Sunday, 26 January 2014

Universal Everything & You - Science Museum

I stumbled upon this as I wandered through the Science Museum post Collider and spent ages just sitting in the darkness enjoying this. Universal Everything & You is two digital art works shown together.

A dark room with an inner screen for the interactive '1000 hands', glowing with mutating doodles submitted by visitors/participants and an outer wall showing the non interactive 'Presence' which shows dancers dancing but not as people. I think they may have worn sensors or something which translated their movement to glowing computer generated lines and patterns dancing with hints of human form.

Sometimes you can clearly see people dancing, sometimes just a twirl of pattern. I found it beautiful and soothing and watched Presence for quite a while.

On till 7th February 2014 so visit soon!


Science Museum - Universal Everything & You
Universal Everything

Collider - Science Museum

This exhibition gives the effect of visiting the Large Hadron Collider, the massive experiment that I had heard of but didn't really understand. I can't tell you I really understand it now, but I understand it better.

It begins with a video on a massive curved screen (you are supposed to feel you are in the lecture theatre with the scientists who are talking about their excitement about the experiment and finding out the results) which is a nice start but I did find the computer generated people used to fill seats in video lecture theatre a bit weird and distracting.

You then walk round a model of the experiment complete with photographic tabletops scattered with notes ad safety goggles etc which is a lovely touch! There are whiteboards and videos explaining things along the way. You then enter another large curved screen area which gives you an idea of the scale of the experiment and visualizes the particles travelling through at almost the speed of light and colliding.

The last bit shows the offices of the scientist and gives a little more information on what/why they wanted to discover.

I get the gist of how the Large Hadron Collider works and it's great to feel I learned some science, 10 years after dropping AS Level Biology and Chemistry. What I don't fully understand is why the Boson Higgs Particle (that they proved exists with this experiment) is so important and what it really means and where things go from here.

It is entirely possible that this information is explained and I missed it. Although I chatted with some cleverer people than me (my dad that day, my scientist boss the next day) and both said it was very difficult to understand even for scientists....which is both comforting and frustrating as I hate being unable to understand! I think I'll need to learn slowly for myself.

Full understanding or not, this is a fascinating exhibition and provides insight and inspiration. On till 6th May 2014.


Science Museum - Collider
Wiki - Higgs Boson
CERN - Large Hadron Collider

Beyond El Dorado - British Museum

I didn't know what to expect from this exhibition as Columbian tribes, their work with gold and the source of the legend of Eldorado isn't actually something I've thought about before but in I went to learn and was very glad I did.

The gold artifacts are beautiful and exquisitely crafted and the British Museum tells you a story, beginning with the spiritual ritual which involved putting gold and precious artifacts being put in a lake, winding through daily life, gold crafting techniques and spiritual beliefs (gold had spiritual value rather than monetary) and ending with the Spanish invasion/influence.

On till 23rd March 2014


Beyond El Dorado - British Museum

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Foreign Bodies, Common Ground at Wellcome Collection

As usual, Wellcome Collection has a fascinating exhibition for us.

Foreign Bodies, Common Ground is a collection of work by 6 artists who were artists in residence at different research facilities around the world and each artist has done very interesting and different work.

My favourite is the Fossil Necklace by Katie Paterson. Inspired by DNA research she has made a necklace where each bead has been carved from a fossil and each fossil charts the history and development of earth. There is a detailed drawing of the necklace and a video showing the inspiration and making of the necklace. I wish the actual necklace had been there but I was still inspired. What a wonderful idea! Imagine running your fingers along the would be like running your fingers across time, along the history of the planet!

Other highlights are this shadow/lightbox by Wandering Moon Shadow Theatre. The three layers represent diseased cells, researchers and rice farmers. The light shines through the layers to form a single complete image on the floor.

And the work of Lena Bui who worked in China looking at food production and the spread of disease. This image shows an ink drawing of bacteria swarming. Looks lovely though!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Macaron 2014.1

First macaron attempt this year and not too bad. They looked like macarons and tasted delicious but as usual I struggled with my oven temp and timing.

First tray that went in the oven was over browned and a bit too crisp so I dropped the temp and covered with foil. I think just the foil would have sufficed as the other trays were all too soft. I ended up pulling soft shells off the tray and leaving the middles behind.

I also had a first time problem....after 2 hours my piped mix still hadn't become touch dry! This has never happened to me before, it's always been fine after about 40 mins. Not yet sure if I did something wrong with my mix or because my new flat is extremely damp.

I feel much more confident with my mixture and piping though! Yay! Next time I hope I get my oven temp/timing correct!

Picture is of the slightly browned overly crispy ones. I forgot to photograph the slightly anaemic squishy ones. They were all plain almond vanilla macaroons with different coloured butter icing as filling.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Peter Pan illustrations by Anne Grahame Johnstone

These are my favourite Peter Pan illustrations and this was my childhood copy of Peter Pan. It was abridged (boo) and I didn't actually read proper Peter Pan until I was grown up. Likewise with Little Women.

These pictures are so pretty though and so magical. I love the clothes made of leaves and Tinkerbell's fancy little house with cobweb curtains. Happy sigh.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Picture This at the British Library

This tiny exhibition is charming but for me, frustratingly small. Only really because I love classic children's books and illustrations and felt greedy for more, more, more stories and more pictures and more information.

However it is free and worth a visit. I may even go again. It shows how different illustrators have illustrated stories including The Secret Garden, Peter Pan, The Hobbit, Paddington (original Paddington Bear below) etc.

I was disappointed that my favourite Peter Pan illustrations weren't there though!


Number 1. To actually sew the dress I started last year.

Number 2. To actually blog the exhibitions I go to and the beautiful things I see.

Number 3. To overcome my fear of running since hurting my knee over a year ago and rediscover my love of running.

Number 4. To become confident at making macarons and give other meringue-y things a go too!