I’ve always been a big tennis fan. I played a lot as a child and have been lucky enough to see most of the top players live. I’ve read loads of tennis books, including, of course, Open by Andre Agassi (review here). I’ve also been to the famous lawns of Wimbledon, and even got a photo with the famous trophy. So I just had to go and see Roger Federer when he was in the Nitto World Tour Finals, an exclusive tournament for the best eight male players of the year. In the opening match of the London-based tournament, he faced Japanese star Kei Nishikori. But in a huge shock, the Swiss maestro lost 7-6 6-3.
Even now, over 100 years later, the words Battle of the Somme send a cold shiver down the spine. Though any war is brutal and casualties can be heavy, the battle between the British and French troops against the Germans in northern France is infamous for the horrific loss of life. More than three million men fought in the battle and one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history. To mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, 72,396 shrouded figures have been laid out in rows, shoulder to shoulder covering an area over 4,000 square metres across the South Park Lawn in the Olympic Park, best known for being a pivotal part of the 2012 Olympics. Each figure represents a British serviceman killed at The Battle of the Somme who has no known grave, many of whose bodies were never recovered from the battlefields. The Shrouds of the Somme is a poignant tribute.
This is the spectacular installation at the Tower of London, commemorating 100 years since Armastice Day. There are 10,000 flames, which represent not just the soldiers who lost their lives, but all those who were bereaved or affected by the war. Each flame is ceremonially lit, creating a circle of light around the tower as a powerful symbol of remembrance. The lighting takes 4–50 minutes and the flames remain lit for around four hours. I really recommend you see this post from a previous commemoration.
There were so many shot from the recent Winter Lights exhibition at Canary Wharf that I was always going to include another post to celebrate the creative and colourful imagery on display. While Part 1 focused on the outdor aspect, the photographs below are from indoors. Do you have a favourite?
There are always so many great exhibitions and events at Canary Wharf. I’ve covered some in the past, including the Rememberance Art Trail and a specialist flower sculpture, as well the 2017 Winter Lights. So I just had to share my photos of the 2018 Winter Lights, starting with the indoor shots.
Along with JMW Turner, George Bellows, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne has long been an artist whose work I admire greatly. So I was never not going to see the Cézanne Portraits at the National Gallery. As you’d expect, it really was a joy to the visual senses and I hope those anywhere near London are able to see it before it closes on the 11 February. It got me thinking which of the French Post-Impressionist paintings I liked most. You can find them below. Do you have a favourite? Where does Cézanne rate for you compared to other artists?