From Clapham Common to Euston, and another Premier Inn, for my last night in London. A spot of shopping in Oxford Street, to begin. My decade-old key wallet (having been put through the washing machine more times that I’d like to recall), had finally fell into disarray. (The objective correlative.) I bought a replacement. If I’m sensible, it may outlive me.
From there, I headed for St Paul’s Cathedral to attend Said Eucharist at 12.30 pm. The service took place under the dome. The priest’s words soared upwards in a plume of reverberation. Astonishing!
I attended the Anni Alber’s exhibition at Tate Modern for a second time.
Rarely do I feel the urgency to see a show more than once. But the work embodied more ideas and implications than I could take on the first occasion. At a point in her career, she shifted her sensibility from utility weaving (things to keep out the cold, acoustically baffle, and walk on, etc.) to pictorial weaving (objects for aesthetic speculation). However, the exhibition, by its nature, turns all her output into the latter. This is inevitable, but not a little problematic. Before leaving, I visited the Rothko Room: one of the art world’s truly sacred sites:
4.00 pm: I returned to the hotel to take respite before launching out, gig-bag in tow, to Limehouse, where I’d be strutting my stuff that evening. The venue was Husk. It’s a kind of cafe-cum-meeting place-cum library run by Morphe Arts: unpretentious, welcoming, and comfortable. I was reminded of the NPR Tiny Desk environment – a music performance series for which I have the greatest enthusiasm.
Having set up my rig, the audience, organisers, and I ate a delicious curry, which had been prepared by one of the School of Art’s alumni, the artist Sarah White. It was an occasion to get to know one another informally. Usually, I receive only a lukewarm cup of tea and a broken biscuit, if I’m fortunate, before public lectures. I felt spoiled.
I delivered the same paper as at the Visual Theology 1 conference in Chichester, last year. However, the performance element was different on this occasion. I constructed a newly prepared composition entitled ‘Beth & Bill’, through performance. It went well. And so it should’ve. I’d rehearsed it often and tested my equipment rigorously, so that I could enjoy the delivery confidently.
The audience fielded intelligent and searching questions. I’d several solid conversations with members of the audience towards the end of the evening. The majority would appear to have been Christians who either worked professionally as artists, or were students at local start schools, in London.