After an early morning wakeup, we trekked halfway across town for an 8 AM train to the Middle-of-Nowhere, Hungary. Arriving at the small town of Gyöngös at 9:30, the first thing we saw off the train was a Hungarian farmer in his horse drawn cart, accompanied by a bicyclist holding on for a free ride.
20 minute walk across the town to the zoo, and we found ourselves playing with 3 sleepy lion cubs! Perhaps not the most beneficial way to spend the first real day of my project, this day marked the final day of my trip, during which my camera took 1600+ photos.
I anticipated spending the day in the Natural History Museum, but, after breakfast, a maaaassive queue of school children in safety vests axed that idea. Instead, I did 30 minutes of sketching at the V&A and called it quits. There happened to be a bust of a pianist-turned Polish PM, so vaguely fitting to my project theme.
So, to fill my now-empty afternoon, I made a pilgrimage to my first of TimeOut’s 10 Best Hot Chocolates in London. To keep myself occupied, I made sure to continue my photo-editing task while imbibing in a decent cuppa. I’ll just say that it takes quite a long time to comb through 1600+ photos.
At 1, I headed to the National Portrait Gallery for the Man Ray exhibition. It wasn’t a massive show, but I was surprised to discover that so many photos I’d seen before were taken by him (Le Violin d’Ingres, James Joyce, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Sir Thomas Beecham (see photo – from http://irom.wordpress.com/2010/05/ ), Picasso, etc). The Beecham photo is actually one of the more boring compositions (very traditional and plain), but I think it’s interesting to find out when two such influential people collaborate.
Negative points about the exhibition would mainly be that there were many tiny photos that were too high to see properly. Many walls had frames above frames, so the top set had glares that made it nearly impossible to see the tiny images. There had to be the maximum number of people there at the time I attended, as well. It was very crowded, which almost made me feel rushed. It was interesting to overheard other peoples’ discussions and comments on the photos. The overriding comment seemed to be more of a question as to his “solarisation” and “Ray-o-gram” techniques, neither of which were described, much to my dismay.
I liked the chronological organisation of the photos, which meant there were also divided by the location in which they were taken, and stage of his career. Paris, New York, Paris, and Hollywood sections provided clear descriptions of Ray’s life and work, making it one of the more interesting exhibitions I’ve recently seen.
I especially liked the comparison of Ray’s depictions of his muse and lover, Kiki (and other later muses/lovers), and the comparison to how painters recorded or depicted their own muses. It would be interesting to research various artists and their muses, comparing artists who worked in different styles and media.---
With July deadlines on the horizon, I began filling out postgraduate programme applications today. Central St. Martin's alone is 16 pages, plus an additional CV and project proposal. CCW is still linked, and the application thankfully covers my top 3 programme choices. For anyone who is wondering, those choices are likely (in order) Chelsea for Fine Art, Camberwell for Fine Art, Wimbledon for Drawing. Those, in addition to CSM, will hopefully provide me with at least one open door for the coming year.