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sculpture, Shakespeare and markets

I Bronze'd at the RA as it was the last couple of days - some utterly stunning, magical work let down by unbelievably crappy labelling - seriously, who puts tiny 6" labels at waist height when you've got giant wall space behind it all? The moment anyone stood in front of a sculpture, bye-bye goes the label. You could see people getting visibly frustrated at having to hunt for the label that would a) tell them what it was and b) give some rather nice context notes.

MUSEUM PEOPLE: IMAGINE YOUR GALLERY IS FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH PEOPLE. LABEL ACCORDINGLY. (there's these computer imaging programs if your imagination is seriously that crappy) NOT EVERYONE WANTS THE AUDIO.

Some utterly amazing pieces - the giant satyr, the Etruscan shadow/solstice piece that shows *exactly* where Giacometti got his influences, the 3m high John the Baptist and friends, the Chinese wine vat for parties in the shape of a ... I think it was a pig, don't quote me, the Remington piece of five cowboy riders where it looked like they were flying, (with added Remington's notes with him crowing on the technical marvel he'd been able to pull off - six feet on the floor, ten in the air. BEAT THAT.), the northern european sun disc worship pieces, the turn of the century life-size Dutch peasant who was so wonderfully, quietly dignified, an amazing bronze-marble-enamel victorian Jewess, the boar whose nose was shiny because people touch it for luck, the *gorgeous* Benin heads, the Japanese incense and oil burner (3m tall, 2m wide), the Barbara Hepworth that everyone stopped in front of and sighed 'lovely', and that's just off the top of my head. Some where you were going 'bor-ing'. Too many Hercules and centaur bloke who was carrying off his fiancée. A very static Michael and devil.

Very amusing bits - I love how people grade stuff in these exhibitions by 'so, which pieces would you nick, given the chance?' (lots of people contemplating that they could probably get the Etruscan piece down their trousers and one of the Benin heads in their bag without too many problems) Me spreading the 'a lot of classical female sculptures? the models are boys that they then stuck tits on' and the woman next to me turning round and pointing at another piece and going 'case in point, look at those hips' to her friend and all of us smirking and saying as one 'the Medusa in the first room? Definitely the Medusa.'

As ever, beyond postcards and a nice book, the RA fails on souvenir stuff. the very expensive jewellery and silk scarves are lovely, but seriously, go to Trafalgar Square, RA merchandise people, and look at what the National Gallery produces for its exhibitions. You're missing out on so much wonga in your inability to produce notebooks, brollies, magnets, cute badges, mugs, toys, and simple jewellery.

Whilst I was in there, they announced that James McAvoy was going to be playing Macbeth in February at the Trafalgar Studios, and my feed was filled with people going 'got my tickets' when I got out of the gallery. Cue me hustling it to Trafalgar Square for tickets. They hadn't released any more cheap ones past press night, so thanked my lucky stars that I found some theatre tokens in my wallet and got one for Valentine's Day. Now just waiting to see what take they're going to do on it, considering Macbeth is my utter weakness and loving the setting of Michelin-starred chef they did for the BBC Shakespeare Re-told plays they did a few years back. (McAvoy as Macbeth, Keeley Hawes as Lady Macbeth, Richard Armitage as Macduff) Seriously, the concept of the witches being binmen is one of the best choices for them ever.

Southbank market was done, presents were bought, possibly worst Gluhwein *ever* - seriously, hot ribena would've been more alcoholic and less sugary - and I managed to get mustard from the bratwurst up my nose. Don't ask. The leather bracelet bloke saw me coming. dammit. Overall quite nice. No coffee. :narrows eyes: The only problem I really have is the fact that a few years ago they handed it over to the package german market people, which means all the good food stalls went (they used to have pieminster and awesome burger places). Fortunately tastebuds rescued by the chocolate festival being on round the back of the Royal Festival Hall. Work people currently thoughtfully working their way through salt caramel chocolate covered biccies from Artisan du Chocolat.

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April 2014


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