SA4QE 2017 - Roland Clare - London, United Kingdom
Since work obliged me to be in South Kensington on Russmass, I used a South Ken snippet from Amaryllis Night and Day; the plan had been to affix copies close to Hobanoid exhibits in three museums, but I was frustrated by huge crowds (V&A closed to walk-up customers) and by the fact that the Klein Bottles are no longer on display in the Science Museum's Mathematics Gallery. So it was a bit of a fizzle ... but still very enjoyable, as always, seeing the public peering at the yellow A4 sheets and ... let us hope ... deciding there and then to become lifelong Russ readers.
At South Kensington I rose from the depths, escalated to the upper world, passed through the arcade and the queue at the 14 bus stop, crossed between the cars and walked up Exhibition Road where soft ice-cream and hot dogs sweltered and coachloads of emptiness waited for their children to return. The sunlight, crazed with detail, explored every wrinkle, whisker, pore and pimple of tourists consuming Coca- Cola, mineral water, coffee, tea, hot dogs, soft ice-cream, exhaust fumes, and culture.
The sunlight explored me as well as my footsteps joined those of generations of children, mums, dads, teachers and others all the way back to the heavy tread of Roman legions marching with their standards and centurions up Exhibition Road to the Victoria and Albert, the Natural History, and the Science Museum thirsting for dinosaurs, volcanoes, Indian bronzes, William Morris, and steam locomotives. Not only was I prepared to have empty spaces in me filled with wonders, I was vaguely excited and expectant, as if the sluggish air were alive with possibilities.