Ever After Garden

In Grosvenor Square in London is the Ever After garden. The garden is made up of over 25,000 illuminated roses, each rose representing a person that has been lost due to the pandemic. Roses can be dedicated to a person, the cost going to charity.

From above the roses are arranged in the shape of a butterfly.

The garden was peaceful and the display felt poignant. A beautiful way to remember those that are being missed I thought.

London Christmas lights

London seems to have really upped it game in regards to Christmas lights this year. Having seen a few photos on social media my sister and I decided to go have a look around. Here are some of what we came across and liked.

Some building had lights all over, while others had a more subtle look

There were also more simple lights that I really liked, like the stars strung across Oxford Street.

The lights look really festive and seem to bring a much needed uplift to what has been another tough year for everyone.

Light Field

I visited a light art installation by Anthony James which is currently being shown at Marble Arch. It’s called Light field. I really enjoy light art, especially if creates optical effects.

Looking into the hexagonal shapes made it look like the space went on forever. There was a similar styled longer shape too. I also liked the square boxes, all placed in a uniform way. The boxes changed colour in time to some music being played, which I found quite relaxing to watch.

The exhibition is at the Mound and is free. Worth a look I think.

Local mammoths

My local borough decided to get in on the art trail idea as they seem to be quite successful. There are mammoths scattered around the town centre for you to find. I didn’t find all of them but these are the ones that I came across while out and about. I thought they were quite fun and brightened up my walk.

Gratitude statues

There seems to be a lot of art exhibitions in London this year, and I’m always up to see people’s artistic expressions. I heard about the Gratitude trail and thought the idea of decorating statues to acknowledge key workers and pay tribute to the NHS was really nice and needed, especially after all the hard work they have put in over what has been a really tough year or so.

The statues were place in the courtyard of Southwark cathedral in aesthetically pleasing neat rows.

Here are some closer pictures of some of them. Most of them were really colourful. I thought the bubblegum machine and ballerina ones were fun.

I really liked this blue and white one. It reminds me of the pattern you find on traditional English china.

I had a look around, some were amusing, and others had a lot of detail on them.

I also liked this one with the head the shape of a bottle pump, something I’m sure we’ve all become more familiar with.

It didn’t take too long to have a look around. I really enjoyed the statues and how they were all creatively decorated, and for a great cause too.

Frieze Art 2021

I have visited the Frieze art festival for the last few years and after the absence of last year’s display, it was nice to see it back. The pieces are displayed in Regents park and is free to the public.

Here’s what we saw at this year’s festival. Some of the pieces were huge and others were quite playful. I like the huge colourful panels that you could walk through. The red shape in the trees was made up of recycled bottles which I thought was a timely piece.

I think my favourite art piece on display was the cloud with lightening strikes. I just love storms and lightening.

Other pieces had more poignant messages. The mass of tangles wire was wrought from the salvaged remains of the security fence raised around the U.S. Embassy in Oslo after 9/11. The stack of colourful spheres depicted motherhood and the female body. The red circular piece allowed you to sit on it and play, I had to ask some kids to get off for a moment so I could take a picture as they were clearly enjoying themselves.

I also liked the more odd pieces. The giant pineapple was fun and the meaning of it was amusing as it was meant to be wry commentary on the ‘prickly woman’. And the monster was strange, I wasn’t sure if I liked it or whether it made me uncomfortable.

Another fun piece I enjoyed was a huge semi circle made up of colourful panels. I enjoyed looking through the different colours at the landscape around me.

I thought there were some interesting art pieces at this year’s Frieze and I enjoyed having a look, and pondering about the meaning of some of them. I look forward to seeing what will be shown for next year.

Van Gogh Alive

One of my favourite artists is Vincent van Gogh, so when I managed to get free tickets to the latest artshow in London based on his work, I was pretty excited.

