Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and The Halcyon Gallery Private View with Lorenzo Quinn

The sun was shining gloriously as my mother and I caught an early afternoon train up to London. We had an art filled day ahead of us as we'd been lucky enough to be invited to the Halcyon Gallery to privately view a collection by Lorenzo Quinn, and even have a chance to meet the artist himself! I was incredibly excited as I've been a huge admirer of his work ever since I first saw an aluminium sculpture of his called "The Force of Nature," a stunning depiction of nature's struggle to keep the world in balance. But first, off to the Royal Academy to soak in their Summer Exhibition.

The Summer Exhibition is one of the largest open exhibitions in the UK. This means anyone can enter work, giving the selection committee up to 10,000 pieces to sift through to find the final 1000 entries! As you can imagine this leads to an interesting and varied exhibition. (Sorry for the lack of photos- I couldn't take any inside!)

On a personal level, I found the exhibition to be a mixed bag. There were some pieces I found absolutely stunning, while others I'm sure you could have found in any pre-school or tacked to fridges  up and down the country. Then again, I'm not art expert so what would I know?
One piece I found particularly fascinating however was a sculpture of a mule which, when you turned a wheel, proceeded  to draw a picture of him self. I think that anything interactive has a tendency to draw you in that bit more and this was why this sculpture stayed with me.

After we'd trundled around the entire gallery, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and headed to Green Park for a spur of the moment picnic. A lot of sushi and a lovely lemon tart later, we could be found sprawled in the sunshine, books in hand.

Soon however, it was time for the gallery viewing so we headed off to Bond Street. We'd arrived at the Halcyon some time before the main party to have a good look around at Lorenzo Quinn's sculptures before the place filled up with people.

As we were shown around, our guide talked us through the concepts behind all the pieces, which mainly focused on the forces of love and unity. I'd never seen so many pieces of Quinn's art in one place before so happily pottered about looking and re-looking at everything there. Once we'd finished our tour, mum and I popped off for a little retail therapy, promising to return for a glass of champaign later.

After a quick trip around Selfridges and trying on a couple of hats in Fenwicks, we were back. The gallery was packed with people all sipping on glasses of bubbly and munching on canap├ęs. Suddenly, we were very glad we'd gone earlier since now it was near impossible to see the art. Fortunately, the artist him self was not so hard to see and so we managed to have a quick chat with him in which he told us his female forms were modelled on his wife!

Lorenzo Quinn's work is spectacular and I cannot encourage you all enough to try and hunt down some of his pieces and see them in real life. They'll blow you away!


  1. Hey Katie,
    You won my little competition from Cannes! Can you send me an email so I can pop your gift in the post?
    R x

    contactthelondoner at gmail dot com

    1. Hey Rosie,
      Thank you very much as chosing me as a winner- have popped an email your way =)
      Also very excited you've visited my blog- hope you enjoyed it =)
      KatieJane xx