If you find yourself in London and have nothing to do until Rugby practice, I suggest you go to one of the free museums in the city like I did. This week, I chose Tate Modern, one of Britain’s international art galleries.
A quick tube ride and I was there, mind wide open, ready to take it all in. I went alone, I took my sweet time and I loved it.
Art is subjective; no one loves every piece and there’s the ongoing joke that, “My kid could have painted that.” There’s even a book in the giftshop in response to that comment. Yes, it’s hilarious.
One thing that is less subjective is the fact that Tate Modern is a wonderful gallery. Every person who visits London should visit spend a few hours here…
Here is why you should go:
First off, as a student I’m in love with the fact that the gallery is free. It makes it easy to go for a few minutes (or a few hours). The experience is worth the price of admission.
There are three floors full of the best artwork – I was able to see art from Picasso to Pollock. Even if your not really into the paint splattered, abstract style there are other types of art right around the corner. From print to video, you’re bound to stumble upon something that you like or at least makes you see the world a bit differently.
And if you still can’t get into all that “nonsense” – it’s really entertaining to just watch people take in art. That was half of the joy for me. I loved to notice people sitting, starring and digesting what they were looking at.
It’s also right on the River Thames, just making the gallery that much more lovely. When I went on my visit, I took time to myself to walk along the river just outside the entrance.
Here is why you should go alone:
It’s pretty obvious I enjoyed my visit, but I think a huge reason for that is because I took the trip by myself.
Walking through an art gallery is not a race; it’s not timed and it’s all on your own pace. That’s why you should go alone – at least the first time. I loved that I was able to stare at one sculpture for five minutes and breeze by some exhibits that didn’t interest me in five seconds. I was on my own time.
I also think going alone allows you to form your own ideas and judgements about what you’re seeing. You don’t want your sarcastic friend tagging along, making some remark about the naked lady, permanently ruining whatever that painting meant to you.
While wandering through Tate alone, I came up with one painting that was my absolute favorite, if only for the description the artist provided – “the lines symbolize how things fade into eternity…”
If I went back again, I would probably change my favorite painting and I would probably leave before the four hour mark, but I would say it was a Monday well spent. I even found a little piece of home…