Bankside Power Station, Blackfriars, Blavatnik, Dora Maurer, Fons Americans, Gilbert Scott, Giles Gilbert Scott, Haegue Yang, Kara Walker, Man Ray, Millenium Bridge, Old Bailey, Richard Deacon, River Thames, Sosumu Koshimuzu, St Paul's Cathedral, Tate Modern, Victoria Memorial
The next day, my train back to the West Country wasn’t until early afternoon, so Mary and I went to Tate Modern, which she knew well, but I had never visited since its opening in 2000. We went by overground (which was mainly under ground for this section) to Blackfriars Station, and it was pleasing to see that the staff at the station where we got on was taking some pride in its upkeep.
It was just a couple of minutes’ walk from Blackfriars to the gallery, and I took this photo on the way. The station platform, with its solar panel roofing, extends the full length of the bridge, and there is a splendid view of St Paul’s Cathedral over the Thames.
Developed from the former Bankside Power Station, Tate Modern is immense! It is worth visiting for the architecture alone. The power station was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, grandson of the famous Sir (George) Gilbert Scott, and son of George Gilbert Scott Jr., also an architect.
A controversial extension, the 10-storey Blavatnik building, was added and opened in 2016. The nearly residents were not pleased at the invasion of their privacy.
After just a glimpse of the Turbine Hall, (guess what it used to contain)
we took a coffee in the ground floor café, looking out over the river to St Paul’s. Right over to the left can be seen a small dome (the flying saucers are reflections of the cafe’s lighting) …
… which taken with my camera at maximum, 24 x, zoom and slightly shaky hand, does indeed prove to be that of the Old Bailey.
We had intended to visit a specific paid exhibitions, but, relaxed over our coffee, decided just to explore the building and generally wander. And there was plenty to see. For a start, the temporary exhibit, its surface made of non-toxic acrylic and cement, at the far end of the Turbine Hall, Fons Americanus, inspired by the Victoria Memorial, and ‘a narrative on the origins of the African diaspora’. Here from a first floor balcony …
… and up close to some details from the ground floor.
We took escalators up to the fourth floor, and the bridge across to the Blavatnik building, giving us another perspective on the Turbine Hall and its sculpture.
Having crossed to the new wing, I took a lift to its tenth floor, and went round the four sides of its open balcony, in a clockwise direction. It was a bright sunny day, but it was also very cold and rather blowy up there, so I did not stay long.
Returning to the bar at that level, I was hoping that this message might be accurate, specially having learned some some very depressing political news the afternoon before.
Back on the fourth floor, we decide that we would investigate some of the many galleries. This was in the corridor as we went back to the fourth floor bridge.
The three following are in a temporary exhibition of works by Hungarian artist Dora Maurer, b 1937.
We moved on.
Time was moving on and I had to get to Paddington, so we made our way down and out, deviating to a second floor balcony, and returning to a corridor seeking to entice one into one of the temporary exhibitions.
As I needed to get to Blackfriars underground, not overground station, we had decided to cross back over the Thames by the Millenium (aka ‘the Wobbly’) Bridge. From brilliant sunshine, the weather had turned icy cold, very blustery, and somewhat rainy! We did not linger, and I just managed to get photos looking upstream
Despite the art not always being to my taste, I think I should like to return to Tate Modern sometime, to, for instance, see the Henry Moore gallery, and that displaying British art from 1545 (so not solely modern).
What a place for views as well as art. I very much enjoyed the tour.
Yes. Had it been less windy I would have spent a few more minutes up there on the tenth floor to appreciate the views..
So much to see at Tate Modern, inside and around. I enjoyed all your pictures of our visit.
And I enjoyed your company!
I didn’t know there was a station OVER the Thames!
Stunning views and stunning building. In Brest, they renovated a naval industry site in about the same spirit, with shops, a library, cultural venues, keeping several huge machines. This site, Les Capucins, is accessible by an urban cable-car, which I think you would love experimenting!
Yes, that sounds very interesting.