Sherlock Museum & BFI Book Store

I haven’t done a lot of light sight-seeing this week so today’s up date will be a potpourri of little things that’s happened.

Once again I have entered the National Poetry Society’s poetry competition. I have entered regularly during the past years but it always comes to nothing. This year it was a good way to take some time to write something new, as I realized that I don’t write as much poetry as I used to. Deadline is on the 31 of October and winners are not announced until February.

I finally finished the book about Mindfulness that I have mentioned in previous updates. It was very inspiring and I think it was a good subject to be reading as I made my move to London. I have found both comfort and inspiration on days when moving to London was not fun at all. One of the key elements in the book is that everything will pass even feelings and perceptions. It’s a useful thing to remember when you’re having a shitty day. Next book will be Kahlo by Andrea Kettenmann about the life and paintings of Frieda Kahlo.

One of the reasons why I don’t get a lot of reading done right now is all the free magazines and newspapers you get on the tube each week. There are two newspapers and a flow of magazines that are handed out. A lot of them are really good too, which is why I end up reading them instead of my book on the way to and from work. I suppose it has its ups and downs.

On my visit to the National Gallery I picked up another book with letters written by Vincent van Gogh. I am looking forward to reading it. If you have never read anything by van Gogh you should. Especially when you find passages where he describes places and paintings he’s done – you don’t have to see the painting. He describes it so well. And of course, his thoughts about life, painting and artistry, is really interesting. And now I have seen his paintings in real life… It was a happy day!

Talking about books, I visited the British Film Institute the other day. They have a book store. Oh, what a book store! I felt like a kid in a candy store. Loads of classical films on DVD and books about everything and anything you can think of that revolves around film. Times like that I wish I was I millionaire with lots of time to spare so that I could just go mad and buy all the books I wanted and go home to read them all.

Last but not least, this weekend included a visit to the Sherlock Holmes Museum. I do love Sherlock, especially in Connan Doyle’s writing or in the shape of Benedict Cumberbatch. The museum though, offered more of a light experience for me than an Ah-Sherlock experience. The museum was great for seeing what a Victorian home might have looked like and there are some nice, old glass luminaries in there. Most of them impossible to get a good picture of but I do like glass with patterns etched in that give a shadow pattern on the walls and ceilings.

Also include is a picture of the Old Vic Theatre. Very romanticized theatre in my mind, but what do we like the lighting of this building? I can’t really make up my mind. You certainly notice it but does it go with the old exterior? Food for thought…

My collection of freebie magazines

Luminarie at Sherlock Holmes museum

Luminarie in Sherlock’s bedroom

Old Vic theatre by night


Queen’s Walk, Bridge of Aspiration and The Royal National Theatre

This week I have managed to tick off two of the must-see Speirs and Major installations that I’ve written about previously.

The Queen’s Walk stretches from Westminster Bridge along South Bank and to Southwark Bridge. It’s only a very short bit of the walk that has the nice S+M lighting with the blue and white light bulbs in the trees. It’s really lovely though. It’s a nice walk, where you can stop at Shakespeare’s Globe, Tate Modern, The Millennium Bridge, Royal National Theatre and London Eye, with lovely views across the Thames of the city centre. I do love the blue twinkles of light in the trees as you get to Royal National Theatre.

Talking about National Theatre, it is an ugly-looking but strangely appealing building. I like it a lot. There are so many twists and turns to that building that you would never get tired of it. There is something new to discover around every corner. And the exterior lighting is really nice too, in the evening. Lovely spaces inside!

After I got a bit lost last night (didn’t end up where I thought I was going), I had the chance to see the Bridge of Aspiration at sunset. Amazing! Such a simple structure, in many ways, but so mesmerizing. And the lighting is very much in accordance with it. It is fairly simple yet it is appealing and brings out the shape and structure of the bridge. I was not disappointed to see it. Actually, I could hang around there a good while just looking at it.

Last but not least, I finally took a picture of O2 at night. I go past it every day and I still forgot to take a picture. I still don’t have a good picture. I am just as amazed every day I get to see it. Makes my day – every day.

Queen’s Walk, with blue and white lights in the trees

Queen’s Walk, South Bank

Queen’s Walk without the lights in the trees

The Royal National Theatre

The Royal National Theatre seen from Waterloo Bridge

Bridge of Aspiration, Govent Garden

Bridge of Aspiration

O2 by night

O2, Jamie’s and V&A

Moving to London proved to be too busy and stressful to be able to update the blog but now I’m settled and hopefully there will be no more long gaps between updates – not until I move back…

First update and I have already seen so much I’d like to share. First up is the O2 arena. I have always liked the dome. The architecture and shape is appealing and it does make a mark on the landscape, whether you like it or not. I think it looks really cool from the outside and now that I’ve been able to go inside, it is a cool-looking building inside as well. And I love the pattern on the facade on the nearby building. The light plays with the shiny facade which makes the building constantly change. I forgot to take a picture of O2 in the dark but it looks great in the evening with its blue high-lights.

My friends took me to lunch at Jamie’s Italian at Covent Garden. Much a beautiful space! As always, the restrooms are worth a look, but most amazing are the little cubicles downstairs. The shadow and light pattern in one of them is just lovely. The staircase is also worth noticing. Not only does it have a mad, large luminarie as focal-point, it also has wall lights in an irregular pattern that give a nice atmosphere.

I also found nice lighting at Victoria & Albert Museum. Some really artistic stuff but also some nice use of natural light. As a lighting designer, I suppose I ought to focus on the artificial lighting, but I love good use of natural lighting. Let’s be honest: that’s what we all want – natural light.

Inside the O2 Arena

Inside the O2 Arena

Building outside of O2

Restrooms at Jamie’s Italian

Light play in cubicle at Jamie’s

Staircase lighting at Jamie’s

Glas artwork illuminated with spotlights at V&A

Luminarie installment stretching several floors at V&A

Glas stair balustrade at V&A

Natural light fill this space at V&A