Roman In London: where to see it

Roman Wall

As surprising as it may sound (at least to me) the Roman Emperor Claudius invaded Britain in the year 43 AD and founded London who was named Londinium.

However, the Romans settlement didn’t last long (until around 61) when the Iceni tribe, led by Bodica, stormed in and burned it to the ground. A much bigger and stronger City rose in its place, but here and here there are still some remains of that short-lived Roman Empire influence.

The original City was built inside a set of defensive walls and some sections can still be seen today.

Roman London
In the 1300 the City was still confined within the Roman Walls. Map of the British city of London in around 1300. Vectorised version of File:Plan of London in 1300.jpg by William R. Shepherd, a work in the public domain in the United States, also its home country, by virtue of being published in 1923 without copyright renewal.

Roman Wall

Roman Wall
Roman Wall

The Roman Wall was maintained until the 18 century, some of its sections can be seen on the grounds of the Museum of London, in the Barbican Estate and around Tower Hill. It now follows roughly the boundaries of the modern Square Mile. Outdoor displays of the wall stretches can be found along the thoroughfare of London Wall, towards the Museum of London.

Roman Amphitheatre

Remains of London’s amphitheatre were recently discovered in the north of the city (1888 in Guildhall Yard), and you can visit them at the Guildhall Art Gallery. The  80m-wide dark circle of  dark stone in the courtyard outside shows where the Roman amphitheatre in London once stood.

It was built in AD70 as a simple wooden structure, it’s not clear yet what was happening inside the amphitheatre at that time, whatever animal fighting or gladiators being executed, what is sure though, is that it was a place for mass entertainment as it had a capacity to host up to 6.000 people.

Roman Amphitheatre © photo by PastLondon on Flickr

Continue Reading

Obsession at The Barbican: Review

Jude Law and Halina Reijn are the protagonists in Ivo van Hove’s “Obsession”, stage version of Visconti’s 1942 film at the Barbican which I went to see last weekend and this is my review of the play.

The story is an adaptation of the 1930s  crime novel  ‘The Postman always rings twice” by James Mc Cain about a man and a married woman having an affair and the plot to murder her husband.

The scenography set is minimalistic with a modern and stylish twist, but, although well-thought and very dynamic, I’ve really struggled to imagine those described Italian ambients and scenarios.

As soon as you step into the theatre hall you’re already submerged into the atmosphere as the actors are already performing their set on stage.

You can start “breathing” and witnessing the boredom of Hannah’s life in her marriage with Joseph as she lays almost stranded in the kitchen, her mind elsewhere, her anguish in the solitude while her present/absent husband carries on his work duties. The lack of communication and respect between them is already palpable.

After a few minutes, Jude Law sets his foot onto the stage and the atmosphere gets suddenly intense as the immediate erotic attraction with Hannah sets the voyeuristic expectations high. Although the focus of the acts is not onto their passion, but more on the internal conflicts of the character of Gino (Jude Law) who struggles with a debate between his wild and free side of personality versus the desire and love for a woman. However, the possibility of a stable and  (perhaps in his opinion) boring life, makes him struggle and not able to cope.  The play depicts his shifts from pure passion to boredom with the rapidity of the blink of an eye.

Jude Law interpretation is stellar in interpreting the difficult character of the moody Gino and so is the interpretation of Halina Reijn, however, especially in some fundamental parts of the story, the abstract scenography makes it harder for a viewer to fully immerse in the play.

At Barbican, London, until 20 May. Box office: 020-7638 8891.

 

 

 

Continue Reading

The Fog at The Tate | Fujiko Nakaya

London Fog, by Fujiko Nakaya, 2017, on the South Terrace of Tate Modern’s Switch. Photo By Roman In London

 

You may have noticed a mist of fog descending on the Tate Modern’s South Terrace. If you’ve been wondering what that was, it’s part of their new live exhibition, Ten Days, Six Nights.

The new installation is from 83-year-old Japanese fog-sculptor Fujiko Nakaya, which launched officially on the 24th od March. Nakaya, who first came to prominence through her collaboration with Experiments in Art and Technology (EAT) in 1970 and has been working with water vapor for over 40 years trying to develop a system to disperse water vapor at high pressure to create a cloud of mist.

A few of her installations have adorned bridges in Bristol, the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao and Philip Johnson’s Glass House.

This particular amorphous work acts as a barometer, reading shifts in atmospheric conditions – sometimes producing a faint mist, other times rocketing out great puffs of smoke. Of the work, Nakaya says:

‘Nature controls herself. I try and let nature speak.’

This was the time in the 60s when everyone was out on the streets. So, I didn’t want to paint clouds, I wanted it to interact with the environment,” she has said.

Walking inside fog, people are suddenly confronted with white darkness, but soon they find themselves trying to use all the senses other than the visual to orient themselves.

People love the feel of fog on their skin, immersed, wet and cold, but gentle and soothing. It’s a primary experience.

 

Info: Permanent Installation, South Terrace: Fujiko Nakaya, London Fog with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Shiro Takatani

Address

Tate Modern
Bankside
London
SE1 9TG

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Cerith Wyn Evans at The Tate Britain

Cerith Wyn Evans art Installation. Photo By Roman In London

Cerith Wyn Evans art Installation. Photo By Roman In London.

A neon explosion of glow has recently been installed at the Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries. Welsh Artist Cerith Wyn Evans’s new masterpiece Forms in Space…by Light (in Time) has won this year Tate Britain Commission.

‘Cerith’s installation sits beautifully within the space, unfolding as you walk through,’ explains Clarrie Wallis, Tate’s Senior Curator of Contemporary British Art.

