There is an exhibition at the Tate Britain which acknowledges British art’s debt to Picasso and his influence on British modern art. Sixty works by Picasso are hung with work by seven British artists: Duncan Grant, Wyndham Lewis, Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Graham Sutherland and David Hockney. They are all great artists in their own right, some of Britain’s best, but it is hard to stand up alongside Picasso, the genius. We travel all over the world to see him; his paintings still travel all over the world to be seen.
Regent Street, London. We all know the elegant curve of its Georgian facades – it’s the famous shopping heart of this city, crossing with Oxford Street at Oxford Circus. Regent Street has the huge flagship Apple Store, the famous Hamleys toy shop, and Liberty department store. It’s so crowded before Christmas that you can hardly move along its pavement. But do you know its history?
Who else grew up playing with Meccano?
Clearly artist Anish Kapoor grew up playing with Meccano, all those strips of metal you could bolt together to make the weirdest inventions, most of which would never fly, roll or even stand up. Here’s hoping that Kapoor’s latest vision, London‘s ArcelorMittal Orbit, stands up for many hundreds of years.
“I know I have lounged about the streets, insufficiently and unsatisfactorily fed. I know that, but for the mercy of God, I might easily have been, for any care that was taken of me, a little robber or a little vagabond” – Charles Dickens
Luckily for him and us, he grew up to be one of our greatest writers – Charles John Huffam Dickens, born 200 years ago
Whether we know it or not, we’ve all grown up on the writings of Charles Dickens, one of London’s most famous chroniclers. He wrote The Christmas Carol, inventing Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet to come. He wrote Great Expectations and Bleak House – who hasn’t watched those on film or TV?
So you’ve trawled the British Museum for Egyptian relics, the Science Museum for dinosaur bones and the V&A for Art Nouveau designer flair, but now you’d like to visit something a little different… London’s top-drawer museums are just the tip of the iceberg
Once upon a time the Tower of London was all about locking people in. For nearly 1000 years it has been London’s royal fortress, stronghold, and prison. It was originally built by William the Conqueror in 1080 to scare the Londoners he’d just conquered, and also to hide inside if they revolted against him. Although many kings and queens have stayed within the tower walls over history, it was never built to be a royal palace but rather a fortress, which it was until late in the 19th century.
One of Sydney’s favorite and famous sons is Bill Granger. Now he’s opened his first restaurant in London, bringing to Notting Hill some of the laid back Aussie attitude combined with the excellent food that made Bill’s so popular in Sydney.
2012 promises to be an exciting year for London. The New Year began with the familiar sounds of the chimes of Big Ben, followed by a spectacular firework display over the River Thames. But there is even more to look forward to!