26 January 2013

Kings Place on a Saturday afternoon

I had been to Kings Place (just North of Kings Cross) many times previously but only during the working week and only to work; Logica (now part of CGI) occupies the top floor.

I found myself there on a Saturday afternoon as I was walking along the Regent's Canal and Kings Place was in the right place at the right time for a short rest, a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

I had no expectation of any other entertainment but I went downstairs to the gallery area anyway, just on the off-chance.

I was very pleased to discover an exhibition of paintings by Adam Birtwistle (son of Harrison) of whom, like most current artists, I knew nothing of. I likes the paintings immediately for their structure. They were mostly portraits set low in the frame against a black background with just a touch of detail that related to the subject.

This picture shows the paintings in situ. The upper of the two floors is the exhibition floor (this is one down from the ground floor) and the lower floor is where the concert spaces are. The two Birtwistle pictures shown at the top can just be seen either side of the pillar in the centre.

There were more Birtwistle paintings off to the right and further to the right there is a separate gallery which was displaying paintings by John Lessore.

I liked some of his subjects, such as the London scenes, but I found the colours insipid and none of the pictures made me pause as I walked quickly around.

Returning to the atrium area, what did make me pause on one of the soft benches there was some acapella music.

The cluster of people standing in the exhibition area were a choir who entertained us for quarter of an hour or so. I guess there was some event on as I could hear more singing when I went back up stairs for my cup of tea.

I could not end my story without saying just a little more about Adam Birtwistle's art.

This closer look at my favourite of his paintings, obviously Sir Patrick Moore, shows just how rich the compositions are.

The bold red of the shirt is a refreshingly bold statement against the blackness. In this case the black is punctuated with celestial objects.

It is a lovely picture but I am not sure that I would pay the £38k that was being asked for it.

That seems a reasonable price when compared to other paintings in other galleries, it is just that art is generally very expensive.

The tea and cake worked their magic and i was soon able to resume my walk. Kings Place impressed in that brief visit and with so much going on in the area I suspect that it will not be too long before I am back there. And not just to work either.

1 comment:

  1. When I go to Kings Place to work, I try to put my nose in one of the galleries, if only for a few minutes. The Guardian one next door to the main offices is often intriguing.

    I think the 'important' art that you find in London galleries is often terribly expensive. There is so much around elsewhere that is much more affordable and enables a direct contact with the artist. A couple of years back, I was chatting to a local artist at a exhibition of her worrk and she was saying that the Ashdown Forest conservators wanted her to do a painting of the hebridean sheep but she was never able to get a decent photo to work from. I passed on some of mine and she gave me a free print in return. I was rather proud of my little contribution.


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