We arrived on time and got checked in. We then made our way to the main part of the exhibition which was a room filled with floor to ceiling screens. The screens all lit up to start the story of Vincent and his journey of how he created his art.

I managed to find a space where I could see the screens clearly and took in the displays. The various screens showed different art pieces and quotes by Vincent, so I did do a lot of looking around.

One of the parts I really liked was when the screens all showed his blossom painting and it had been animated by showing falling petals across the screens.

The show lasted around 30 minutes. Afterwards I headed towards a small room filled with sunflowers and mirrors which was a nice touch.

There was also a space where there were easels and a video showing you how to draw like Vincent but I didn’t do this bit. I then headed towards the giftshop and treated myself to some magnets with a some of Vincent’s famous artworks.

I enjoyed the exhibition which was meant to feel immersive by being surrounded by screens showing Vincent’s work but I didn’t think it was that engaging and I felt the quotes selected romanticised the artist too much. I have to admit I enjoyed a Vincent van Gogh exhibition I visited a couple of years ago more as I felt I learnt a lot more about Vincent making him more real and it felt more interactive too.

Big Trunk trail Luton

I visited my sister who lives in Luton for the day, and on our walk around town we spotted some elephant statues. Here are the ones we found, but my sister told me there were loads more scattered about. Finding these were enough though, seeing as my objective for the visit was to spend time with my sister and her family and not go on an art trail no matter how curious I was.

I really liked the elephant with Sir Captain Tom painted on one side and a message of inspiration on the other.

I thought the elephants were really fun and liked how vibrant they were painted.

The statues are part of the Big Truck trail, and they will eventually be auctioned off to raise money for charity.

Looking for lions in London

I came across the Tusk Trail on social media and thought it would be a nice way to wander around London. There are 27 life sized lion statues dotted around London so my sister and I decided to try and find them all.

Like previous trails that have been left in years past, these statues too have been painted by various celebrates to be auctioned later for charity.

These first ones we found were around Burlington arcades. I really like the flowery lion. And the sunset scene on the other was a liked too, it made me think of the savannah.

There were also a few outside on the road nearby. I think my favourite is the ombre lion, with the colours going from orange, yellow and silver seamlessly. I really like the shiny-ness of it too.

We found some more in a church courtyard too. There were kids ticking off the lions they found on a sheet of paper they each had, which was I thought that was a nice activity.

These next ones were placed near Piccadilly Circus.

After finding these we moved towards Leicester Square.

On other roads nearby there were a few more. I really like the blue one with the scenery.

We then made our way towards Trafalgar square where we found a couple in the square itself and a few more in the area. I like the detail of the black and white with the red mane really standing out.

Last stop was Covent Garden where there were 2 more.

We found 26 out 27 as one had been removed, and we had a long but enjoyable walk around London. I think these trails are quite fun and inexpensive and something that anyone can take part in. I look forward to seeing what comes in future years.

Windy Southend

I had a few days off after Eid so I decided to take a trip down to the coast. The easiest coast for me to get to is Southend-on-Sea, and on this particular day it was grey and windy but not wet like it had been all week.

The first thing I did was walk along what Southend boasts as having the longest pleasure pier in the world, at 1.33 miles. I always enjoy the long walk to the end where there are a few souvenir shops and a restaurant.

At the end of the pier I walked around and then went in to one of the shops to look around and warm up as it was really windy out on the sea.

After having enough of being blown about at the end of the pier I walked back down to the shore to grab some lunch. Having had a sit down I was ready to venture out again. I made my way to the sea front, which it seemed I had all to myself! I found some really pretty shells as I made my way up the pebbly beach.

There wasn’t much else to do at the sea front, so feeling windswept I made my way back to the station, doing some window shopping as I went. I did come across some cool street along the way.

I always enjoy my trips to Southend, I love the long pier to walk along, and being by the coast always feels relaxing, although less so on this visit as the blustery wind and grey skies made the coast seem more dramatic than usual.