Tag Archive: Natural History Museum


Exhibition Road

Natural History Museum, London

Natural History Museum, London

We knew it would be busy at the museum with it being half term but we were not expecting the crowds to be quite as big as they were. The queue was so long that they took us on a tour of the grounds including garden areas we did not even know existed let alone seen before. Most of the queues was for the dinosaur exhibition which we have visited a couple of times before but this time it was not on our itinerary.

Our destination was the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition which features its winners and finalists. Naturally we were not permitted to take any photos so you will have to take our word for it when we tell you that some of the pictures were truly stunning. I can see why the overall winner got first prize but, for myself, I did not enjoy the sight of one fox carrying the bloodied corpse of another. True to life, “nature red in tooth and claw” and all that, but not pretty.

After lunch we wandered down Exhibition Road. This street made the news recently as an experiment in pedestrian/traffic management. There are no kerbs and all travellers are supposed to share the same space. Think of a pedestrianised street down which everyday traffic is allowed to travel: bicycles could and did go anywhere, for instance. It sort of worked in that it slowed everyone down. Meanwhile we came across this sculpture…

"When Soak Becomes Spill" by Subodh Gupta

“When Soak Becomes Spill” by Subodh Gupta

It is supposed to show a drink poured out and over flowing (think of a fizzy drink being poured into a glass, bubbling up and over). It was made from various steel buckets, pots and pans.

close up of "When Soak Becomes Spill"

close up of “When Soak Becomes Spill”

You can see it on the corner between the Victoria and Albert and Natural History museums. The sculpture was said to represent a comment on the wastefulness of consumer society. I thought that there was a resemblance of the ancient notion of a cornucopia: a horn of plenty. That represented good harvests, more than enough for everyone, a generous blessing. How did we get from generosity to wastefulness? Perhaps the difference is whether we use left overs on another day or simply throw them away; whether we use the generous blessings we receive for ourselves alone or to help others as well.

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These are a few photos from our half term trip. The main reason for going was to see the exhibition of Wildlife photography (which has since finished) and we were impressed by the range and quality of them. I would love to show some of them to you but there is a little matter of copyright, of course.

In the meantime we have learnt that it is counter-productive trying to see absolutely everything in a museum or gallery. That is a hard temptation to resist especially if it is unlikely that you are going to visit that place again. However, in this case we have been before and so apart from the exhibition we chose two favourite places to see. The first was the mammal section and our all-time favourite, the replica of a blue whale. It is big – just compare it to the elephant in the last picture.

We also paid a visit to the insect section. Not many of our photos came out – they had live ants here but the layers of protective glass made focussing difficult. Nonetheless it was fascinating watching them.

The building is worth a mention. It is the same era as the Houses of Parliament and worth a look in its own right.

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