Art and Literature Treasures

“The journey of the soul involves not time and place.”

Among a collection of eccentric modern art, these words appeared in a poem on one wall of the Tate Modern. After going on a walking tour of London’s south bank, we got lunch at the Anchor and visited a museum I’d been dying to visit after seeing it featured on a travel video.

From outside, the Tate Modern is intimidating in its size alone. Inside, it has four stories of quirky installation art, famous paintings by Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol, and works made from different pieces of household objects.

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As you walk from room to room, some of the pieces actually take you by surprise. One piece undoubtedly took me by surprise. I was walking through the museum and came into a completely dark room. The people ahead of me slowed down, obviously hesitant (I’m pretty sure it goes against human nature to eagerly walk into a pitch black room). I started bumping into people as we all inched into an unfamiliar room. After standing there quietly in the darkness, a woman appeared digitally on a screen. Three seconds later, the hazy, white figure disappeared.

In this case, the emotions of excitement and minor anxiety lasted longer than the actual “art” itself. As I was walking out, I wondered if the artist was trying to elicit these emotions. The ghost (my best guess for the hazy figure) could have easily been projected onto any wall in the museum, but the artist chose to make people walk into a dark room to get to it. It was so fascinating. I love art that is strange, unique, or unexpected and if an artist can create something like that, I’d give that person two thumbs up.

So two thumbs up for the Tate Modern!

My feet have never walked so much as they did on Sunday. After exploring the south bank, we walked through Piccadilly Circus, Soho, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, just to name a few vibrant places in London. The sun set and most of the lights along the Thames turned on, creating a beautiful, scenic walk.

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But despite yesterday’s marathon exploration session, my feet took me to the British Library this afternoon. A ten minute tube ride took me to the massive building I’d been so excited to visit. First, I visited the gallery that held handwritten originals of famous works like Handel’s Messiah and Beatles lyrics. They had illustrated Bibles from different countries and Shakespeare’s plays from when they were first introduced to the public. I loved seeing Jane Eyre. It’s such a famous work, but on the page they had open, an entire paragraph is crossed out. I don’t know why, but it’s fascinating to me to think of Charlotte Bronte scratching out a paragraph she’d written. Even the most successful writers had their doubts about their work.

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