House of MinaLima

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House of MinaLima

House of MinaLima in Soho is a must-see for Harry Potter fans. MinaLima, the company that designed the graphic props for the Harry Potter films as well as the recent Fantastic Beasts movie, have displayed examples of their work. You don’t have to buy anything – it’s still worth a visit just to look at the incredible designs.

House of MinaLima

The ground floor has a shop full of prints and other souvenirs, but if you want to look at the exhibition, head upstairs. The first two floors have art from the Harry Potter films, including the famous ‘Wanted’ posters from Prisoner of Azkaban and the artwork of the Weasley twins’ shop.

House of MinaLima

The top floor has artwork from Fantastic Beasts, taking inspiration from 1920s New York. My absolute favourite picture is the poster for the Blind Pig bar in the movie, which to me is more of an Art Nouveau design, but hey, it’s still gorgeous.

House of MinaLima

House of MinaLima

Do not miss this exhibition if you’re a Harry Potter fan. It’s not scheduled to close any time soon, so hopefully there should be time to check it out.

House of MinaLima

House of MinaLima

FACTS

Address: 26 Greek Street, Soho, London, W1D 5DE

Website: minalima.com/house-of-minalima

Opening Hours: 12pm-7pm daily

Prices: Free

Anaesthesia Heritage Centre

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Anaesthesia Heritage Centre

As part of my bid to visit every museum in London, I popped into the Anaesthesia Heritage Centre one day when I had a bit of free time. This tiny museum can be found in the basement of the Portland Place headquarters of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland. It explores the (comparatively) short history of anaesthesia and pain relief.

The lack of pain relief in surgery obviously meant that the kinds of operations that could be performed were limited: usually things like amputations or the removal of bladder stones (as in the case of diarist Samuel Pepys, who underwent this excruciating operation in 1658). Early practitioners sometimes used herbs to anaesthetise (and, in the Far East, acupuncture), but more often an unfortunate patient was simply given some alcohol and then held down. More rigorous scientific practice led to the development of such anaesthetics as chloroform. On display are several examples of the apparatus used to deliver pain relief, including masks and needles. In the early days it was often hard to judge how much anaesthetic to give: too little and the patient might wake up mid-surgery, too much and they might die of an overdose.

Anaesthesia Heritage Centre

The display looks at the development of anaesthesia as a valid and recognised branch of medicine. From 1912 it became part of the medical curriculum, and the Diploma in Anaesthetics was introduced in 1935.

There is a brief display on the role of anaesthetics during World War I, which is particularly interesting. I definitely recommend this tiny free museum if you’re in the area.

FACTS

Address: 21 Portland Place, Marylebone, London, W1B 1PY

Website: aagbi.org/education/heritage-centre

Opening Hours: 10am-4pm Mon-Fri

Prices: Free

Tate Britain

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Tate Britain

Following my visit to Tate Modern a few weeks ago, I decided to head to Tate Britain in Pimlico. This gallery, which specialises in British art, does hold more attractions for me than Tate Modern does, and has some of my all-time favourite pictures.

Inside Tate Britain

Inside Tate Britain

The bulk of the permanent collection forms the ‘Walk Through British Art’ which allows the visitor to explore 500 years of art chronologically. I do like this ordered way of doing things. Naturally enough, I started at the beginning.

Tate Britain

The early pictures in the collection suffer in my mind from a comparison with the National Portrait Gallery. They’re similar in style but unlike the NPG, they aren’t of anyone famous. One exception is the picture of Elizabeth I, and I was amused by an angular painting of a pair of identical twins holding their babies, apparently born on the same day.

Elizabeth I

Steven van der Meulen, Steven van Herwijck. Portrait of Elizabeth I, c.1563

Lady Macbeth Seizing the Daggers

Henry Fuseli. Lady Macbeth Seizing the Daggers, ? exhibited 1812

The rooms take you through the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, featuring such artists as Lely, Gainsborough, Hogarth and Constable. Along the way I popped into a room to view John Martin’s incredible apocalyptic canvases.

The Destruction of Pompei and Herculaneum

John Martin. The Destruction of Pompei and Herculaneum, 1822

I came to my favourite room in the gallery, which focuses on nineteenth century and Pre Raphaelite art. I’ve been reading a book about poetical deaths recently, so I was fascinated to see the picture of Chatterton. Millais’ picture of Ophelia, one of my favourites, is also displayed here as well as Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose, which always reminds me of The Family From One End Street.

