SELVIS members have recently enjoyed audio described tours at both Tate Modern and Tate Britain.
In place of our monthly Southwark group meeting for July we were invited to an exclusive audio described tour of Tate Modern’s exhibition Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy.
Before starting the tour we were treated to a delicious cream tea. Led by Marcus Dickey Horley, Curator of Public Programmes and Visitor Experience Manager we moved up to the exhibition space.
Marcus gave us an understanding of Picasso’s background and explained that the prolific amount of work in the exhibition were all painted in the same year spanning from January to December of 1932. Marcus chose several paintings to describe in detail, helping us to understand some of the abstract work. He also brought tactile raised images which we could follow along with the description. The images provided us with further depth to the descriptions and did not overload you with information.
SELVIS monthly Southwark group meetings are usually at John Harvard Library on Borough High Street. They take place on the fourth Wednesday in the month from 1pm to 3pm. Future dates are 26th September 24th October and 28th November.
Our next visit was to Tate Britain. We enjoyed another audio described tour, this time of The Squash, a specially commissioned sculpture exhibition.
Our tour was again led by Marcus who did another amazing job telling us about the exhibition space and giving us the opportunity to touch some of the sculptures. A key part to the exhibition is a dancer dressed in a squash-like costume. The performer has seven different outfits to choose from each day and spends time moving around the length of the gallery. We were all fascinated by Squash and were also able to touch the costume and the fabric of the outfit.
It has been fantastic to work with Marcus and The Tate for our visits. We look forward to continuing to work together.
There are audio described exhibitions at Tate Britain each month. Here are details of events to look forward to. Meet at The Manton foyer.
Monday 20th August at 10.30am for refreshments, tour starts at 11.00am
Another visit to All Too Human
Monday 17th September at 10.30am for refreshments, tour starts at 11.00am
A Common Ground: a tour of the responsive sculptures and vegetable gardens at Tate Britain which should have come nicely into harvest by mid-September.
A free picnic lunch in the garden will be provided after the tour
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Acorn and I meet Jess at Borough tube. Then we go to the SELVIS office via a corner shop to get some snacks.
At the SELVIS office building there is already a large gaggle of SELVIS members gathered there. After an enjoyable drive down, we arrive at Battle Abbey for our tour. I have a refreshing pot of tea and a buttered scone in the delightful company of Diane, Kim and Robin in the café and a nice young lady called Ashley shows us around the ancient site on this beautiful day. The abbey was built in 1070 on the site of the Battle of Hastings by William the Conqueror because Pope Alexander II had ordered the Normans to do penance for the death and destruction wrought by Norman forces during the fighting.
A visit to the shop and we’re back on the minibus to go to Bexhill. While we’re bowling along, Julia takes our orders for fish and chips and I ask for cod and chips with mushy peas. Odette also asks for a gherkin and, of course, I want one too!
When we get to the café, we all sit outside but I soon discover there’s no shade for poor little Acorn, so we move around the corner into a lovely shady spot and are joined by Odette.
Julia brings our fish and chips to our table and they’re very good. The batter on the fish is light and nice and crisp and the chips are perfect, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Odette and I dip our chips in our mushy peas with abandon and enjoy our food hugely. It’s just the right amount so we’re not too full to want to go walking along the promenade.
Jess, Odette, Julia, Acorn and I set off along the sea front in the beautiful sunshine and it’s time to get on the beach. I’ve really been looking forward to this as I’ve never been with Acorn at the seaside and she loves swimming. We walk down the few steps onto the pebbly beach and down to the water, I let Acorn off her lead and she heads straight for the lapping waves. A bit disappointingly she doesn’t go into the water for a swim but just scampers around the edge. We think she might be put off by the waves which, although not big, are coming thick and fast. Meanwhile all of us have taken our footwear off and walked carefully, as the pebbles are hard on our soft feet, across the beach for a paddle in the briny while Acorn plays in the water. Just before we walk back up, Acorn has a joyous roll on the strip of smaller pebbles with her legs akimbo. And, of course, photographs are taken.
It’s ice cream time now and I have my usual large cone with no Flake or sauce. We go back to the minibus, stopping at a nice clean disabled loo, and set off homewards.
After the sea air and very little sleep last night, I have a lovely snooze, as does Acorn next to me. Geoff drops people off at different points and it’s the end of an excellent day out, thanks entirely to Jess, SELVIS and Geoff’s very good driving.
Written by SELVIS member Rikki
Photo shows the group outside Battle Abbey
Photo shows the group on the beach
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