Hello from rain lashed Cornwall. Mr CW and I have headed down to visit Teen One at Uni. Before we left I whooshed round London checking out all that is new and exciting in Cultural London for Wednesday Wishes. Tate Britian has a new exciting looking Hogarth exhibition but I haven’t seen that yet, so will let you know next week.
Rooftop of the Week
Do you ever think about the roof top of the tube station as you emerge blinking into the daylight. I don’t. Next time you go to Temple Station on the Circle and District Lines don’t only think about the roof but head up to see it. What was once a fairly dismal place has been enlivened by a multicoloured artwork by Lakwena Maciver called Back in the Air: A Meditation on Higher Ground. The installation will be in place until April 2022 when another will take its place.
War of the Week
The Imperial War Museum has just opened new galleries devoted to World War II and the Holocaust. Both subjects that have been covered extensively. I confess that I was uncertain as to whether anything new could be added. Boy was I wrong. Both are like walking through lavishly illustrated history books. The familiar story of the run up to war, Churchill, Dunkirk, D Day and the rest are covered well. What is also shown is how the war progressed, what the feeling was at home, where the war was fought beyond Europe. Most of all the stories of people were told. What was it like to fight, to be left behind, to wait for bombs to drop. Up in the Holocaust Galleries the growing sense of horror of lives lost and disrupted is told in a sympathetic and sobering way. You walk out of both galleries profoundly moved and determined that the same should never happen again.
Flowers of the Week
This is the time of year to head to Kew Gardens to see autumnal foliage. While you are there make sure you head to the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art to see Zadok Ben-David: Natural Reserve. The highlight of the show is Blackfield an entire room filled with 17,000 tiny hand painted steel flowers. When you enter the flowers are all black but as you walk to front of the room and look back you see glowing colours that are painted on the reverse side. No matter how many times I tried to film this it failed. Go and see it yourself it is incredible and included in entry to Kew Gardens. You have until 27 March 2022, so you can catch some early Spring bulbs too.
Foundling of the Week
The Foundling Museum is an incredible place, both the first children’s charity and the first public art gallery in the country. It’s latest exhibition is the first to focus on one Foundling. George King, could not only read and write he wrote his life story. He was given up by his mother who couldn’t afford to keep him to the Foundling Hospital. Afterwards he found work as an apprentice to a confectioner but that didn’t work out and he ended up being press ganged into the Navy. He fought at the Battle of Trafalgar and spent a working life on both navy and merchant ships. When he came to shore unable to work he was lucky enough to be offered a place at the Greenwich Hospital for Retired Sailors. Fighting Talk: One Boy’s Journey from Abandonment to Trafalgar is on until 27 February 2022 and included in the price of entry to the Foundling Museum.
Book of the Week
Regular readers will know that I love Polly Heron’s Surplus Girls series. The latest came out last week and I have been immersed in Christmas with the Surplus Girls. This time we meet Nancy who is an unwilling pupil at the Misses Hesketh business school. She has a work placement at Zachary Milner’s fire extinguisher business but makes a costly mistake. Will it all come good, will Zachary see beyond the foolish error? Is it too late for romance for the Misses Hesketh? Another excellent unputdownable tale in the Surplus Girls series, can’t wait for the fourth and final instalment.
For more reading inspiration take a look at my Best Summer Books 2021
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Where will you wander with Cultural Wednesday Wishes this week?