Friday 22 November 2019

Let's draw at Tate Modern - Saturday 11 January 2020

Join us as we start the year with a visit to Tate Modern.  This gallery of international modern and contemporary art is housed in the former Bankside Power Station next to the River Thames in central London.  In the Turbine Hall, a major new sculpture by Kara Walker, Fons Americanus, provides a challenge to London’s more traditional monuments.  As well as the art works and gallery visitors, there are interesting interiors and views of the surrounding area to sketch.

The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit.

Safety: Please be mindful of the safety of yourself, other sketchers and passers-by.  Be careful about your possessions when you are sketching and in crowded places.

Key times and meeting points for the day:

11am: Meet just inside the Turbine Hall entrance (see photograph above).  Expect a bag search at the entrance, and ensure your art kit does not include sharp tools such as scissors or craft knives.

1pm: Meet at the Level One bridge (photograph below), which crosses above the Turbine Hall, to look at drawings done so far.

3.30pm: Meet again at the Level One bridge to look at drawings done.  We will take group photographs either here or down a level near the Turbine Hall sculpture, depending how crowded it is.

We could then go for drinks to the Terrace Bar at Level One of the Blavatnik Building, or another nearby bar/café.

There is information about Tate Modern on their website.   

Options for drawing:

Tate Modern opened in 2000, a conversion of the Bankside Power Station by Swiss architects Hertzog and De Meuron.  The huge Turbine Hall currently has sculpture by USA artist Kara Walker (above), whose work explores historic links between Africa, Europe and America, including the impact of the transatlantic slave trade.

Opened more recently, the Blavatnik Building (above) has extended the exhibition space, built over The Tanks, display galleries which use the former power station oil tanks.  There are interesting public spaces in all areas of the building.

The collection of international art is from 1900 to the present day.  The Blavatnik Building has a focus on post-1960 art.

There are many opportunities for people sketching, inside and outside the gallery.

There are views of the surrounding area from the windows of Tate Modern, including the cafes.  For those prepared to brave the winter weather, there are views across the river to St Paul’s Cathedral and the modern City of London.  Sights near Tate Modern include the Globe Theatre, and many contemporary buildings.

Practical information

Tate Modern is on Bankside.  The nearest underground stations are Southwark (Jubilee Line) and Blackfriars (main line rail, District and Circle underground).  Admission to the gallery is free of charge, other than for special exhibitions.  On Saturdays it is open from 10 am to 10 pm. Tate has restrictions on the use of wet painting media inside the building.  There are toilets, a cloakroom, and lockers.  The gallery has cafes and bars, and there are other cafes and restaurants by the river, and food shops south of Tate Modern around Southwark Street.

This day is run by Jo Dungey and Gafung Wong, sketches and photographs are by Jo and Gafung.