London 2012: Ideas for Visitors (and Residents)

It’s still raining, but at least it didn’t do so on St. Swithun’s Day.

Thankfully, London has plenty on offer for intrepid travellers or residents of the city during  downpours, and yesterday we were fortunate to have lunch with friends from Japan and also an impromptu visit to Somerset House on the Strand.

As ever, our friends are determined to provide an exceptional education for these fortunate young people – clearly showing that their approach to learning isn’t limited to books or IT or indeed to remaining in their own country. The development of social skills, confidence, collegiality and cooperation are as significant as the factual learning that takes place on trips around the city. To allow small groups of young people above a certain age to travel freely, unaccompanied by adults, is admirable – and highly desirable. It should be an experience that every young person has. We constrain and hinder our young people in their development towards independence when parents and teachers are too risk-averse.

It was lovely to see our friends again, and we were delighted to hear their news, share our own, and enjoy the generous and thoughtful gifts they gave us; such a pleasant and endearing custom.

We live in a wealthy city – and not just in a material sense. It has a wealth of experiences it can offer the visitor and also the resident. What’s more, to the surprise of many visitors and also residents, many of the experiences on offer are still free of charge, thanks to the abolition of entrance charges some years ago by an enlightened government that decided that access to culture should be available to all, paid for through general taxation, regardless of visitors’ ability to pay.

Too frequently, we hear or read about exhibitions taking place in town and don’t make time to go along. As we were already in town, we decided to practice a little of what we talk about, and use our time to enjoy cultural pursuits. We don’t advocate life-long learning just for the sake of it: we like live it too.

The first exhibition we visited yesterday was a celebration of 50 years of the Rolling Stones. Back in 1963, Mick Jagger apparently gave the group a couple of years before he thought they would disband. Luckily he was very much mistaken, and the collection of carefully chosen photographs exhibited in the East wing of Somerset House provides a subtle insight into the half century of their existence. Keith Richards said that when Mick starts singing and they strike the chords on their guitars or beat on the drums, they become one. The camaraderie and caring was there in the photos.

For anyone interested in music and photography, this is a worthwhile (and free) exhibition.

http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/rolling-stones-50

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If you haven’t been to the Courtauld Gallery then we suggest when you are next in London you would do well to visit.

http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/about/index.shtml

It’s a beautifully intimate museum, and all the more so for the freedom that the staff give to the visitor who really wants to get close to the works of art displayed. Just as our Japanese friends were learning in various locations around this exciting city, so too were we: looking at the exquisite and varied painting styles of the great masters of Monet, Manet, Renoir and Seurat, as well as Gaugin, Picasso, Rubens, Leonardo and so forth.

In such a small museum, the eclectic sets of drawings, paintings and sculpture seem all the more brilliant. Displaying so much creativity over so many centuries in such in intimate setting is quite overwhelming.

Today, we’re sharing some of the photographs we took.

Viewing and reviewing is a very personal thing, so what we have chosen as highlights may be quite different from those of another visitor – but what a joy to be able to take photographs, and return to the pictures back at the computer, along with an option to visit  informative websites.

This week has provided memories of bygone Rolling Stones concerts, plus memories of our time in Japan, and memories of places we’ve visited in France that are so beautifully triggered by the paintings of the Impressionists.

Memories and dreams.

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“I love above all the appearance of people who have grown old without breaking old customs” – Cezanne

Bar at the Folie Bergere (detail) – Manet

The Coast at Gravelines (detail) – Seurat

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About 3D Eye

Gary Foskett and Clare Blackhall are educationalists, writers and consultants. We work with schools and other organisations who share our vision of how schools, businesses, etc should work in the 21st Century. We also run courses and contribute to conferences - speaking about our three dimensional model of intelligences and how schools, colleges and universities can develop the full potential of all their staff and students. We also offer consultancy for businesses and public sector organisations to support staff training and organisational change and development. For more detailed information read our blog at https://3diassociates.wordpress.com/ or see our website at www.3diassociates.com.
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