Welcome back to my Fishink travels in London. Right next door to the House of Illustration building, is the Central St Martins site. There was an exhibition of students work from the MA Fashion course, featuring some rather weird and wonderful outfits.
My first glimpse of the Shard was from the platform at London Bridge, you can also see the other array of famous buildings like the Walkie Talkie and the Gherkin.
I followed the Thames and discovered the colourful Borough Market which is currently celebrating 1000 years of trading in Southwark !
I had a lovely outdoor breakfast at this pink and red cafe, and found the food stalls in the market to be very impressive.
This Fish stall (above) and restaurant (below, top left) called simply ‘Fish’ also caught my eye.
I wandered a little and discovered the spookily narrow and darkened, Clink Street and the notorious Clink Prison Museum. It’s dated back to 1144 and the name ‘Clink’ seems to have been attached to the prison in the 14th century. One of the most commonly argued derivatives is that of the sound of the blacksmith’s hammer closing the irons around the wrists or ankles of the prisoners, although the Flemish word ‘klink’ meaning ‘latch’ (perhaps referring to the latch on the gaol door) could also have influenced its attachment. Whatever the etymology, the prison subsequently bequeathed this name to all others, resulting in the development of the expression, “to be thrown in The Clink.”
Such a fabulously warm and sunny day for wandering along the bank of the Thames, bridge spotting and sight seeing.
I next came across The Globe Theatre , a reconstruction of the first Globe Theatre in which Shakespeare worked. They were unable to build on the original site which is partially covered by listed Georgian buildings and Southwark Bridge Road. You can however see the original site which is about 200 metres from today’s Globe, and is marked by a plaque and information panels.
The gates hosted an array of weird and wonderful beasts and symbols presumably mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays.
And a fundraising Shawn the sheep, who presumably wasn’t !!
A little further on I went to the Tate Modern, (which I’ll talk about in my next post) and saw these lovely David Weidman cards.
The Bankside Gallery , next door to the Tate, had a great exhibition of watercolour paintings by well known artists like Mark Raggett, Richard Bawden and (a new name to me) David Brayne.
Further along the Thames, there was a huge inflatable to promote (of all things) an Australian liquid breakfast drink called ‘Up and Go’. People were scrambling through the obstacles underneath, then climbing on top and running back to the end where they’d hurl themselves off, into a pit of squishy, inflated blocks to cushion their fall.
Across the water sat the Dazzle Ship and some info about the newly ‘dazzled’ HMS President (1918) and the history of World War I naval camouflage, and its connection to avant-garde art.
Another fortunate encounter came in the form of Gabriel’s Wharf, described as ‘ an arty enclave offering design-led shopping, from jewellery and ceramics, to fair-trade furnishings and affordable artwork’.
In particular, I fell for the Norwegian delights of Nordic Nicnac and the charming owner Karine Gulliksen, who not only opened her dream shop in January this year but who also sews the children’s clothing and knits the woollen hats too !
I was particularly taken by the design and layout of the shop, having that eye for quality and style that has become synonymous with the Scandinavian countries. The beautiful purchase I made there (of the vase below) was made by Isabella Lepri, an Italian ceramist who works from her own studio in north London. It compliments the heavy blossom that is abundant at the moment, just perfectly.
More about my London travels on Monday.