Monday, June 22, 2015

The first of the summer visits - the special rooms

We make few visits to London in the summer, and these mostly regular ones.  The first this year was yesterday, to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.  We very much enjoyed this year's show, starting with Conrad Shawcross's glorious sculpture in the courtyard: The Dappled Light of Sun (illustrated above - all images from the RA site), and then the welcoming staircase.
This work is by Jim Lambie, and makes a perfect introduction to the colourful presentation of the exhibition.  There were several pieces of work which attracted me in the body of the exhibition, but first I want to describe three displays.  Two are within the Summer Exhibition, and one is in a suite of rooms alongside.
In the past few years I have become an ardent admirer of the work of William Kentridge, and one room is set aside completely for several trees of his.  The one above is Composite Tree, The Sympathetic Tree.  His drawings are on found pages, and co-incidentally the other particular display is of discovered pages.
Tom Phillips wanted to find a book that would provide him with a basis for work as rework.  He has twice altered the pages of A Human Document in the project now called A Humament.  I first encountered the initial alteration, and am always thoroughly delighted to see the individual gems that are each and every page.

Tom Phillips: A Humument P.41 Piccadilly Girl

Tom Phillips: A Humument P.154 Our Excellent Exodus
Tom Phillips: A Humument P.6 The Man as Photograph
Eileen Cooper: Trapeze II
The third display, Hide and Seek, is a separate collection of drawings by Eileen Cooper in three side rooms.  There are also works by Cooper in the Summer Exhibition.  I have enjoyed Cooper's figures for several years, and so I was delighted to find another (!) book to add to my reading list: Eileen Cooper, Between the Lines.


  1. Your post brought back memories: I used to use the Humument when I was teaching English and always found it fascinating what the students allowed to be revealed when they were applying Phillips' process to texts we were studying.

    I am hoping to see the exhibition (and the Diebenkorn which I still have not seen) next time we go to London.

  2. Eirene, I agree that what Phillips has done is a great way in to teaching poetry and all sorts of thinking about writing. I used to use advertisements in some of my teaching, but unfortunately in the early 70s I was unaware of The Humument.
    I hope that you enjoy the Summer Exhibition - the Diebenkorn, I'm afraid is over.

  3. This is a bit of a shock. Things have been very hectic with us, too much to do and not enough time. I had this idea that the Diebenkorn finished in July... I am really disappointed. My fault though, I should have been paying more attention.

  4. I know how it can be - it's amazing how time flies!