On a hot summer Friday night I found myself hanging out with the cool kids at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. I’d been invited to a Bloggers and Instagrammers event and the place was swarming with the best London Instagrammers around.
I know this because for the first time ever visitors were allowed to take photos at the Summer Exhibition this year, so I got to stalk their shots using the #RAsummer hashtag and I was seriously impressed with what I saw. The Instagrammers there on the night managed to create carefully crafted images that allowed me to see the art itself in a new light.
As for me, it was the first time I’d been invited to a gallery as a blogger, and the first time I’ve ever bothered to blog about a gallery in depth. I’ve dabbled in the past when I’ve visited Somerset House (for Mapping the City and a Nicholas Hawksmoor exhibition) but usually I’m so lost in the art at an exhibition that taking notes is the last thing on my mind.
Thankfully before we wandered through the exhibition we were treated to a very welcome chilled glass of wine in one of the many private rooms at the Academy so I could get my head in gear. We also received a comprehensive introduction to the Summer Exhibition which was delivered so passionately that I was positively brimming with excitement by the time it was over. The amount of people and work involved is bigger than I could have imagined, and gaining a better understanding of that has elevated this annual event even higher in my mind.
Michael Craig-Martin co-ordinated the Summer Exhibition this year and colour is at the heart of his strategy. Everything is eminently Instagrammable, from Jim Lambie’s multi-coloured staircase as you walk in to the vibrant walls of the main galleries.
As for the work on show, well, I’m not sure a blog post will ever do it justice. With 1000+ pieces of art on display including painting, sculpture, printmaking, architecture, film and photography there really is something for everyone to enjoy. And with most of the artwork for sale, you may even find something to take home and keep for good. Later this week I’ll be sharing five affordable pieces of art for sale at the Summer Exhibition so stay tuned for my top picks.
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015
Date: 8 June – 16 August 2015
Time: 10am – 6pm daily, 10am – 10pm Fridays