Saturday, 3 October 2015

Doing the Lambeth Walk

We did get to the Tate for the Barbara Hepworth yesterday evening but both ended up coming to the same conclusion - which was that Hepworth's work is really meant to be seen outdoors. The larger pieces have holes or shapes cut into them that are clearly meant to frame something, and the shapes are smooth and organic.
There was also a film showing of Hepworth sculpting in her garden in Cornwall and you could see how right her work looked under the Cornish light, and how wrong by comparison in a white walled room in a gallery.  

It also seemed a shame that her smaller, obviously very tactile work (wood burnished like conkers, granite smooth as sea pebbles) had all been shut in perspex boxes. Perhaps because they are so tactile and people might be more than usually tempted to touch them. It flattened them though. They weren't at their best. 

I shouldn't complain really, my aunt is a member so I got in free. 

I went back to the Tate this morning, partly because I was thinking I might go to the Sensorium (but in the end I just stood under the dome listening to the birdsong and then nosed at the lower ground exhibition about the building of the Tate) and partly because I need a birth certificate and Lambeth Registry Office is temporarily located in Vauxhall. 
It is also, it turns out, closed on Saturdays. Not that it matters, I can get a birth certificate online. Going up there was just an object for my walk, like Virginia Woolf's pencil in Street Haunting.

Vauxhall is changing. Not exactly gentrifying either, despite the buildings shooting up. It's faster and more absentee-tenant than that, although round the back there are still cafes and parks and the City Farm. 

I gravitated back to the river as usual and walked towards Lambeth Bridge to take the long way to the Tate. 

Then I saw these and crossed the road to get a better look:

Noticed this down a side street:

and while taking a picture of that (standing in the road as you only can at the weekend) noticed this as well:

Why there is a pacman ghost on the side of that pub is more than I can tell you. 

The road is Lambeth High Street by the way. Perhaps at some time it was a bustling thoroughfare with shops?  I can't find any pictures that suggest it though.

Since I was in town anyway I took the tube to Oxford Circus and walked down to see Hepworth's angel - it's actually called Winged Figure but I've always thought of it as an angel - on the John Lewis building. Again, it's not a thing you can imagine looking it's best indoors. 
Unfortunately I couldn't get a decent shot myself without inconveniencing a hundred other pedestrians but more information is available here

And then, via Mount Street where Jack Buchanan has a blue plaque I've never noticed before, Victoria and Vauxhall again and home. 

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