30/05/2018

The past shall not be forgotten


My dear friend D has recently gone freelance, after decades in full time employment. We used to work together on the art desk of a magazine between 2001 and 2006, designing page layouts. We've managed to stay in touch over the years, and sometimes we still dream of opening a design company with our old boss and make nice things. But I digress. Scary as freelancing is, it now means we can hang out and look at arty stuff in the daytime when she's not working. A couple of weeks ago we went to the Killed Negatives exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery which D had read about (click on the first link to find out more). It was pretty brutal to see those pictures destroyed like that! Afterwards we checked out the row of houses in the third pic, one of which is for sale. Dreamhouse alert (but thumbs down to the price and location)! A week later we met up again, this time to check out Picturing Forgotten London, a photo exhibition at the London Metropolitan Archives which was interesting, and a bit sad to see. So many cool buildings and monuments were sadly torn down (and let's not forget bombed and destroyed in WW2) for various reasons. That's still happening, and for the past decade London has been drowning in boring, bland and hideous glass buildings. I mean, look at the last picture in this post! That's a real house and not a set. I know which type of building I prefer. Anyway, after looking at pictures and prints of some of the lost houses of London (I didn't take any pictures as it was very dark in there), we continued on to Dennis Severs' house (pic 5) in Spitalfields which I've been wanting to go to for years. Friends, if there's one experience you shouldn't miss if in London - this is it. The artist Dennis Severs put the house together, imagining what life there might have been like in the late 1700's. They only let in 10 people at a time, and you have to keep quiet the whole time you're there, as well as turn your phone off and not take any pictures. It. Was. Amazing. The house is lit only by candles, and you're to have the impression that the family who live/d there have just left the room before you entered it. A breakfast half-eaten left on the table, a card game interrupted, the remains of an evening of heavy drinking, a pot of fresh coffee kept warm by a candle.  I don't want to spoil it by giving away everything, but just GO. Pics 6 and 7 are from old houses near by, which are currently under threat of being torn down, so they can be replaced by 13 story high office blocks. Criminal.

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