Art

London-Art-Galleries

This is a long overdue post and one that is still worth writing because there is still time to pop into Pradasphere at Harrods.

Prada at Harrods

But in case you don’t make it to the 4th floor of Harrods by May 29th 2014, here are some snapshots to give you a taste of the fabulousness of this Prada exhibition.

Prada at Harrods

Prada at Harrods

The exhibition is divided into sections akin to the Natural History Museum with the first area to explore being Origins.

Prada at Harrods

And as you make your way around this space, which is normally known as the Georgian Restaurant, you discover the evolution of the Prada brand.

The whole thing is really quite amazing and I love the original Prada artefacts on display …Prada at Harrods

Prada at Harrods

Prada at Harrods… as well as these beauties which give you a chance to browse past editorials. These books are especially stunning and if you have the time to take to look through them, I would suggest doing so. (Unfortunately, I arrived at the countdown to closing time and so attempted a quick flick through.)

Prada at Harrods

Prada at HarrodsOf course, there are also accessories and clothes on display …

Prada at Harrods

Prada at Harrods

Prada at Harrods

Prada at Harrods

Prada at Harrods

Prada at Harrods

… which include the beautiful dress from The Great Gatsby.

Prada at HarrodsThere is also a Prada timeline which gives you details on landmark dates as well as the names of artists, which the Prada Foundation has nurtured over time.

Prada at Harrods

They include, Sam Taylor-Wood …

Prada at Harrods… Anish Kapoor …Prada at Harrods… and Laurie Anderson.

Prada at HarrodsThere is also a screening room which shows short films by Prada. I didn’t have a chance to see them this time round but it gives me a reason to pop in again.

In fact, this exhibition has something for everyone which is testimony to how influential Prada has been over the years in the arts and in the case of the Prada Transformer, architecture …

Prada Transformer… as well as food, with the Marchesi Café. You can read about my lunch, here.

Marchesi Café at Harrods

The whole exhibition was a revelation. I walked in thinking I knew what to expect and I walked out with layers of knowledge which were all a complete surprise to me. This is a great exhibition!

Prada at HarrodsHarrods, 87-135 Brompton Rd, London SW1X 7XL.

Here is some exciting news for art fans in Chelsea! There is a new exhibition opening in SW3 which will bring exclusive works by Dave White, Jessica Zoob, Marc Quinn, Polly Morgan, Blek le Rat, Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst to the area.

Jessica Zoob, Midnight Waters 2

Highlights of the exhibition will include original works, including an exclusive Great White oil painting from Dave White’s upcoming LA show, Apex, as well as Limited Edition works by Marc Quinn, Takashi Murakami, Hirst and ‘Godfather of Street Art’ Blek le Rat.

Dave White, Great White Shark

The success of Loughran Gallery has spread across London from Notting Hill to Shoreditch and from Haggerston to Battersea as well as the Southbank. So it’s probably a wise decision to not miss out on Loughran Gallery’s arrival into Chelsea, which will continue through spring from 18th March to 5th April 2014.

And where will the gallery head next? Follow them on Twitter to find out.

Loughran Gallery, 7-9 Tryon Street, Chelsea, SW3 3LG.

1. Visit the Michelin-starred Chinese dim sum teahouse Yauatcha for lunch or afternoon tea.

Not only to try the limited edition desserts: Red Macarons filled with mandarin ganache and mandarin pâte de fruit as well as the Red Petits Gateaux, which are jasmine mousse filled with a honey panna cotta centre, caramelised mandarins and sesame brittle. But also because …

YAUATCHA AND HARVEY NICHOLS TO CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR

… each guest at Yauatcha will receive a red envelope containing vouchers for fashion and beauty treats, along with a bespoke Chinese New Year cocktail created by the Yauatcha and Harvey Nichols bar managers. The cocktail is also available at the Fifth Floor Bar.

Eight special golden tickets will also be given to guests at random, containing lavish prizes such as meals and cocktail masterclasses at Yauatcha and makeovers at Harvey Nichols.

2. Head to the White Horse pub in Parsons Green for Burns Night supper. Each of the five courses will be matched with a Brewmeister beer. You can see the full menu here.

