The other day I found myself, serendipitously taking an impromptu trip down the Thames on The ‘Tate Boat’ from Tate Modern to Tate Britain when re-reading a text, I realised I was at the wrong gallery! Having seen the Damien Hirst-spots-decorated, state of the art catamaran ferrying people up the river since 2003, I was really pleased to have the chance to travel in this quick, cheap (£4.50 with Oyster card) way for the first time and take in some of the outstanding scenery along the way, including stunning views of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. If you haven’t already travelled this way I really recommend it as fun alternative to playing sardines on the tube.
The journey only took about 15 mins and despite my detour I arrived on time to meet my friend and her 2 year old daughter, Daisy. It’s a good year or so since I was last at Tate Britain and I was pleased to find the first piece we saw was David Hockney’s portrait of his parents from 1977 which I instantly recognised as one of his, having studied for a short time at Bradford College of Art where he trained, I am very familiar with, and love, his clear, realistic style and use of vivid colours. The Tate is also the proud owner of the largest of Hockney’s works: ‘Bigger Trees Near Warter’ 2007. An enormous painting made up of 50 canvases, measuring 15ft by 40ft (4.6m by 12.2m) it was impossible not to be awe struck by this amazing feat. We also saw another work on a very large scale, this time a towering knitted sculpture: Pyramid Piece, inspired by a rock he stole as a young boy on a trip to Egypt and years later returned to the pyramid of Cheops in Giza.
On walking round it you get a sense of how his mild guilt chipped away at him and the peace he gained from returning it. There is also an accompanying video documenting his return to the pyramid. The free exhibiton, Art Now: Pyramid Piece and Retrun of the Pyramid runs until the 10th of April.
© Sabina Lucia 2010