Saatchi Gallery of Art

One of the assignments of our trip  was to explore a modern art museum in London called the Saatchi. There was all sorts of very strange and very exhibits, from an exhibit of the world’s flags made out of human hair to a group of animatronic people praying.


But one exhibit that really caught my interest and had me start thinking was this:


Two skeletons in a sexual position. It was the combination of the sculpture and the shadows that really captivated me. It was like two shapes that fit into one piece. Sex is always seen as something complicated or something that one shouldn’t do until this and that have been fulfilled. But by bringing it into something as simple and everyday as our bones.

Here’s another interesting piece I saw in the gallery:


It was interesting to me for a few reasons. First, most of the piece seemed to be hidden by a cold metal wall, like it was keeping you out from what was behind. Second, a traditionally religious thing (stained glass) portrays very scientific images: a molecule, a heart monitor, the human brain, etc. It gives me the feeling that it’s almost a futuristic piece. Maybe saying something about scientology?

Last London Night

Today is our last day here. I’m all packed up and ready to go. It is the end of a great journey.

In the course of 2 weeks I have learned so much about the art scene and life in London. It has been an absolutely unforgettable experience and I am so happy to have had the opportunity to do it. I will miss the friends I made, the delicious food I ate, and the adventures I had. I am so grateful for every minute I spent in this gorgeous city.

However, I feel that it is time to go home. School starts in 4 days and reality must go on. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the opportunity again to return to London, but if I did I would in a heartbeat. The 2 weeks went by so fast and I have accumulated an incountable number of incredible moments.

Thank you all for making this such an amazing experience and thank you London for all of the memories I will cherish always. Back to my beloved America I go. 10425009_10153475010337802_8024920468057002152_n 10933761_10153475010982802_2087857057904726325_n 10917044_10153477493182802_8127223332437772946_n 10915336_10153477493507802_9070526085371064552_n 10544399_10153477494587802_5781726223575167404_n 10923623_10153477494087802_7691943771579445288_n 10906288_10153477494287802_7935221573154347088_n 10923575_10153477495962802_5015724360804444854_n 10432941_10153477495467802_6205557804718236773_n


London is so big and so very difficult to navigate. It’s completely unlike New York City, where everything is a grid and everything is numbered. No, here there are loops and turns, side streets and alleys, all the streets are named the same thing (or similar), and without a good night’s sleep, there is absolutely no way to navigate this wonder of a city.

But oh, the beautiful things you can find when you’re lost. You turn a corner, and there’s an interesting street performer who wants you to stand on top of him while he lies on a bed of nails. Or you accidentally find Buckingham Palace while wandering through a beautiful park. A single trip up a curb has you accidentally lying on the stoop of the cutest tea room you’ve ever been in.

This city is so polite and calm in all it’s dealings, I constantly feel like I am safe and welcome here. I yearn for a day where I can call one of these flats my own or where I can stroll into work in the Globe. It’s just so beautiful here and I feel so welcome. What other treasures can I find? What other mysteries are waiting for me in this beautiful, old city?


I was walking to my next meeting place and accidentally found a house the Benjamin Franklin used to live in! Apparently, the only Franklin house still in existence. Who knew? What I find fascinating is the plaques on buildings and houses that tell us who used to live there. I found Thomas Wyatt, Dickens, some architects and artists. It’s really cool to just pass a house and be like, oh cool okay John Lennon lived here.

There is so much history here. All the way back to the Anglo-Saxons, which is just incredible. Everywhere I turn, I feel like I find something new. A new theatre, a new person, a new fact, a new curiosity. How to focus on just one thing and keep myself grounded in every new moment?

The Adventure Continues

It’s hard to believe we are so far into our trip already. The days are flying by, jam packed with things to see and do. It’s rare you find the time to just sit, think, soak it in, and relax. Since I last wrote we have gone to Westminster Abbey which is an incredibly ornate and impressive cathedral in which I stumbled upon the burial site of Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Mary. Next was the Saatchi Gallery, which was so exciting!!! After each corner you turn, there is another famous artwork just waiting to be discovered. To me some of the most exciting moments are when you just happen to find one of the most controversial art pieces of all time and you’re inches away, or you literally just learned about an artwork a few weeks ago and there it is waiting for you.

As I believe I mentioned before the food is amazing. From pub/tavern food to Indian food to street food… so delicious.

We took a gorgeous walk through Kensington Gardens to 2 galleries- Serpentine Sackler Gallery and the Serpentine Gallery. We also had time to stop at the Princess Diana memorial, which was this circular stone river with gushing water and twisting turns.

We also made a trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum, and what an incredible and very LARGE museum. The collections were stunning, and differed greatly from one to another. The building itself is a work of art. I could spend days in there getting lost in the galleries.

