This week is my last full week in London, and therefore crunch time to get all my case study work finished. There was, however, more people to meet and places to visit. London is such a huge a cultural center and besides interning I feel like I have turned into a professional tourist, and still have not seen everything.
In our adventure for the week, Catherine and I had lunch and toured the Leighton house with Christine Millar from Trinidad who started Citizens for Conservation. It also proved that the world keeps getting smaller in the world of historic preservation because one of the other US/ICOMOS intern, Kara Roopsingh is from Trinidad and in the Citizens for Conservation group. It was really great to get to speak with her on the creation process of Citizens of Conservation. It started as a movement to save an artist house. As Chris and her friends stood in front of the oncoming bulldozer in protest, they were also making calls to everyone they knew on the island. Eventually the house was saved and a trust created. Citizens for Conservation is an inspiring group that looks to save the cultural heritage of Trinidad.
After lunch and hearing all about her journeys, we took a tour of the Leighton House in Kensington. The Leighton house was a Victorian house built by Lord Frederic Leighton, an artist and member of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood. His work was up and around the house, but that was not the best part. Instead of the usual Victorian style of – tassel on top of brick-a-back on top of something guided on top of fabric with more tassels – the house had a Moorish design. It was breathtaking, still over-the-top, but in a different way. The colors were shades of peacock’s feathers and iznik tiles and stained glass were everywhere. It was quite beautiful to see.
Afterwards, I took a walking journey of Notting Hill area. Unfortunately, I did not see Hugh Grant, but there were amazing vintage and antique stores to peruse. I also went to go see the WWI art installation at the Tower of London. The installation by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper entitled Bloodswept Lands and Seas of Red features 888, 246 poppies. The poppies represent the British lives lost in WWI.
I am trying to soak up London in my last week, and each little neighborhood I visit has its one persona and vibe. I have been very blessed to do this internship this summer and look forward to future endeavors. Now it is back to DC to present my final work.