I didn't see The Queen

and she didn't see me

today I went to the Serpentine Gallery (near The Serpentine, the lake in the middle of Hyde Park (the park in the middle of London) (do keep up at the back)
each year a new pavillion is built to the side of the gallery. . . these temporary structures are replaced annually, but whilst in existance provide seating, artistic space and (most importantly) a small coffee shop for the punters visiting the gallerythis year's is a wonderful undulating stainless steel creation (altho it did look as if it needed a good clean, I can tell you) reflecting light and shadow and reflections (in general) as you walk past or under. . it was quite difficult to make out the overall shape when there, so I've looked it up for you:
the show at the gallery wasn't really my kind of thing, but sometimes you need to see things that aren't in order to know what it, if you see what I mean

whilst there, I did wander around something I liked (even if I'm not so sure that I'm a fan of what it stands for): The Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Fountain. . .
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now, setting aside that being the reason the "fountain" was built, it was actually the most beautiful thing to walk around - light glitters off every surface of water that bubbles and ripples and flows thru it, there are five or six or perhaps even seven or eight different sections of flowing and rippling and bubbling water all of which make different water sounds (water gushing up thru a spring on Exmoor; water splashing thru the bracken and heather on a Scottish moorland; water cascading over a weir upstream on the River Thames; water making its way quietly, almost but not quite silently, down a river as it does when you're punting on the River Cam) (you get the idea? hope so, I'm out of water analogies)

"The fountain was designed as a memorial to Diana Princess of Wales and opened in 2004. It is a loop of finely sculptured Cornish granite. Water enters at the highest point and flows in two directions, meeting at the lowest point. It is then recycled. The arrangement is capable of many symbolic interpretations: the circle of life; two people joining, parting and coming together again as they leave the world; the meaninglessness of endeavour; a moebius strip; life and death.











Kathryn Gustafson designed the fountain and conceived it as a place of tranquility. This was rendered difficult by the large numbers of people wishing to visit a memorial to the beloved princess. In the opening year (2004) the grass beside the water channel was worn out and there was a problem with children slipping on the wet granite.
These problems were solved by cutting ribs in the granite, installing more hard surfacing and putting security guards on duty to keep people from walking in the channel.











From the lakeside walk, the memorial fountain looks like a low concrete retaining wall protruding above the grass. When standing beside the water channel it can be seen for what it is: an extremely high quality piece of water sculpture."
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so, if you're ever there (in Hyde Park, in the vicinity of The Serpentine, lake or gallery) and you're not a fan of the late princess, don't let her memory distract you - just enjoy the water

11 comments:

Vicus Scurra said...

I've got a tap in my kitchen.

Roberta Fleck said...

Surely it's worth a visit just to see all those kids sliding down the muddy banks onto the wet granite, I,? Imagine what would happen if one of them were to fall onto one of their knives??

;?

You'd think in the current H&S obsessed climate they'd do something about it, wouldn't you?

;)

xxx
'berta

Mel said...

Oh, now I think it's lovely..... And I wish I'd have made the effort to visit--which I didn't.

So thank you for the tour. :-)

I, Like The View said...

Mel it was quite lovely! and the sound effects were delighful

'berta I assume that's what the security guards were for, only they didn't seem to be in attendance when I visited

Vicus I've been racking my brains, trying to think of something witty about you/me turning it/you on

but I can't

zIggI said...

note to self *go to London while you're still alive*

thanks for the reminder!

I, Like The View said...

ZigZ keep breathing, honey!

XXX

katherine. said...

it does look like something I would enjoy...

I, Like The View said...

it was quite lovely!

mig bardsley said...

It looks wonderful. D'you know I don't think I've ever been to the Serpentine. So I went and had a look on Google Earth.
here

Mel said...

k........that's really cool. :-)

I, Like The View said...

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