1890 room

My favourite room

Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth

John Singer Sargent. Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth, 1889

As well as familiar favourites, I came across a few unfamiliar pictures which I really loved.

Beyond Man’s Footsteps

Briton Riviere. Beyond Man’s Footsteps, exhibited 1894

The Doctor

Sir Luke Fildes. The Doctor, exhibited 1891

The next few rooms cover later art, which isn’t generally as interesting to me, although I find Francis Bacon’s picture of a man screaming rather chilling. Also, I quite like a Lowry.

Study for a Portrait

Francis Bacon. Study for a Portrait, 1952

The Pond

L.S. Lowry. The Pond, 1950

Before leaving I ventured to the back of the gallery to see the Turner Collection and the works of William Blake, both of which have their own spaces.

Turner Collection

Turner Collection

The Ghost of a Flea

William Blake. The Ghost of a Flea, c.1819–20

After my visit, my conclusion is that I should go to Tate Britain more often. There are some incredible paintings here, including some of my favourites, and while I can readily view them online, nothing compares to the real thing.

FACTS

Address: Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG

Website: tate.org.uk/visit/tate-britain

Opening Hours: 10am-6pm Mon-Sun

Prices: Free (there is a charge for special exhibitions)

The Building Centre

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Building Centre

I work near to the Building Centre in Bloomsbury, so it’s strange that it took me so long to go in, and even stranger that when I finally did go, it was on a Saturday. The Centre exists to promote innovation in the built environment, according to its website, and was first established in 1931. Today, it functions as an architecture centre and galleries with exhibitions related to contemporary building and design – it also has a coffee shop, which is available to the public and also puts on various coffee-related events.

New London Architecture

The centrepiece of the permanent exhibition is the New London Model, a 3D map of central London, accompanying a series of displays on Transforming The Boroughs, which contain information about past, current and future projects in all areas of London. Check out your own area or explore more widely.

The Centre also has a programme of rotating free exhibitions. The current exhibition is Night Time Is The Right Time, which runs until 15 August. It explores how architects and designers have imagined cities to run better and more efficiently during the night time, and I found it fascinating. There is also a small exhibition on the 50th anniversary of the Lee Valley Regional Park.

If you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth popping in to check out how the built environment of London could transform within the next few years.

FACTS

Address: 26 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 7BT

Website: buildingcentre.co.uk

Opening Hours: 9am-6pm Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm Sat

Prices: Free

Jewellery brand of the month: Miss J Designs

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The jewellery brand for June isn’t one I’ve been aware of for very long, but they’ve caught my eye with some stunning designs recently. Let’s give it up for:

MISS J DESIGNS

Miss J Designs is a brand based in Norfolk, founded by London Metropolitan University design gradauates Olga Jaszewska and Anthony Taylor. The inspiration for their designs is “urban simplicity and a focus on our immediate surroundings”.

The piece that’s really wowed me recently is this Harlequin mask necklace, available on Etsy for a limited time. Isn’t it stunning?

Harlequin Mask Necklace

Harlequin Mask Necklace

I also adore this Salvador Dali-inspired Telephone Lobster necklace, also available with a glitter red lobster!

Dali Telephone Lobster Necklace

The Koons-inspired Balloon Dog Brooch comes in a variety of colours.

Balloon Dog Brooch

Balloon Dog Brooch

Continuing the art theme, this Banksy-inspired Panda with Guns necklace is pretty cool.

Panda with Guns Necklace

Panda with Guns Necklace

The Geometric Elephant necklace is available in a variety of materials, and you can choose from other animals too, including a lion and an owl.

Geometric Elephant Necklace

Geometric Elephant Necklace

Miss J Designs also make 3D printed jewellery, which I think is pretty cool. Check out this Rhino brooch.

3D Printed Rhino Brooch

3D Printed Rhino Brooch

Follow the brand via the links below.

Website: missj.eu

Etsy: etsy.com/uk/shop/missJdesigns

Facebook: facebook.com/missjdesigns

Twitter: twitter.com/missjdesigns

Instagram: instagram.com/missjdesigns