ian and i both had short lists of things we really wanted to do before we left london. on my list was going back to my favourite museums and going on a street art tour in shoreditch. so in our last few weeks i saw lots of art! and that filled my soul. on each outing i brought august and eve, who were so good natured and napped in the buggy or, when they were awake, just took it all in.
before i hit up any museums, i had a morning to go to my favourite stores in london. and fortnum & mason and liberty are, in a way, kind of like museums, with such gorgeous design and so many pretty things to see. first was f&m with its incredible tea, honey, and biscuit displays:
and then i walked past some pretty scenes in mayfair…
…to liberty, with its fabulous flowers and fabrics and furniture:
i bought a few things at each shop to put in the crates we were shipping across the ocean, so that i could open them up in months to come and have some really sweet, happy reminders of london.
another morning auggie and evie and i went to the national gallery.
there’s something about walking through a museum stuffed with art that really sets my heart on fire. i felt overcome with soothing emotion as i was surrounded by creations – paintings that are truly moving. my favourite discovery at the national gallery this time was a mother-and-child painting by picasso (last photo below).
how i loved walking through those gorgeous, hallowed halls with my sleeping babies to get to my favourite part…
…the Impressionism rooms.
i was amused by the new hot items in the gift shop – make your own tie dye masks and national gallery branded hand sanitizer. ha, what a time to be alive!
next up was my street art tour, which i had been wanting to do for years and was soooo excited about. it did not disappoint … i loved every minute! we met at spitalfields market, where gorgeous rowhouses and elephant statues abound:
and then we walked a few miles, finding art everywhere! i wish i had taken notes while our tour guide told us all kinds of fascinating things about the art, the artists and street art culture. a lot of the art i would have never even noticed – because it was tiny or blended into the surroundings or didn’t seem intentional.
this is one of the most famous / popular spots for putting up sticker art in shoreditch. there are layers and layers and layers of stickers, all with a unique message, on this wall:
and this is one of the most famous street art paintings in london (of two stick figures holding hands):
(i love the “keep up art” stencil above it, and all the interesting and creatively displayed messages around.)
we found these clay faces in a lot of different spots around shoreditch. these ones mimic the faces in the stick figure painting:
we even got to see street art in progress! this spray-painter was creating something new in a back alley:
i loved this wall of faces … and remember that really famous “hope” poster of barak obama? same artist made this painting (on the right):
art hidden behind a pipe! and just allll over the streets:
the tour ended at an alleyway that has two banksy (by far the most well-known street artist) pieces in it:
i loved how the books in this window were arranged like a rainbow. and my sweet babies were so great on this adventure.
i saw lots more art on my walk back to the tube. and i know i only scratched the surface in seeing all the street art in east london.
i also got to see lots of progress made on the spray-paint art we had seen getting started at the beginning of the tour!
another stop was the tate britain. i love this museum because it’s small enough to be super digestable but also quite grand and so beautiful.
the roses outside were a great display of god’s art before going into see some art god inspired people to make 🙂
i also love how the tate britain has such a great mix of older and more modern art.
my favourites from this visit were the scene from ludgate circus, very near ian’s old office, above, and the annunciation scene (always of interest to me as we have a son named gabriel) below).
turners (my mom’s fave) and something more new and funky:
loved seeing lots of artists and art historians appreciating and imitating amazing art.
eve smiling and august sleeping became a theme of my pictures of the twins on our art outings 🙂
i loved this wild installation in the main hall of the museum, and i’ll forever love that gorgeous spiral staircase…
scenes from the walk and then tube ride home…
my last museum stop was a place i’d never been – the wallace collection. the stunning art collection there is housed in a stunning building and i loved wandering around for a bit. i was able to do this outing all by myself which was a treat 🙂
i biked to the wallace collection and home and will never forget the crazy concoction of feelings i felt as i cycled through the city on one of my very last days as a londoner – a lot of sadness and a lot of gratitude wrapped up with a lot of other, some indistinguishable, emotions.
seeing lots of art was really a soothing balm to my weary heart as we prepared to leave our london home. so glad i got to go to all these places in our final weeks.