On Saturday, I was back in London to see Tate Britain's exhibition Pre-Raphaelites - Victorian avant-garde. I adore Pre-Raphaelite art, which seems to be enjoying a rehabilitation after having been dismissed for years. I have never given up on them, because their work genuinely inspires me. You could write a whole novel using any of their paintings as a starting point.
Being face to face with such craft and beauty really moved me. Pre-Raphaelite paintings can take your breath away and send you into a daydream you will find difficult to shake up. Such beauty in our very ugly, bling world is incredibly welcome. Art for art's sake: this is a motto I completely adhere to.
William Holman Hunt is my least favourite of the Pre-Raphaelites; he was obviously tormented by religious guilt and fever and his numerous Bible-themed paintings, if extremely well executed, do not do anything for me and do not fire up my secular imagination. It's a little bit too evangelical for me. But I have found two reasons to like him again: The Light of the World is infused with an incredible light. Then there is The Lady of Shalott. I almost fell over when I saw it. It is not a painting, this is a whole scene in motion: the hair tossed around, the threads flying across the room... You have to go to the exhibition and see the large framed painting to really appreciate its sheer power, energy and beauty.
After a walk along the Thames which provided me with yet some more ideas for my fourth novel, an Urban Noir tale set in London, we reached the ever popular South Bank centre and the BFI. We wanted to make sure we would catch "The Art of Frankenweenie" exhibition - this was the last day - and I am so so glad we did! It was just amazing to be able to see a little bit behind the scenes of Tim Burton's latest offering - I am a big fan. There were sets, videos, trailers, and some of the puppets that had been used for the movie (Sparky the dog is so cuuuuute!)
The exhibition made you understand how incredibly detailed and thought through everything was, and to be able to see all the tiny little details of the sets was a real bonus; you can never see everything when you watch a movie, as the action distracts you from the rest.
There is an excellent little article about the exhibition HERE, together with some pictures, so go and have a look.
I adore Tim Burton's universe, because it is so very close to my own. He might be considered as the "weird", "eccentric" director, but for me, he is the one I find reassuring. In Frankenweenie, he celebrates old movies, the beauty of black and white, what it feels like to feel alienated from a world you don't fit in. He celebrates brainy, intelligent, curious, creative kids. He tells children (and adults) that it's OK to be who you are, to be different, not to follow the crowd. It's fine to like books and science, not to be desperate to be popular. It's OK to have a dark side and like strange things, it is what makes you special.
And I will go and see Frankenweenie, even though it's a Disney movie aimed at children. Well, probably according to the marketing office. Us adult Tim Burton aficionados, we know otherwise.
We haven't left adulthood destroy our dreams...
On Sunday, we went to The Palace Theatre open day and had a great time... But this will be the subject of another blog!
I think therefore I write.
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