Things to do in London for October Half Term
Enjoy a London break without the crowds this October half term as we round up the best activities in the capital for families.
7th August 2020
Created by the artists, The Connor Brothers are fictional characters who as teenagers escaped a secretive Christian cult in America where they were brought up deprived of any information outside their commune. Overwhelmed by the outside world, they would share what they discovered about the modern world with each other through a series of notebooks and sketchpads which they then turned into works of art. It was their process of ‘trying to make sense of the world’.
Although the artists sold their work and became successful with this backstory, eventually it became a hindrance so they revealed their real identity. In fact, you’ll find the artists are based right here in London.
Their work is humorous and “explores the boundary between truth and fiction, and raises questions about how we construct meaning from experience,” says critic Hubert Weinstein.
In The Athenaeum, you’ll spot a few pieces by The Connor Brothers which we think matches our whimsical personality perfectly.
Kristjana S Williams, originally from Iceland, moved to London to study graphic design and illustration at the world-renowned Central St Martins. Inspired by nature, she creates intricate, vibrant pieces of artwork by layering ‘nature upon nature.’ Think botanicals, animals and plants.
Kristjana’s art is displayed right at the entrance of the hotel so you won’t miss this colourful welcome to The Athenaeum. You can also find Kristjana’s work at The Victoria & Albert Museum and Penhaligons perfumeries. She also recently designed the album artwork for Coldplay’s ‘A Head Full of Dreams: Live in Buenos Aires and Live in Sao Paulo’.
Similarly to Kristjana S Williams, Ysabel Lemay is inspired by nature and creates photographic montages that pay homage to Mother Nature and all her beauty. Her pieces are made by a process she calls ‘Photo-Fusion’ where she takes hundreds of individual photographs and stitches them together to make one seamless composition.
In her pieces you’ll find birds, bees, flowers, trees and animals of all kinds. There is a sense of surrealism about the artwork, but every piece is full of life and we love to admire the intricacy of this piece in our restaurant.
This photograph was taken in 1994 in New York City to promote ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ and it perfectly captures a slice of 1990s style and glamour. Joanna Lumley is pictured in character, swigging from a bottle of Stolichnaya vodka, with the city laid out behind her.
Donated to our restaurant salon area by the owners, this piece provides the perfect backdrop to our afternoon teas in particular. Be sure to order a glass of ‘Bolly’ next time you’re in, and raise a glass to Patsy. We’re sure she would approve, especially after visiting us to see the artwork for herself.
David Arky creates x-ray photography of inanimate objects. Found in the lobby, these photographs are both striking and innovative.
He explains: “100,000 volts of electricity excite the x-ray tube as wavelengths pass through its subjects on their way to the film that lies below. My training never quite prepared me for the moment that I would make my first x-ray of an inanimate subject. The discovery of revealing contours and layers not yet examined by the naked eye unlocked a secret and intimate world that fascinated me.”
You’ll find several of Bridget Davies’ chic and somehow effortless watercolour paintings on display around our hotel, recalling the glamour of the 40s and 50s.
The artist describes, “that classic ageless beauty expressed by the fashions of the time holds a fascination for me, managing to be refined and elegant but with its own uniquely flirtatious undercurrent.” This is certainly reflected as these light and fun illustrative paintings bring some glamour to our walls.
Originating from Melbourne, La Pun is now based in Tokyo which inspires much of his artwork as seen in his use of Japanese anime cartoons and comic text. Each of his pieces reflect pop culture and are a juxtaposition of East and West – Japan and America.
He uses a range of materials when creating his art, this particular piece of a Dom Perignon spray can is a hand cut stencil painted with aerosol onto cradled wood.
Born and bred in London, John French was one of the city’s top fashion photographers in the 50s and 60s. As well as working with the most famous models of the time, many of the women John photographed went on to become well-known society figures because of his work.
As well as The Athenaeum, you can find John French’s archive of work at The Victoria & Albert Museum.
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