Friday, 17 September 2010

Day 102: The Credit Crunch and BP Portrait Award 2010

It seems to me that the government is cutting more and more creative funding all over the place due to the credit crunch, so how are we supposed to get any inspiration around here? Can we be inspired when we don't have any money either?

Well, I am here to say YES! I spent the day yesterday visiting gallery after free gallery in London. It really is amazing how much free stuff there is to do in London. I mean, just walking around looking at buildings, people and soaking up the atmosphere is pretty inspiring.

First, I visited The National Gallery where I stared at old, old paintings of mythological scenes, aristocratic families and religious iconography. Its so cool how stories feed art and in turn, art feeds stories.

Whilst having my lunch on the steps in Trafalgar Square I watched a bazaar mechanical design piece called Outrace move around, flashing lights and making strange noises (I think it would have been a lot more impressive in the dark).

Then, it was onto The National Portrait Gallery, which had the BP Portrait Awards 2010 exhibiting. Intricate portraits by contemporary practising artists lined the walls with hundreds of people viewing them. Perhaps the funniest thing was the sight of  twenty school girls sitting on the floor in front of one painting , showing a girl with ipod earphones in. You literally had to hop over them to get past. There was also a little photography collection by Jason Bell, showing famous Brits living in New York.

On the way back to the train station (sort of) I quickly popped into The British Museum (which is massive and cannot be 'popped' into!). I only had time to look at the Egyptian collection (briefly), which was awe inspiring! I got told off by a 'guard' for touching this absolutely massive stone arm, once belonging to a Pharaoh's statue. In my defense, I had to touch it, people made that!

Check out this website which lists free comedy, art, theatre etc in London and see what you can do. There is SO much (despite the credit crunch) you can be inspired by, all for the price of a train ticket!

See what's in your local area too. There's bound to be a museum, gallery, local art/writing/dance group or something, somewhere near you.

Feel free to be inspired wherever you are!

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