Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Tate Modern is my Umbrella and Sick Bed

I got caught in the rain with no jacket or umbrella when I was walking down the South bank towards the Hayward Gallery. I had my heart set on seeing the Annette Messager exhibit, but I decided to seek shelter at the Tate Modern instead since it was closer.

I was curious to see if any major changes had been made in the museum's collection display, which is free for the public to view. There were a lot of the old stand-bys that I remember from three years ago but there were a few new additions too. I was feeling a little queasy that day and just wanted a dim, relaxing environment to be in and was hoping to sit in the Rothko room to recover a bit. I was, however, sad to see the Rothkos were replaced by Viennese Actionism. Lots of work investigating viscera, bodily fluids, and aggression. Just wasn't the day for it. There was also a room projecting a bunch of Paul McCarthy's performance pieces. I usually like the ludicrous and grotesque nature of his work, but I could only endure so much with my bellyache. I'm sure if I stayed any longer I would have conceived an impromptu, performance of my own. It would have been called, "Involuntary Discharge".

There were some great additions to the contemporary painting area though! There was a beautiful piece by Ellen Gallagher that was so complexly layered with paper and paint. The generosity of material and the attention to technicality made me really excited. I felt that it reinstated the significance of aesthetic pleasure and tactility in art. It made me want to go home and make stuff. Additional paintings that I enjoyed were pieces by Raqib Shaw, Chris Offili, and Michael Raedecker.

To quell my illness I sat down and began to draw. My Dad's theory to curing ailments, when I was growing up, was a combination of art-making, Coca-Cola, and tylenol. Sick days from school were spent on Dad's prescription in front of the tv. So, I drew some people waiting by the museum entrance, a couple watching a film on Max Ernst, and even Louise Bourgeois' Maman! And sure enough it worked!

Canal Adventures

I just recently got a bike and the weather (up until today) has been pretty lush and Springy, so I thought it was prime opportunity to get to know London better. There are some great canal routes around East London that windup and down from Walthamstow Marshes to Limehouse Wharf.

This is a really pleasant cruise and great reminder of the actual green spaces that do exist this manic metropolis. Further Northeast you go, the more pastoral it becomes. There are wooded areas, stables, and football fields. Now all I got to do is get myself a set of watercolours so I can break out some plein-air action.

Forget about London and art, I'm baking!

So, I've spent the last month settling down in my swinging London pad. Been dragging things off the street to furnish my burrow and finding little time for my ol' sketch book. Don't get me wrong though, I have still been busy creating little things here and there. This cake for instance!

This cake was made in celebration of my pal Sade's big 2-4 and for the birth of the 5 kittens in the house. It's a vegan, lemon, coconut cake with a fresh strawberry filling. I surrounded Mama cat with 24 kitty-faced, jaffa cakes. I wanted to sculpt the cake a bit more but alas I'm no cake engineer and the head kept on slumping and the cake kept on falling apart. I have to give mad props to Cupcake Queen, Lyndsay "Coco Cake" Sung for the cakey inspiration.