In what seemed like an endless drizzly, damp Spring I had forgotten how wonderful a London summer can be! But this weekend was the perfect reminder.
After eating lunch al fresco at my favourite Italian restaurant in Notting Hill, my boyfriend and I wandered up to Kensington Gardens and had an ice-cream and read our books, lying on the grass. When the sun started to sink a little in the sky we headed to the Serpentine Gallery for a quick look at the Wolfgang Tillmans photographs currently on show. I think photography, and arty photography at that, has become so democratised, that the bar is now so much higher for professional photographers- we’re so much less easily impressed, we expect so much more… and I have to admit that on the whole I wasn’t that excited by his work.
The exception was this beautiful, aqueous abstract print, which stretched in a dream-like expanse across one of the gallery walls:
However, the real highlight of my day was yet to come! Since the tradition began in 2000, every year a pavilion designed by the likes of Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry has seemingly magically appeared in front of the Serpentine Gallery.
This year the pavilion has been designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel and we have all been teased with computer generated images like this:
But when I walked past yesterday I was delighted to watch the nuts and bolts of its physical construction underway. I suppose that’s partly what I find so compelling about architecture- the combination of dreamy artistic vision and the matter of fact engineering of the physical structure itself. Watching the pavilion being put together was strangely entrancing. This year I will look at it in a new way…
The pavilion opens on the 10th of July.