The eagle eyed among you may realise that I missed out Day two. It was a lovely day spent in the company of my family and, as such, is likely to be very boring indeed to everybody else. I could, of course, have posted a picture of my lunch at Wahaca in Canada Square, Canary Wharf. This was very nice and I did, indeed prefer this meal to the first night’s. The toilets, however, were a strange unisex affair #justlikeallymcbeal
So Day Three was spent navigating the tubes (easy peasy with a contactless card which does away with all that queuing and messing about), the British Museum exhibition Celts; Art and Identity, lunch at my favourite London eatery Gaby’s Deli on Charing Cross Road and the Giacometti exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery.
Celts; Art and Identity was an eye opener. Most of us think that Celts are Irish and Scottish, don’t we? Maybe we also include the Welsh, Brittany and Cornwall. But what we think of as Celtic appears to be more of a Victorian invention than anything. Yes there are peoples across Europe, as far East as Turkey, who share characteristics that we would recognise as Celtic. For example their art is typically festooned with curls and swirls, their jewellery heavy and dramatic and they share a self defined sense of being ‘outsiders’. But they are certainly not one people. Some beautiful exhibits here and well worth the entrance fee.
Then to lunch at Gaby’s. The meat eaters had salt beef sandwich, chicken something and I had spinach pie. all wonderful as usual. I won’t mention the toilets in Gaby’s which are functional and possibly the only potential way that Jamie’s Italian could ever claim to have bested this London institution.
After lunch, over the road to Giacometti in the National Portrait Gallery. Again this was an eye opener for someone like me who knows very little about art. I didn’t even realise that he painted, that’s how ignorant I am. It was illuminating to visit this with father-in-law who is an artist and was able to explain some of the ideas and intentions behind the sculptures.
My favourite exhibit was the photograph of Giacometti in his studio with Beckett. In between them was a sculpture of a tree. Immediately, I jumped to one conclusion; this was obviously the tree in Waiting for Godot. Strangely, I find I am right. Giacometti attended a production in Paris and was less than impressed with the set so Beckett commissioned him to produce a more effective one! sometimes my ignorance proves me right! not often, but sometimes…