Monday, August 15, 2005

The British Museum

This was a very short, spur of the moment excursion on the last day in London, right before our last evensong. I wanted to see the Rosetta stone one last time, as it may be headed back to its home country, although not if the UK can help it!

We took a look at things we didn’t have to pay extra for, and spent most of our time in the David Milne exhibition. He was a Canadian-born watercolor artist, and spent some time in the UK and US as well. In fact, he had two paintings of Big Moose and Dart’s lakes, both of which are in the Adirondacks. Dart’s Lake is the lake YMCA Camp Gorham is on, where I worked as a horse wrangler/counselor one summer! Small world…. His paintings were very interesting to see as a chronological group. If you walked along one side of the exhibit and then hopped over to the other, you could easily think the pieces were painted by two different artists, so much had his style changed.

There was also a sculptural exhibit scattered inside and out of pieces created from war debris, mostly into plants and animals. The outdoor exhibit was a walk-through garden. It was quite effective and even lovely.

Interestingly, on our tour of St. Giles (in Scotland) we saw two painted white tree sculptures, similar to the indoor tree, in one corner of the cathedral.

SG Tree of Life UP

The text of the accompanying plaque is as follows:

The Tree of Life Project

A half-tonne sculpture made out of decommissioned weapons from Mozambique's civil war is currently being shown in the British Museum. The Tree of Life was jointly commissioned by the British Museum and Christian Aid to coincide with "Africa 2005", a major series of events in London.

Inspired by this, the City of Edinburgh Council, Children and Families Department, invited schools to create their own interpretation of the Tree of Life, as a way of looking at the G8 and Africa.

Caged Beastie, an Edinburgh-based arts agency, worked with groups of pupils from St' John's RC Primary and Craigmount High Schools using toy weapons to build these sculptures.

Executive Member for Children and Families says: "The Tree of Life is an extraordinary piece of work and I am thrilled that our schools have been involved in creating their own interpretation of this sculpture. Through their involvement with this project, our pupils have been engaged in stimulating discussions around many of the G8 issues including poverty, humanity and peace".

The trees will be returned to the schools at the beginning of the next term to support and enhance the curriculum around G8 issues.

BM lizard close UP

At the base of the tree, looks like a lizard to me.

BM ceiling UP

This ceiling went all the way around in a huge circle. Visually stunning.

BM women UP

Now on the outside, these are women -- look closely!

BM tree

The outdoor tree, a huge woven piece.

BM flowers close UP

I thought these flowers on a bush were lovely. Wish I could grow them, but I have no idea what they are!


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