Burrough Market —- FANTASTIC and everyone needs to go. We had amazing cheese sandwiches and and if you like free samples this is the place for you.

Yesterday we visited some artist studios… and I have to say it was my least favorite part of the trip. I could not stay awake. I actually don’t think I’ve ever fallen asleep so much in one day. It was so long and uneventful, needless to say I found it boring. I feel that’s so terrible to say, but 2 artist visits would have been fine… not 4…. it was gruelling. (not sure if I spelled gruelling right, hmm…)

And today, which is not over yet, STONEHENGE!!!!!!!!!!!! So awesome!!!! I wanted to go so bad, and we did! What an amazing site. It was a long bus ride, but so worth it. It’s incredible. 10931072_10153462850847802_5618915132258970756_n10917045_10153462850912802_7598820528584693193_n10915264_10153462851632802_2493201168232151640_n10917109_10153460074897802_5441588976387966918_n10896991_10153462851772802_5589709739295938596_n10245353_10153464305727802_5810252103802957639_n10401363_10153460076097802_8406422940443301559_n1013613_10153469321737802_779451250327887462_n

Back Home!

I have been home for a week and it has been alright. It was nice to see some friends and family that I haven’t seen in a while. I have learned many things and have grown while abroad. There are definitely things that I take for grateful at home, but lived without while abroad. One thing was having a phone that had data to use and unlimited texts or calling. It wasn’t a big deal for me since there was a good amount of Wi-Fi throughout Europe which I used while abroad and I had some pre-paid value on my phone to text or call people when needed. While I was abroad I didn’t lose anything except for maybe a winter hat which is pretty good for me since my track record is not the best. Though yesterday I lost my iPhone which had like all of my photos on it. I thought all of them were backed up on my mother’s I Cloud account, on her I Pad, but there are only photos from after October 29th of this past year. Some from before October 15th are saved somewhere online. As you can tell, I am not the best with technology. Though I did try to update photos to my computer a couple of days ago on my computer but there was a problem with uploading them. Sorry for delay but once I get technology and my photos sorted out I will post some on my blog.
On the bright side, some of my friends say I talk in a British accent now. This usually happens when I go to a new place for a while. A couple of years ago I spent two weeks in Colorado and I came back talking like people I met from for the rock mountain and west coast areas. Though with my British accent I find it interesting because compared to other British people they knew I was American right away from my accent. Also, after coming home I have to be honest that some things with the American system bother me. For example, in England and other places in Europe tipping the waiter or waitress in a restaurant is optional. One reason for this is because they actually pay people working in restaurants minimum wage or more. In America, tipping is expected and I kind of wish we had a system like in Europe. Another example is that in England many of the banks and ATMS had free cash withdrawal so it wouldn’t be necessary to go to your own bank and take out money. I know that in America this is a way for banks to make money but if we decide to have free ATMS, like there were in England, it will be convenient for more people. Overall, there are pros and cons to every country’s system which I must accept. I like America but I would definitely want to go back to England and other countries in Europe one day!

Art Overload in the Most Positive Way

The past 2 days have been incredible. We have done so much on this trip so far that it has become so easy to forget and confuse what we did yesterday, and the day before that, and so on. Every day brings so many new adventures.

In the last 48 hours I have walked thousands of steps, seen priceless art, ate delicious new foods, heard so many languages, but above all I have learned so much and enjoyed every minute of it.

Some things we did and highlights include: The Museum of London- Sherlock Holmes Exhibit, the 2012 Olympic Torches/ Tate Modern- Dali, Polke, Ernst, Picasso, Conflict Time Photography, Louise Bourgeois, Nam June Paik, Richard Tuttle, Man Ray, Annette Messager/ Burrough Market- Fried quail eggs (YUMMY!)10922825_942751052403482_2963661573454456159_n(Photo courtesy of my roommate), Walk across the Millenium Bridge- the sun finally came out/London Street Art and Graffiti Tour- Banksy, Pure Evil, Swoon, Space Invader, Citizen Kane, ROA, Paul Don Smith, and so many more….

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There is so much to see and each morning I wake up even more excited than the last.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night

I was spellbound. I walked out of the theatre tonight still walking as though I were on a grid. On graph paper. As though every step took me into a little boy’s mind, deeper and deeper until I was thinking like him. Speaking like him. I was stuck because I was so caught up in the character and the beautiful work of this play.


The play is about a boy named Christopher who finds his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, dead, stabbed to death with a gardening fork. So he decides he must go on a detective mission to find out who murdered his friend, Wellington. He doesn’t really understand humans, just animals. When Christopher finds out that his father is the one who killed Wellington, his entire life changes and he must go on an adventure to London to find his mother.

