very, very hot south coast – not good weather for me! Take care all of you - Hilary

Keith's Ramblings said...

I have seen some amazing exhibits in the Turbine Hall over the years, but never this one. As for the heads - fascinating! Another interesting and informative post Hilary.

Sandra Cox said...

I just noticed the shark's in the water in the Gulf Stream print. Yikes!

Nick Wilford said...

Those heads are fascinating, and what a great idea to show the geological history. Interesting take on the sculpture - it looks like the water has been drained at the bottom and the sea creatures are floundering, quite disturbing.

Rhodesia said...

Thanks for the interesting virtual tour. Apart from Buckingham Palace I really have seen almost nothing of London and I could count the number of visits probably on one hand. I do not like big cities and Paris has also had few visits though I have seen very much more of the city than I have of London. Keep well and take care, enjoy the weekend diane

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What wonderful sculptures! As I looked at them, I was thinking how nice it'd be do to visit a museum. Then I noticed your post's title. Pre-Pandemic. Ahhhhh. Figures. Here's to the day the pandemic is over, and we can once again wander at leisure through art exhibits and museums.

Take care, dear lady, and have a super weekend.

DMS said...

I always love having the links to explore more too! Lots of interesting info here. I was thinking of a different Steve McQueen- which I realized after seeing the photo. Thanks for including it!

Have a great weekend!
~Jess

Pradeep Nair said...

Not quite familiar with some of the persons depicted. Nevertheless very interesting bits of information.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Paleogeography is such a fascinating subject! Interesting take on the Victoria Memorial...thought provoking. Though Victoria Memorial in my mind is automatically linked to the landmark building of that name in my hometown! :)
Great to see you're out on your explorations. Stay safe and well.

Lynda Dietz said...

I love those sculptures! I'll need to look deeper into the fountain one. And today I learned that there is more than one Steve McQueen.

Vallypee said...

I love Emily Young's heads. Excellent! Thank you for showing us these amazing scuptures! By the way, I also didn't know there was a second Steve Mcqueen until I read your blog, Hilary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith – I agree there’ve been some extraordinary exhibits at the Turbine Hall – I haven’t visited them … but noted them. Olafur Eliasson’s ‘The Weather Project’ and Ai Weiwei ‘Sunflower Seeds’ – both those fascinated.

Emily’s heads are worth taking a walk to the south side of Tate Modern to look at …

@ Sandra – yes … the references are interesting aren’t they …

@ Nick – I love Emily’s works … she’s an exceptional sculptress – world recognised. The allegorical side of Kara Walker’s ‘Fons Americanus’ – is fascinating isn’t it … and as you say disturbing …

@ Diane – thank you … I don’t see a lot of London, but I do enjoy seeing different and interesting exhibitions and sharing them here.

@ Susan – yes the sculptures are quite extraordinary … I really should go and see more of Emily’s works in London when I get to go back … and as you say we can wander safely in leisure.

@ Jess – thanks … delighted the links give you the opportunity to look further. Yes I kept thinking I’d better point out the Steve McQueen difference … this one is really interesting – more anon.

@ Pradeep – no, I can understand you wouldn’t necessarily know who I’m talking about … but I know you’ll look if you want to learn more …

@ Nila - Paleogeography … I had not thought to think about a description for the study of historical geography – thank you … lots more doors opened.

Yes – the sculpture ‘Fons Americanus’ deserves some attention – a person’s imagination and then being able to recreate their ideas into a sculpture – always stagger me.

I guess the Victoria Memorial you’re referring to is the one in Calcutta … I probably need to look at our Victoria Memorial more carefully – now I’ve seen Kara Walker’s work …

@ Lynda – Emily’s sculptures are extraordinary – I love them. Yes – the ‘Fons Americanus’ deserves attention and then understanding …
Yes – two Steve McQueens …

@ Val – Emily’s sculptures will carry on featuring here – I suspect … she’s just brilliant. I’m somewhat surprised that everyone hasn’t realised about the two Steve McQueens … especially from this one directing ’12 Years a Slave’ … ah well – at least in this post I highlighted the difference!

Thanks for visiting all of you … I really appreciate your comments … stay safe - Hilary

Sandra Cox said...

I'm so impressed with artists like Emily that are sinking their works into the sea to protect it.
Hope your weekend is wondrous.
Cheers,

Shannon Lawrence said...

I love geology and would enjoy seeing those sculptures in person. Off to explore the links!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sandra - I agree Emily is so talented ... and I do love her idea of dropping her 'deep history time' geological heads into the sea to protect the local fishing reef ...

@ Shannon - thanks - the geology is extraordinary, as too the earlier educational posters by Yaggy - back in the late 1800s - part 1 of this series ... I hope you can look at those too ...

So pleased you'll be looking at the links ...

Take care both of you - and thanks for your visits - Hilary