When I was at university, I used to visit London every couple of weeks for shows, gallery visits, exhibitions or for work experience. Between leaving uni, becoming really disenchanted with art and galleries and the entire world of it all, and returning to my quiet little town - I sort of forgot how interesting the city was. I went up for the day with my mum, and although we didn't really do a great deal, it just felt really good to be there again.
We had a look around the National Gallery - I made a deal with myself a few months ago to try and make the effort to see more of the collections that the London galleries and museums have (I normally only visit to see exhibitions, and forget that the galleries actually own some amazing things), so we saw the Peder Balke exhibition, which was stunning, and had a leisurely wander around some of the rooms. After that we wandered up to Oxford Street, got lunch at Le Comptoir Libonais (I cannot resist the call of lebanese food when I'm in that bit of London), ate far too much houmous, labneh and baba ganoush (both of which I really want to try making) before we spent a long time browsing all that Oxford Street had to offer..
I didn't buy anything, the weather was bitterly cold and grey all day and a woman at the train station told me I couldn't handle my coffee (lady, please), but at the end of the day it just made me really excited to be in London again. When I was at uni, it was drilled into me by completely and ridiculously pretentious tutors, that if I wasn't making artwork every second, going to every exhibition opening, doing everything possible to make it as an artist, then what was the point of being interested in art? Obviously I know this is absurd, but when you're told these kind of things daily, you start to think you're worthless if you don't want those things. I forget that you can be interested in art, just as a spectator, as a bystander, as someone that makes art and finds it really interesting, without making it, or obsessing over it..
I'm not sure why I felt the need to write this, but I did - maybe I wanted to remind myself that it's alright to just want to look at art and history and the act of viewing it to be enough. If you think you're not educated enough or you don't know enough, that's rubbish: it's alright to not care about the theory behind it, or know the artist's back catalogue... I really just want to find things in the world that I like, that make my life a little bit better and my heart a bit warmer.