For a pre-Christmas expedition, my elder daughter requested not to go shopping but to the Rachel Whiteread exhibition at Tate Britain. One of the best things about living in London is the easy access to art exhibitions. It’s even better with a Tate members card which means I can get in free, take a guest, use the Members’ room and go back to an exhibition as many times as I like.
Just going into the building with its grand porticoed entrance way and high central dome. It’s also worth remembering that much of the permanent collection is free to go and see. My favourite part is the Clore Gallery which shows over 300 paintings and a vast array of watercolours by JMW Turner.
Rachel Whiteread explored the forgotten space, the bit under a chair or a table or a staircase. She used rubber, resin and concrete to make a cast of these nondescript area to draw attention to these everyday domestic objects as in the underneaths of these chairs above.
The thought provoking Room 101 is a plaster cast of a room at the old BBC Broadcasting House building, made famous by George Orwell. Whitehead was asked to make a cast of the room before it was knocked down and it shows all the scratches, cracks, old light fittings and is oddly sinister.
Its difficult to find somewhere to eat in the vicinity of the Tate so we took a quick bus form outside Tate to Stockwell to the Canton Arms, a gastropub which had long been on my list of places to go. It’s run by the people who also own the Magdalen Arms in Oxford, Great Queen Street in Covent Garden, the Anchor and Hope near Waterloo, an impressive list of names. There’s also Stockwell Continental which opened right next door in January and has an all day menu.
There’s a central bar
Cold roast beef on dripping toast xxx
Spiced orange rose wine Christmassy
Essex coast brill, chips and sauce gribiche
Old fashioned thick chips
mayo type sauce with chopped eggs, chopped herbs, capers, and cornichons.
Chicken leg, Puy lentils and rocket pesto, with whole pinenuts
No puddings but were tempted by brown sugar meringue and whipped cream