Both Rico and I are taking our time in London year by year. We are not sure how much longer we will stay which has our stomachs in a bit of knots. Our current plan is to head back to New England in late 2018 and while that might seem like a ways away—it's not. There is so much on our list to still do here but no matter when we decide to leave, it's going to be very hard. We've fallen in love with this city, found a wonderful group of friends, and have enjoyed building on our careers here. So as we see time possibly winding down, we want to be as intentional as possible with our days—especially our weekends—in London. We created an on-going list of things we would like to do or see to help us stay focused and on track. We're hoping this at least eases some of the pain of eventually moving away from London.
Last weekend, we decided to head to Marylebone to see The Wallace Collection and finally experience afternoon tea at Sketch (more on both of these next week!). In between finishing up at the museum and tea, we had some time to spare so we began to wander around when I remembered recently noting there was a small gallery I wanted to visit for it's current Elvire Bonduelle exhibit. We weren't far so we snuck over to peak inside and were not disappointed. I love getting out of the large museums and into the smaller spaces especially when that falls into the contemporary art catergory—my absolute favorite.
The Ronchini Gallery is tucked away in Mayfair on a side street right off of the famously crazy and busy Oxford Street. Founder Lorenzo Ronchini opened the gallery's doors in London 1992 after being originally located in Italy. Aiming to invite new and known artist from around the world through its curated exhibits, Ronchini brings in contemporary art in all forms including minimalism and conceptualism. The clean space with white walls and concrete flooring allows viewers to clear their minds and reflect on the surrounding artwork. To me, this is the number one rule in creating any exhibit space. The focus should always be on the artwork.
Currently being exhibited is French artist Elvire Bonduelle's first solo UK show with select works from her curatorial project, Waiting Room. The Paris based artist transformed the gallery space into her own idea of a waiting room with the belief that they are the perfect spaces to view art. As I was reading about Bouduelle's work I found her statement "everything is here: quite often we don't see anything...". To me that says a lot about how we go through life not appreciating or seeing our surroundings for the beauty that they are or acknowledging the impact it has on our lives. To relate that back to art and how almost everything around us is art, you see how unappreciated it can be.
Bonduelle "focuses on the experience of contemplation and a critique of how we interact with art in typical gallery spaces." I often think about my favorite galleries and museums and I've realized over time that the ones that make it onto that list allow for interaction and freedom to process what is around us. Sometimes that is just offering the most simple of spaces (like the Ronchini Gallery does) so there is a clean and clear place to take it in. Bonduelle's waiting room is playful with everything from the typographic benches to the colorful rotating paintings. The large organic and soft brush strokes are captivating with their vibrant colors but hold a strong contrast to the black mental geometric benches. I found myself weaving around the benches in the middle of the space to read the various phrases and to take in the art from different perspectives in the room. The layout of the artwork allowed for me to float freely around. Overall, it was a pleasant and freeing experience.