3. Catch the last weekend of Daumier, 1808-1879, Visions of Paris at the Royal Academy of Arts. London Evening Standard describes the exhibition as “An exciting and astonishing exhibition, an aesthetic boxer’s blow to the heart.” More information

4. If you’re a Hobbs shoes fan, hurry to the Hobbs three day sample sale from 24th until 26th January 2014, at The Music Rooms. Here are the opening times as well as a list of other sample sales at the same venue.

5. If you love music soundtracks and fancy a nostalgic evening of live music locally. The Pink Singers will be performing A Night at the Movies at Cadogan Hall on Saturday night from 7pm. You can book your tickets here.

To commemorate the death of William Turner who died on 19th December 1851 at his home in Chelsea, Nika Garrett from My London Tours has written the first guest post on King’s Road Rocks. I met Nika recently at a private viewing at the V&A and most recently for a coffee on the King’s Road. When talking to Nika, I realised that even though I had grown up in Chelsea and still live here as a new mummy, there is a lot I don’t know about my own neighbourhood. So let me hand this post over to Nika. And for a glimpse of the types of stories that lie within Chelsea, please read on …

At 10am on 19th December 1851, Joseph Mallord William Turner died in his home in Chelsea. It was a foggy morning and yet just before his death, the sun managed to break through the fog to shine on the face of the man who was to become known as “the painter of light.”

Turner and the Thames in ChelseaTurner spent his last years living anonymously at 119 Cheyne Walk in a very modest house. In fact Leopold Martin, son of the painter John Martin who also happened to be living just a few houses away was far from impressed when he visited: “the house had but three windows in front and was miserable in every respect, furnished in poor fashion.” He also recalls that an old woman served them bread with porter (dark ale). That old woman was probably Sophia Booth, Turner’s landlady and his loyal life companion during his last years.

Turner assumed the name of his landlady and insisted on being called Mr Booth. Local boys called him “Puggy Booth” and the boatmen dubbed him “The Admiral” as he had a habit of carrying his telescope with him. Turner spent most of his time watching the Thames from his first floor room overlooking the river. He also climbed up to the roof and watched the dawn and sunrise from there. A special wrought-iron balustrade was installed to prevent him falling from his favourite viewing point.

Sometimes Mr Booth and Mrs Booth would venture across the river to Battersea fields. It would often be local boatman Charles Greaves who would row them across the Thames. Later at night Greaves would wake up his neighbour and painter John Martin if the skies looked particularly stormy. Several years later Charles Greaves’s sons, Walter and Henry, would row another painter: James Abbot McNeil Whistler. Once on the other side of the Thames, Turner and his loyal Mrs Booth would walk to the Battersea church where he would watch the sunset over the water from the vestry above the west door.

It was Turner’s priority to protect his secret life in Chelsea. His official address was the house he owned in Queen Anne Street, Marylebone. There is a story that after a dinner party he once attended, he was helped by his host into a cab. The host asked what address he should he give to the driver. Turner’s clever reply was; “Tell the fellow to drive to Oxford Street and then I’ll direct him.” In fact, it was only a letter that the landlady of his official residence found in the painter’s coat that provided the clue to his Chelsea address where he was traced to just the day before his death.

Turner and the Thames in Chelsea

Turner’s house in Chelsea survived and a plaque commemorates the famous painter. However, the reach of Thames that Turner and later Whistler so much admired has changed dramatically. The old wooden Battersea Bridge that they knew was replaced by Joseph Bazalgette’s bridge in 1890 when Whistler was still living in the area. 16 years earlier the embankment, while providing the solution to the sewage problems, swept away many riverside inns and houses. And yet, if you come to Chelsea or Battersea to watch how the Thames and its bridges are transformed when the sun sets down, you can still feel that magic of the bygone Chelsea that Turner aka Mr Booth must have felt back then.

Quotations in this post after Thea Holme’s “Chelsea” and John Richardson’s “The Chelsea Book; past and present.”

For bespoke tours in Chelsea please contact at nika.garrett@mylondonwalks.co.uk. You can also follow Nika on Twitter, here.

There are currently two interesting exhibitions; Turner and the Sea at National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and Whistler and the Thames at Dulwich Picture Gallery.

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