Summer London Trip 2019

WVAS Trip to London – a ‘full day’ if not a ‘full coach’

Sunday morning, 30th June, found some members of the Society, plus friends and acquaintances (who thankfully took advantage of a convenient coach to London), heading south to the Big City.

As before, Mike Alabaster had organised this trip to give members an opportunity to visit the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition. For some who had experienced previous Summer Exhibitions and who came away thinking ‘What was that all about?’ there were several alternative exhibitions to enjoy.

The journey down was trouble free and we were ‘dropped off’ outside of the R.A. at mid-day. Not wanting to waste any time, individuals headed for their chosen exhibition or lunch spot. The imposing creature-sculptures in the front courtyard of Burlington House were not exactly ‘welcoming’ but they certainly attracted attention.

This exhibition, the 251st, is curated by landscape painter, Jock McFadyen. During the recent B.B.C. television programme, behind the scenes of the exhibition, he told Kirsty Wark that he regarded the Summer Exhibition as the ‘’most serious contemporary art exhibition in the world’’. Not everyone will agree with him but it seems that, once more, the R.A. has presented the public with a cornucopia of art in all mediums. A life size model of a tiger, created in Tunnock’s Tea Cake wrappers, may not qualify as ‘Art’ for some but it takes pride of place in this exhibition. As Sally commented, she likes to visit the Summer Exhibition because it is a mix of ‘’the weird and wonderful. You see good art as well as work which is not so good – but then, it is such a personal response, who’s to say?’’ Chris added that there is always something to enjoy’’ and, having seen at least fourteen of these exhibitions, she has a pretty good idea of what to expect. The secret, she suggests, is not to take it too seriously but to enjoy it for what it is. Grayson Perry curated the 250th exhibition last year and colour and fun featured. This year’s selection reflects a more political angle; environmental issues are highlighted in one of the rooms whilst another is dedicated to animals. Sally felt that there were more ‘smaller pieces’ on show and perhaps not as much work by the Academicians but both agreed that it is still worth a visit.

I can also recommend the ‘Sorolla’ exhibition at the National Gallery. He is certainly the ‘Master of Light’!

Teresa Sands.