At the end of the working day yesterday I received a telephone call from The Birds On My Wire, asking if I wanted to go with her on an evening stroll around Sculpture In The City, a trail of sculptures scattered around The City. I did, so I did!
It was really REALLY good fun. We met at Monument tube station and then navigated our way around the 16-18 (depending on how you counted them) sculptures. The map provided on the website LOOKED very nice, but didn't include tube stations, or most of the street names, or indicators of WHICH streets the artworks were usually on, so it was a bit of a CHALLENGE to find them all. This, however, actually made it more fun, like URBAN ADVENTURING. I do like a MAP and I flipping LOVE finding my way around the nooks and crannies of London, it was ACE!
I don't know The City very well, so was pleased to find myself agreeing with The Roads On My Route that it is a KRAZY and FUN bit of town, where austere bank buildings from out of Dickens rub shoulders with the ruins of medieval churches and ENORMOUS towering new buildings. It's like one of those stories where TIME goes ASKEW and bits of the present, past and future all end up tumbled together. The GHERKIN stood in the middle of it all, as FRIENDLY and GORGEOUS up close as it is from a distance, with others (like "The Scalpel" - what a daft name for a building) significantly LESS so. The surprise was The Walkie Talkie though. As the aforesaid Bricks In My Wall said, it looks DREADFUL from a distance, but up close it's rather LOVELY!
The ART was, as usual, a mixed bunch. Some of it did more for one of us than the other, though I think we BOTH liked "Black Shed Expanded" (a shed!), "The Black Horse" (a horse!), "'Envelope of Pulsation (For Leo)" (a chunk of granite), "Reminiscence" (a cross between a ruined wall, some rolled laundry, and a pile of tofu), and "Falling Into Virtual Reality" (er... a sort of wireframe umbrella in a ceiling with figures falling into each other). Some of them might have been more impressive if they'd been switched on (e.g. a NEON sculpture that, when we saw it, was just some curly tubes high up on a wall, so it took us AGES to find) and others just seemed a bit pointless, but HEY! that is ART!
As with MOST of these sort of things there were minor annoyances, like the map not really being much use and the DESCRIPTIONS being GHASTLY (I am sure they must TEACH "Frustrating, Pompous And Tedious Use Of Pointlessly Long Words" as approx 30% of a Fine Arts Degree), but overall it was BLOODY GRATE. We got to see some really good lumps of SCULPTURE and also had a WHALE of a time exploring a bit of That London that I didn't know very well. I would HIGHLY recommend it - but make sure you take your "A to Z"!