Words and pictures

The tagline for this blog is ‘words and pictures’. For the last couple of years, the focus has been mostly on pictures. However, in recent weeks, I’ve been writing. A lot. So this weekend was hugely inspiring. I had a couple of days in London. I spent Friday browsing the Picasso & Modern British Art exhibition at Tate Britain (sadly it ends today). The drawing above was inspired by a delicate pencil and wash style piece by Wyndham Lewis.

Yesterday, I revisited the National Gallery, and took a close look at some amazing works. In the afternoon, I went along to the British Library for the first time. What an astonishing place. The Writing Britain exhibition (which runs until September) was excellent. It looks at how literature has been shaped by our various landscapes, from rural agricultural life to modern day London. Lots of video, audio and original manuscripts on show. I loved listening to poets Seamus Heaney, Simon Armitage and Tony Harrison reading their works, and looking at original manuscripts and correspondence. More info here if that kind of thing floats your boat.

While I was looking at the exhibition, The Husband took a look at some of the Library’s ‘treasures’ which are on permanent display. From the Magna Carta to John Lennon’s lyrics scribbled on the back of a birthday card, it’s quite a collection of historical documents. Sadly we ran out of time, but I’ve already booked a return visit in the coming weeks.

Finally, because we were nearby, we went to have a look at St Pancras railway station. I admit, it wouldn’t be my usual choice of place to visit. However, I was suitably impressed by the Victorian architecture and the fabulous range of shops and places to eat inside. (I think I’d like to live in Foyles bookshop.) The station was due to be demolished in the 1960s, but was rescued and renovated. Poet Sir John Betjeman played a key role in campaigning to save the building, and this lovely statue of him stands in tribute.

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