This story is about an autistic boy named Christopher who takes on the world by himself and empowers himself. But it’s also a story of how difficult it is to live in this world when one has autism… For me (who has worked a lot with autistic students and friends) I felt this play really portrayed Autism beautifully. It was never brought up much or referenced hard handedly. It was rather beautifully and subtly brought to light without anyone saying he had any form of autism.

[WARNING!!! From this point on, there will be a lot of spoilers. So take this as your SPOILER ALERT!]


These are a few images of the stage the actors worked on. The stage lit up in small circles, numbers, blasts of strobe lights in every color, and the walls opened up to reveal doors and windows, secret cubbies that hid some of Christopher’s prized possessions.

The marriage of people as props/set and technology as props/set left me awestruck and amazed. The incredibly deep stage gave the actors so much room to create smaller scenes in various places: bedroom, kitchen, London, flat, down the street, in the park, classroom, neighbor’s houses, the tube, a train station. And the floor pattern that they used often: the repetition of a grid. They walked along specific lines at 90 degree angles, like robots. It helped bring something to life for someone with autism. How life should be logical, straightforward, and simple.

Even though there was this amazing technology (as seen in the pictures above), the glory of the story was that the physicality of the actors created the set as well. They became Christopher’s house, doors. Door matts. Coat closets. Pet rats. They moved perfectly in time to create neighbor’s houses in just the nick of time or to help Christopher “become an astronaut.” The best part of the play for me was when Christopher was describing his desire to become an astronaut and so they illustrated what it would be like for him to be in a space craft. He jumped into the air and was caught by the other actors, moving as though he were in a zero gravity space craft. They moved beneath him, holding him in the air, flipping him, helping him careen off the sides of the craft. It was magical to watch.

I nearly cried when the model trains came to life. When the train began to move and the London Eye rose from the stage, the houses sparkled and the trees shimmered with fairy lights. I couldn’t help it. My eyes teared up and it was one of the most magical moments of the show.

A spellbinding show that will keep you on the edge of your seat, make you cry, give you anxiety, make you life, make you feel, make you feel more human than you have in a very long time. If you have the time, the money, and the emotional energy, I highly suggest getting yourself to Broadway (or the West End!) and seeing the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.


One word: Awesome.

Hello again!

So we arrived safely in London. The flight was fantastic! Thank you Virgin Atlantic for my first souvenirs (an eye mask for sleeping, pillow and blanket, a pair of Virgin Atlantic socks – with wings :)-, ear plugs, a pen). Thank you also for not only dinner, but breakfast too. I sat next to some wonderful people (Row 60, you know who you are) who I had so much fun chatting and laughing with. I slept not only once but twice with the help of my new eye mask. I arrived so rested and excited. After we left the airport we took a really beautiful bus to our flats, but couldn’t check in yet so we dropped off our luggage. A new friend and I headed over to the British Museum, which is so conveniently located a block away from our flats! Talk about prime location.

So literally there we were, fresh off the plane, not even 3 hours in London, viewing Cleopatra’s mummy, and completely immersed in a sea of priceless objects, knowledge, and wonder that is the British Museum. Awesome.

The rest of the day we bought phones, went to a Fuller’s pub for some delicious soup and warm atmosphere, and settled into our flats. There are 8 girls in our flat, 2 triples and 1 double. My roommates are wonderful people. Our flat consists of 2 art students and 6 theatre students, and everyone is so friendly.

And our flat is SPECTACULAR! It’s like a mansion! 2 floors, an outside patio all to ourselves, a stocked kitchen, a large dining room, a huge common room with pretty purple couches and tv, 3 bathrooms, hardwood floors, high ceilings… the works. Again, awesome.

Yesterday was quite a busy day… We went to the London Eye, walked over Westminster Bridge, passed Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, down to Tate Britain. We had tickets for Late Turner and the Turner Prize. The Late Turner exhibit was fantastic. However, the Turner Prize was a bit disappointing. I enjoyed a couple artists especially Ciara Philips ( a printmaker like me) who had a huge installation of large screen prints in bright, beautiful colors that were pasted on all of the walls in the room. It was really beautiful. What was disappointing about the Turner Prize was the overload of video and slide projector installations.


It literally put me to sleep. I had to leave the last exhibition because I was seriously asleep. Oops. I woke up in time and left before someone caught me napping. Not a good look for me.

Today we had a scavenger hunt in the British Museum. SO MUCH FUN! I paired up with my roommate and we rocked it. It was so exciting and it was a great way to see a little bit of everything while also getting your exercise in. We walked all over that museum and saw so many things such as:

The Rosetta Stone—whatt!? that’s right. It’s definitely there…. Parthenon frieze sculptors, Aztec turquoise mosaic ritual masks, Assyrian winged bulls and lionfights, an Easter Island statue, samurai armour, more mummies!!! Goya’s “Ya Tienen Asiento,” other famous prints, antique clocks and old inventions, money from all over the world and all decades, an incredible amount of jewelry, pots, tools… I could go on…..