It seems all random when you walk in but it’s not.  As you come closer under the suspended lighting hanging from the ceiling, you can actually notice that there are patterns: cones, triangles, ovals.

There’s a rhythm to this mass of electricity. Apparently, hidden in the design are references to a host sources, from Japanese ‘Noh’ theatre to Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), 1915-23 (Noh is a traditional form of dance from Japan).  Marcel Duchamp, the father of conceptual art is also an inspiration for the artist.

You can see this installation until the 20th of August

Info:

 Duveen Commission, March 2017.

Address: Millbank
London
SW1P 4RG
Opening hours: Daily 10am-6pm (last admission for special exhibitions 5.15pm)
Transport: Tube: Pimlico/Vauxhall
Price: free
Continue Reading

David Hockney Exhibition at the Tate Britain

Firstly, thanks to the David Hockney Exhibition, I had the chance to visit for the first time the Tate Britain (which is an astonishing museum by the way) as – oddly enough –  I never did since moving to London.

Secondly, I was very curious to see this exhibition and, although when it comes to art I’m quite easily pleased, this exhibition has impressed me in a quite unique way: the eclectic-ness of his art, the colours, the subtle humour revealed in some of his paintings (made me giggle a couple of times at the very least) along with the variety of the subjects of his representations: from daily life to unusual perspectives, all caught with a unique cleverness.

This exhibition is currently displaying 60 years of works of the Yorkshire-born English Artist, and it spans from the early stage while being a student in Los Angeles to the newest works made since his return to California.

 

Tate Britain
Tate Britain. Photo by Roman In London


David Hockney was born in 1937 and is one of the most popular artist of our time.

David Hockney. Credits HuffingtonPost

 

He has frequently challenged and questioned the conventions with his works, as with the protocols of perspective or simply by playing satirically with abstract art.

 

David Hockney Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) 1972 Private Collection © David Hockney Photo Credit: Art Gallery of New South Wales / Jenni Carter

During the 60’s Hockney moved to California and set out to paint that Country. The openness of the space or the geometry of the buildings and designs of the houses.

He is truly fascinated by the colours and at the same time questions of how could a painter capture the constant moving and transparent qualities of glass or water were absorbing him.

“WINTER TIMBER” 2009 OIL ON 15 CANVAS Credits Pinterest

 

 

David Hockney Garden with Blue Terrace 2015, Private Collection © David Hockney Photo Credit: Tate

Naturalistic representations were part of the late 60′ works. A series of still lifes and landscapes enabled him to master the qualities of acrylic paints.

 

Garrowby Hill, 1998 oil on canvas, Credits Pinterest

As mentioned earlier I have loved this exhibition and truly recommend it.

Tate Britain. Photo By Roman In London

 

Tate Britain. Photo By Roman In London

 

Tate Britain. Roman In London

 

Sculpture. Photo By Roman In London

 

Details of the interior of the building. Photo By Roman In London

 

View of the Big Ben. Photo By Roman In London

Info

Dates: 9 February – 29 May 2017

Final weekend:
Friday 26, Saturday 27, and Sunday 28 May open until midnight
Monday 29 May open until 21.00

PRICING

£19.50

A Roman In London

Continue Reading

Yayoy Kusama at Victoria Miro

yayoy Kusama

Until July 30th at Victoria Miro 

Last Saturday, on a very sunny London day, I was curious to see the exhibition everyone was talking about and ended up joining – what I later defined as – one of the longest queue of my life. Talking with other people apparently, their experience was quite the same.

Why is that?  Yayoy Kusama,  a Japanese  87-year-old, is one of the world’s most popular artist  at the moment. She has worked on multiple projects throughout her career including painting, scupltures, environmental installations. She has even teamed up with fashion brands on the likes of Louis Vuitton, Uniqlo and so on.

 

Yayoi-Kusama-Airbnb
Yayoi Kusama. Photo: © Yayoi Kusama; Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo /Singapore; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York; KUSAMA Enterprise.

 

Although her work includes a variety of different projects and themes, the pumpkins, the dots and the mirrors can be described as her successful and signature style.

Kusama, as some of the most talented artists, has experienced periods of acute mental instability and she declares that: I use my complexes and fears as subjects… I am pursuing art in order to correct the disability which began in my childhood”.

 

DSC_0330
Photo by Roman in London

 

I must say that the exhibition in Wharf Road (Islington) didn’t disappoint me:it included some of her installation and sculptures, while the paintings are currently available at the Mayfair Branch of the gallery.

The first installation I went in was one of three mirror rooms, called ‘the Eternal Love I have for the Pumpkins’ which provides you with a  fully submersive experience of one kind: you’ll find yourself immersed with coloured dotted black and yellow pumpkins of all shapes and size. Apparently, she connects them with her good childhood memories. “Pumpkins have been a great comfort to me since my childhood: they speak to me of the joy of living,”

 

DSC_0333
Yayoi Kusama Chandelier of Grief, Photo by Roman in London

 

DSC_0342
Narcissus Garden. Photo by Roman in London

The Chandelier of  grief is an experience of being surrounded by bouncing lights, while in the garden you can find  Where the Lights in My Heart Go (2016),  a mirrored cube which reflects the pond in which  the silver spheres of Kusama’s Narcissus Garden (1966) are floating around.

 

DSC_0357

 

DSC_0343
Narcissus Garden. Photo by Roman in London

Yayoi Kusama: Sculptures, Paintings and Mirror Rooms is at Victoria Miro, 16 Wharf Road, London, N1 7W; My Eternal Soul Paintings is at Victoria Miro, 14 St George St London, W1S 1FE; both until 30th July

Continue Reading