The journey commenced in the idyllic grounds of Chelsea School of Art. Along side the critically acclaimed Tate Britain; surrounded by pockets of suburban life and encased in a built up metropolis
The journey led us through quaint side alleys to royal cobbled streets. From concrete jungles interlaced with charming scenic parkland.
With both the Serpentine (Pavilion & Sackler) gallery being housed in the grounds of Hyde Park the setting is quite befitting; Hyde Park is the largest of the Royal Parks. commonly known for its famed Speakers Corner; with the concept of free speech it only seems right to throw free / public art into the mix. That’s where the Serpentine Galleries come into it.
Both the Sackler and Pavilion gallery are adjacent to traditional style Georgian buildings; this only magnifies their differences, where traditional meets contemporary. The Sackler and Pavilion structures in themselves are quite conspicuous to there surroundings; but in ways its as though there trying to blend into the landscape. With their fluid and linear structure; which seems to hug every dip and crevices in the physiognomy of the landscape; although it has obviously been placed, it appears as though it has been their for year.
On my visit to the gallery’s among all the critically acclaimed and renowned artists and their work’s which are temporarily housed there; their was all but one of whom’s work truly struck me as having a fluent correlation between that of the its situe and the aesthetic of the outside environment. It was the works of Cerith Wyn Evans.
with his use of man made, fabricated structure depicted through his use of text and the organic decadent forms created with the branches of the tree; Evans work creates a perfect ying and yang. Although the text is very structural in appearance it is at root as an organic form as the tree.
“how does it seem to you know…….. does it seem to be persisting”
The use of the natural and unruly form/ material such as the tree within the establishment blurs the boundaries of the inside and outside. With works such as Smiljan Radic’s Pavilion situated out side of the Gallery, it only seems fair for nature to take a place within the gallery.
Evans work seemed to correlate with nature on more than one occasion, the image below depicts what appears to be iridescent tree like structures extended upwards towards the sky. The placement of these structures gives off an almost futuristic like forest; although as beautiful as the pieces were I can not help but fell somewhat saddened; as thought the tree like structures were almost a desperate attempt to recreate what was just on the other side of the wall.
Throughout my journey through Hyde park something struck me as particularly strange about this area; and it had been troubling me for the duration of the trip. It was only as I were leaving that it struck me. Considering Hyde Park is situated in the heart of the capital encased in a metropolis like shell, the sky line was surprisingly clear and free of the clutter of sky scrapers and cold ridged like structures, just a clear roaming free sky. Heard to believe that I was actually in London and not some sort of country park in Yorkshire .
This concludes the events of the first day and the journey 2184 steps taken.
A journey of 9873 steps from Chelsea to The Freud Museum
Once again the journey commenced in the idyllic grounds of Chelsea School of Art. Passing through yet more suburban streets much like those that I passed on the previous day.
The walk to the Museum was pleasurable, with a clear sky and a warm breeze it was most defiantly a good day for walking. All though the majority of the expedition to the Museum led us through the very heart of suburbia I was still some what shocked to see the actual house in which the Museum is housed in. When I think of Museums the first thing that springs to mind is large grand buildings, marble, clean white coulomb like structures; much like the other critically acclaimed Museums in London such as ‘The Natural History Museum’ and ‘The Science Museum’ both of which are particularly grand buildings and quite rightly so as this is just the presumption that something great should be housed somewhere equally as great. However upon arrival at the ‘Freud Museum’ this was not the case, all thought the building in its self was not particularly as grand as previously conceived, it still how ever was a beautiful building in its own right.
The situe for the Museum to me was really rather befitting that the work be housed in the home of the man himself Sigmund Freud. My now previously conceived idea of what the Museum should look like no no longer stood as appropriate but far-fetched and deluded.
“No one who, like me, conjures up the most evil of those half-tamed demons that inhabit the human breast, and seeks to wrestle with them, can expect to come through the struggle unscathed”. SIGMUND FREUD, Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria
For most of Freud’s loyal followers , the one thing that we all wish to lay our eyes upon, is lay bare for all those who know of ‘The Coach’ to behold . With the adorned fabrics and throws along with that timeless smell of age and knowledge (dusty books basically) its hard to not fall in love.walking down the street and along the road in which the house/ Museum is suited, its hard to believe that the very place in which I was standing was once homed to the founding father of psychoanalysis.
One question I was eager to answer prior to my arrival at the Museum was; ‘How do people act or how are they encouraged to act in the space’ and also ‘ why might the Museum be situated in the chosen place of its situe’,
Firstly the people that I saw out and about up and down the street just seemed like you every day run of the mill family with their young children and push-chairs. so I defiantly have to say that the behaviours of the people are not out of character.
A Journey of 4172 steps from Chelsea to Speakers Corner
Although I have travelled to Speakers Corner many a time, on this particular day I visited I got lost trying to find my way. By the time I arrived there was only one man packing his table away, I recognised him from previous visits; he always preached about the Quran and how it was simple a book that had been misunderstood and misinterpreted. Much like other religions their are always a select minority which misinterpret the intention of the Bible & Quran and take the contents of them to the extreme. The small minority of people which do this are the ones which give a bad name to these religions; resulting in the persecution of others faiths. This seems to be the main topic of discussion on the occasions which I have attended.
Unable to record my own footage of Speakers Corner, I found a rather interesting selection of footage taken from debated at Speakers Corner.
The atmosphere of Speakers Corner when in full flow is really rather empowering and releases a sense of participation throughout the crowds. How ever like the footage above shows in parts, a select few people abuse this sense of free speech to interrupt and make a mockery of those engaged seriously in the debate . It was interesting to see how people acted and how they were encouraged to act in the space, I think from what I have seen on my trips to Speakers Corner; when people hear the words free speech they automatically think arguing and getting your point across weather it is right or wrong, because it is yours.
I always find it interesting the fact that Speakers Corner is out side mainly because when I thing of a corner I think of a corner within a building. However with Speakers Corner being out side it give the participants a sense of freedom, not constricted by four wall but out in the open free. This almost give it a feeling of a rally or demonstration, a feeling of you being part off a bigger picture.
To end here are a few quotes on free speech which I found of some interest: “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” – George Orwell
“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” – George Washington
“The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. In the long run it will create a generation incapable of appreciating the difference between independence of thought and subservience.” – Henry Steele Commager
“This is slavery, not to speak one’s thought.” – Euripides, The Phonetician Woman