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This trip so far has been incredible, inspiring, educational, exciting, thrilling…. just so awesome.

“This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.”

Wow. I arrived in London two days ago and it is amazing. It’s big and bustling, but definitely not the same kind of bustling as NYC. No, this is not nearly as efficient or orderly. But has its own intricate ways of functioning and moving around the countless tourists. I started my journey by trying to find Regent’s Park: I wanted a quiet place to sit and write in my journal. Coincidentally, I found Baker Street, too! 221b Baker Street, home of the illustrious and intelligent Sherlock Holmes. It was a bit like a fantasy, walking down the street and imagining him in his adventures throughout London.

After that, I finally managed to have my relaxing morning in Regent’s Park, writing in my journal and enjoying the beautiful view. Afterwards, I just decided to make a sandwich for lunch and walk around the city. Familiarize myself with the landscape. Acclimate and enjoy the new country I had landed in.

I ended up discovering how close the British Museum was to me. And how big it was! So many interesting artifacts to find, so many stories that I didn’t know existed, so much time in such a small building (in retrospect), so many universes available to explore!

It was definitely an eye-opening experience that completely exhausted me. I was there from the time it opened until it closed. So after a quick jaunt back to my room, I promptly wrote in my journal about my adventures in the Museum and settled in for the night.

Already, from this small amount of space I have traversed in London, I am thrilled and excited to begin my adventure here. The accents are wide and varying. The people are warm and genuine. The languages and speech patterns are new and tantalizing.

What more can I find out there? How many kilometers can I traverse in my short two weeks? How many galaxies will I encounter?

Here are some pictures from my travels.


PS. I am the biggest lover of William Shakespeare (the greatest writer to ever live). As these blog posts come about, you may notice my love for him seep through the cracks. For example…



3 Days to Go!

Hello everyone!

3 days to go before departure to London for the 2 week London Art Seminar! Now this post might sound a bit unfortunate in the beginning, but trust me it’ll get more lighthearted and positive.

I’d be lying if I said I already started packing. Yesterday, I planned on devoting the whole day to packing and preparing. However, I woke up very sick, so I scheduled an appointment with the doctor right after I mustered the strength to get out of bed. I spent the majority of the day resting and ‘souping it up’ before my appointment. But waking up sick wasn’t the only unfortunate thing that happened yesterday. I accidentally slipped on a floor rug at the bottom of the stairs, and instantly there was excrutiating pain. I couldn’t help but think– this would happen just 4 days before a huge trip.

My doctor appointment for a terrible “cold” turned into much more. My mother had to drive me to the medical building and find me a wheelchair to roll me around. I glamourosly was wearing my pj’s and my mom’s spunky leopard print slippers 2 sizes too small for me, while my mom struggled to navigate me from room to room. The little old man doctor, who I had never seen before, gave me some antiobiotics and a referral for an X-ray. Luckily DRA Imaging was located conveniently downstairs, and magically they had time to take me.

So there we are sitting in the waiting room, and I can’t help but worry and ask myself… “Is it broken, fractured, or sprained? If I go, will I be able to keep up? Will I have to cancel?” And then of course in my head I had to find answers to my questions, “No! Preposterous thought, Victoria. You are getting on that plane. Maybe with a cane… a cool cane… maybe it’ll be a gold cane. How bout a sweet zebra cane? I could rock a cane. ”

Well, got the X-ray results this morning- My foot is fine!!! No breaks, no fractures, nothing!!! I am so excited and relieved. No cane for this girl. That imaginary zebra cane will just have to wait.  A few days rest and taking it easy, and hopefully my foot will be good as new. As for my sickness, I’m already feeling better. I’ve recruited my lovely boyfriend to help me pack, and I’m starting to get things together and organized for the trip.

That all being confessed, I am so excited about the upcoming 2 weeks. I was in London when I was 14, but only for a couple days. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to spend an extended period of time there and be old enough to truly appreciate what I see. I don’t know anyone who is coming on the trip, so I am also very excited to get to know people. My professor is an awesome teacher. I had her as a professor in an undergrad design course back in the day, so I know she’s great.

Things I am looking forward to- Tate Modern!!!  Street Art/Graffiti Tour, seeing Othello, our museum scavenger hunt (whatever that entails, I don’t know, but I’m pumped), and possibly a day trip to Stonehenge (I think YES)!

More to come!!! Thanks for reading 🙂