Looking UP

 St Paul's CathedralLondon is full of signs telling one what to do.  “Mind the Gap”, “Look Left”, “Look Right” are among the many.  Not one tells you to look up, but if you do you are rewarded.  Wren’s dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral pierces the brilliant blue sky.

Harrod's Egyptian HallVisitors to Harrod’s find a multitude of details when they look up from the Prada handbags to see the sphinx and murals of the Egyptian Hall.

Harrod's Food Halls FishSeveral rooms away the glory of the Food Halls is on the ceilings sadly since the dramatic, daily still-life of fish and shellfish were discontinued.  These Della Robbia vines and fruits gleam in the light of the chandelier.



Across “the Pond”, Macy’s on Herald Square in New York is having their flower show.  Look up and you can see the rose lady.

 National Gallery, LondonLooking up at the portico of the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, the Spire of St. Martin in the Fields is clearly visible.  I always pay homage to this spot where James Tissot (French 1836-1902) captured “London Visitors” in a charming Victorian genre scene.

 Brighton StationThe glories of most British rail stations have been invaded by all manner of modern shops, ticket booths, computer screens and other mod-cons.  Brighton Station, the end of the Southern Line, has been spared much of that.  Its original ironwork and glass roof elegantly still curves away towards London.

 V&A towersThe idea for this post came from a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum in  the South Kensington area of London.  This marvelous Victorian building houses all manner of decorative arts as well as fine art.

'28' by Omer Arbel

’28’ by Omer Arbel

In the main entrance hall hangs a 30 metre (that’s 98.425 feet to Americans) ‘28’ light pendant by Canadian designer Omer Arbel for BOCCI design in Vancouver.  280 lights, hand blown, are fashioned in a copper suspension system. It is exciting and beautiful.

 V&A Chichuly SculptureNot to be outdone by Canada, a monumental glass sculpture on loan by US Glass Sculptor Dale Chihuly hangs in the V&A’s rotunda.  Blue, green and yellow glass are fused to create this lively sinuous chandelier which is 27’ long.

Six Circles V & ATraveling down the stairs to the ladies loo, one notices these wooden struts in interesting patterns with fine blue lines.  These clearly are not structural but decorative pieces of wood embellishing the ceiling.

V&A Six Circles by Felice VariniAND stand in the right spot and look in the mirror over the sink, and the fragments become a whole installation that reveals itself to be “Six Circles” by the Swiss artist Felice Varini which was specially commissioned for the V&A in 2009.    So remember to look UP!


About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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