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Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2013

raGorgeous day to visit the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, at the Royal Academy on Piccadilly.  Lovely Daughter #2 and I have meant to go to this for a few years now – every time we see the Culture Show run up programme on BBC2, it feels like summer has properly begun.  But this was the first year we had managed it.

It was well worth a day out, as it only costs £10 to get in, and £6 for 12-18 year olds. Under 12s go free, but to be honest if you manage to steer an under 12 year old right round the place you deserve the free entrance, as it’s a lot to take in.

My favourites as follows:

Cows in a Churchyard – Mary Fedden

Earthbound. Bucolic. Flat. Alive. From the section devoted to the late Mary Fedden.

Dreamcatcher – Marilene Oliver

Beautiful installation of transparent rings forming a body, suspended over a luscious bed of feathers.

The Fountain of the Lights/Water and Light/The Organ Fountain/Spring at Milton Lodge – Jennifer Dickson

Don’t know how this effect is achieved, but a set of floral/water prints washed with a grainy nostalgic tint. My absolute favourite. Really doesn’t come across as well in the linked picture.

256 colours 8 bit – Ekkehard Altenburger


One of Lovely Daughter’s favourites – 256 coloured squares, but sort of cut into the paper to give a 3D/windowed effect. How could your inner geek not fall in love with this?

Huang and Lu – Paul Huxley,183,AR.html

Says Yellow in Chinese on this picture. There’s another one that says Green. But where are Red and Blue?

Chalna The Girl Mailing by the Postbox – Dae Hun Kwon

Very fab. Completely striking close up – the way the shadow is painted onto the surface. In fact, the dark shadowy effect, produced when the room is strongly lit, is remarkable. Could be a futuristic episode of Doctor Who.

In the Metro photo above you have the added bonus of seeing the mangled-sled-in-a-crash exhibit (that’s not what it’s called, but it’s what it looks like.)

Somerset House West Wing – Eva Jiricna

Photo on a lightbox. Had slightly fallen down when we passed it, but great atmosphere of how an empty lit building can look eerie and imposing.

Metamorphosis – Margaret Barrett

Caterpillar made of plastic bottles and wool, arranged so that it is climbing the wall. Handy inspiration next time your child’s primary school teacher sends them home with the task of “make a sculpture out of a reclaimed object”. So glad I am past that stage in my life.

Kloris – Zaha Haddid

Gorgeous shiny Zaha Haddid installation, placed at the end of the exhibition.  I really wanted to touch it and sit down on it and be part of it.  In fact, I would put it in the garden of my fantasy house and I would sit on it and be part of it all day long.,1052,MA.html

Julian Opie Maria Teresa 1

Creepy beautiful, blank Pop art style woman seemingly made up of all detached parts.

Megalomaniac – Petros Chrisostomou

Mock up of a huge tumbling mane of blonde hair against a high ceilinged marble hall, complete with fireplaces and ornamental ceiling

A Modern Hallucination – Juno Calypso

Photo of corpse(?) in bathrobe lying on back across bed with head hanging over the edge. All I can say is that I have been playing too much of Facebook’s Criminal Case.

It was a lovely day out.  My only complaint is that the Illustrated Guidebook contains hardly any of my favourites – but I guess this is more a reflection on my taste than anything else…

Lovely Daughter outside the Royal Academy…ra2



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