A September 2005 trip
to London by SFPhotocraft
Quote: London has always shared top billing for theater with New York, but it did not compete with New York and Paris in the world of art. However, that is changing. London has opened some impressive galleries and art museums recently and is gaining status as a world art capital.
Attraction | "Dennis Sever's House"
I arrived by cab down a small, old street in Spitsfield. Even my cab driver was in awe of the old gas light that was still working on the front of the house. Our group gathered, and we were greeted by one of the docents. He explained a few rules, like not touching anything and to just let yourself be part of the experience. He described the house as an art installation, and that, to me, was the best description I heard of it.
There is no tour, as such, but you wander on your own from room to room. I had the same feeling I have when I go on real estate tour and am wandering around a stranger's home. This is what you are doing--snooping around in the fictional Jervis's family home. I started in the basement, where you can still see the ruins of the St Mary's Spital, which dates to 1197 AD. This is the beginning of one of the themes of the house--that generations and eras overlap and share this space. You are reminded a place outlives our short lives and is shared by many.
From here, I moved into the kitchen, with a roaring fire blazing in the fireplace, tea in the cups on the table, and a delightful smell of cooking. A live cat sat lazily on a chair. This was the warmest room in the house. Every corner was like a living still life. As a photographer, I wanted to make 100 pictures, but the house does not allow photography.
In one of the upstairs rooms was a Hogarth print of a wild party. You realize you are in this room and the party has just ended. Above the print is the saying, "Would you know art if it jumped out of the frame at you?" This was exactly what was happening around me. The art was jumping out of the frames, and you were now a part of the picture.
The group gathered again outside. Some of us where chattering about what we saw, while others pondered in silence. This is exactly the response a piece of good artwork should inspire!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 20, 2005
Dennis Severs' House
18 Folgate Street