Quicksand at Dairy Art Centre, Rachel Whiteread at The Gagosian and Platform 9 3/4

Saturday was an insanely busy day. How did I manage to visit a vintage market, two art galleries, Platform 9 3/4, and still make it home to Hampshire for 4:30?

I'd heard about a couple of free exhibitions in London and, conveniently enough, they were within a 10 minute walk of each other. Perfect!

The first I visited was Quicksand at Dairy Art Centre. Dairy is a brand new gallery that only opened last week and is kicking off with an exhibition of John M Armleder's work. I have to admit, I hadn't heard of Armleder before, but it looked like my sort of thing.

The first thing to report on with Dairy is that it's like a secret cave. It's hidden down a little offshoot of a sidestreet, so I walked straight past it at first. When I did locate it, there was a big red skip with mattresses outside. Not in a modern art way, but in a I'm-the-only-person-here-and-I'm-a-little-freaked-out way. 

Once I approached the gallery entrance, however, it was a different story. The yard in front is used for sculpture, such as this awesome face. 

I really love the texture of it. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any information on it, so I don't know if this is an example of Armleder's work, what it's called or what the medium is. It's a shame. 

The entrance into the gallery is pretty swish, with a mirrored wall. There are mirrors absolutely everywhere in this place!

When I entered, the two girls working there were really friendly. The first one assured me that photography was permitted, which made me very happy! I have to say, it was a bit eerie as I was the only one in there, and very conscious of the fact that I was so exposed. 

The first room held Light Pile III which I liked a lot. We all know how I feel about light as a medium. 

Moving into the second room, I was confronted with Global Tiki. What I really loved about this gallery, similarly to The Hayward Gallery, is that you could get really close to the art and walk around it and underneath it. The walls were adorned with Armleder's paintings, such as Convallaria Majalis.

I love the texture and the use of glitter. Again though, there was no information on the works, so I didn't really know what I was looking at. On the way out, I discovered that there was a pile of information booklets next to the door, so it was my fault, but it would be nice to have the information there with the work. 

What I found really interesting about this gallery and exhibition was the slight unease that I felt being there. Armleder's work is reminiscent in places of Duchamp's ready mades, so I wasn't sure if I was looking at his art, or had just wound up in the storeroom.

Maybe that could be intimidating for some, but I found it fascinating. It poses that question that I love so much- What qualifies as art?

Bidding farewell to Dairy, it was time to head for the Gagosian gallery. One of the things I love most about London is ending up in unfamiliar places and spotting the quirky details of the city. 

Amazing! I love how you can see what the advertisement was before this one. 

Possibly the UK's poshest Travelodge. 

I liked this because a) BC are my real-life initials, and b) because I see this same graffiti from the train when I head into London. It's interesting discovering it from street level.

Unfortunately, I was not a fan of the Gagosian. Much like Dairy, it was a very small, quiet gallery but it had none of Dairy's welcoming environment. When I spoke to a member of staff, he was polite (I can't fault him on that), but cold and aloof. I had planned to buy a book but I was put off by the atmosphere so I quickly headed off. It's a shame as I'm sure the Rachel Whiteread exhibition would have been fantastic in a different setting. 

I intended to head back to King's Cross underground station, but I couldn't resist a quick stop off at Platform 9 3/4. I visited in September (yep, September 1st. That's how cool I am), but it has since been developed. Now there is a guard who manages the crowd. When I heard this, I thought it was a bad idea, but actually he was very funny and gave tips on getting the best photo. It's definitely a great improvement and gives a real party atmosphere. 

Around the corner, there is also a new Harry Potter shop. It's pretty blooming awesome. It's like being back in Florida. They were playing the music and- I can't believe I'm going to admit this- I actually got a little teary from the excitement of going back this year! 

Believe me, though, it's beautifully designed. 

I mean, it's real, right? Witches and wizards do need to stock up on wands before going to Hogwarts. Right?


  1. You always go to the most awesome places! I like that glitter wall. :) And the Harry Potter wand shop.. :D
    xoxo Aimee

  2. ah wow i need to visit that harry potter shop! reading this has definitely made me want to make the effort to go and do more things while i'm living in london.
    your photos are always so awesome!

    1. I lived in London for 3 months a couple of years ago and I never got out and did anything there haha! I wish I had at the time!


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