An Autumn must in Paris: Walks in the Luxembourg and Tuileries Gardens

An Autumn must in Paris: Walks in the Luxembourg and Tuileries Gardens
 The Luxembourg and Tuileries Gardens is the perfect place for a leisurely walk, whatever the season. Recently I was in Paris as Autumn was beginning to arrive. Here are some photos of the gardens with the beautiful orange leaves.

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Autumn? What Autumn? Summer time in Paris

Autumn? What Autumn? Summer time in Paris

The weather here in Paris has been insane recently. Whilst the beginning of last week was cold and wet (I wore my winter coat for the first time this year…), this weekend offered us sunny, beautiful summer weather. Obviously this meant that I had to try and make the most of this blissful heat wave, which took the form of a picnic by the Seine. A little cliché, I know, but when in Paris eh? Below are some pictures that I took during the day. We also thought that we might as well be touristy for the afternoon, so took a few photos during our wander around the city. See if you can guess some of Paris’ most famous sites that we visited.

A beautiful autumnal (summer really) walk along the river

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The Louvre!

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Gambetta Entrance
Gambetta Entrance

As part of my ‘do two different things’ this week, I ventured to Père Lachaise Cemetery to have a wander around. For those who have never heard of it, Père Lachaise Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Paris. However, it’s not only known for it’s vastness, but for the many burials it contains, especially of many famous people including writers, authors, composers, musicians and many more. Père Lachaise Cemetery is in the 20th arr, and there are two close metro stations near either end of the Cemetery. I decided to go here because this was something that my family and I did not have a chance to explore when we were here in Paris last year.

I was not too sure what to expect. I definitely didn’t know that it was going to be as big as it was, so if you’re going to go there, make sure you wear comfortable shoes! I also did the grave mistake (pardon the pun) of going without a map. Many people believe a map in Père Lachaise Cemetery to be a vital necessity, as it helps point you into the right direction of seeing many of the famous celebrities that are laid to rest here. However, I did not let this minor disadvantage stop me, and just wondered at my own leisure. Tuesday, when I went to Père Lachaise Cemetery, was the first day of Autumn, and you could definitely see this all around. Although a site of burial, the Cemetery looked stunning. It was tranquil, quiet and peaceful. It really is a beautiful place, even though somewhat haunting.

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Père Lachaise Cemetery

 As I wondered the many different divisions of the cemetery, it was hard to comprehend the sheer amount of memorials and burials in the Cemetery. Each memorial was also very different to the previous. Some were mini-shrines, wherein the families of the members could enter into and pray to the souls of their deceased. One thing that I did find somewhat dispiriting was the type of tourists that too had ventured to this place. Upon stumbling on the many ‘celebrity tombs’ (even without a map of the Cemetery it is very easy to do – just follow the hoards of people crowding around in one place), there were tourists taking selfies with the different memorials etc. I almost felt as if I were in the Louvre with the Mona Lisa, people all pushing and queueing to catch a glimpse through a camera screen only to depart once the perfect selfie was captured. When I finally managed to find Jim Morrison’s grave, it was absolutely packed with people. You could barely get near to catch a glimpse of the tomb and people’s remembrances to him. It’s regrettable that this has happened, but I guess I was also taking part in the ‘tourist pilgrimages’ that flow throughout the Cemetery every year. What do the families of the unknown deceased think of those piling up over the tombs of the ‘celebrities’ that lets face it, many tourists may know little of. Maybe I’m thinking too much about it, or perhaps I’m being hypocritical.

Despite my complaints regarding the tourist etiquette, I had a wonderful time wandering and weaving through the different paths of the Cemetery. Of course, following as the sheep I am, I did also see the infamous memorials.

Oscar Wilde's Grave
Oscar Wilde’s Grave
Kisses on Oscar Wilde's burial place
Kisses on Oscar Wilde’s burial place

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Jim Morrison's grave
Jim Morrison’s grave

A tree with messages from visitors to Jim Morrison's grave

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All alone, with no tourists in sight, Camille Pissarro and family's grave
All alone, with no tourists in sight, Camille Pissarro and family’s grave
Frédéric Chopin's grave
Frédéric Chopin’s grave

A statue of a thinking man on one of the memorial graves

If you’re thinking of heading to Père Lachaise Cemetery, I would recommend entering the Gambetta entrance as this allows for a downhill walk throughout the cemetery. However, the main entrance on the other side of the Cemetery offers you the free maps, so it’s up to you whether you’re up to paying a couple of euro for a map from a near by shop or perhaps print one out before hand.

First day on campus!

Untitled by Austin Wright (1967), in the middle of the ramp leading to the library
Untitled by Austin Wright (1967), in the middle of the ramp leading to the library

It’s official. My third year has begun. We had our ‘Welcome Back’ briefing meeting today, which has mentally prepared me (and scared me a little) for what this year holds for me. This autumn term I have one module, Death and Devotion, and I shall begin to research for my dissertation. Basically, I’ll be doing a lot of reading this year, so nothing too new! It was great to see everyone back, and now the wheels are in motion and I should really begin to crack on with my work.  Good-bye summer, hello autumn!

Campus on a rainy day - ignore the bird poo!
Campus on a rainy day – ignore the bird poo!

End of summer, and back to York I go

I cannot believe how quickly the last three months have gone, and boy has this summer been extremely busy for me. When I wasn’t on holiday or exploring Europe, I luckily had various internships to give me a great insight into the world of art!

View of Paris from Notre-Dame Cathedral Tower

In July I went to Paris for a few days with my family, immersing myself in all things historic and cultural that was on offer. This was my first time to Paris, and I had an amazing time. We explored all the major art galleries including the Louvre and theMusée d’Orsay. Highlights for myself was going into Notre-Dame Cathedral and Sainte-Chapelle. These are the most beautiful sacred spaces that I have been in, and the stained glass is just exquisite. I could have spent my whole time in each of these places! I am even more fortunate this up-coming term as part of a module that I am studying, Death and Devotion (a module I cannot wait to get started! – it is my ultimate course, all my favourite things for the whole of Autumn term, what can be better?!), we are travelling to Paris in late October for five days to explore – something which I’ll definitely be blogging about!

A photo I took whilst in Sainte Chapelle – some of the most beautiful stained glass I’ve seen.

As well as travelling, I had some internships during my summer – making this probably the most invaluable summer so far. I was told by one of my tutors last year that this holiday is the time to get some vital experience on the CV! It’s a scary thought that this year I will need to begin looking for graduate jobs, and the various internships that I have undertaken during this summer will be extremely helpful toward my future.

Internship: Curatorial Intern at the Liverpool Biennial

Throughout July and August I was the curatorial and public programme intern at the Liverpool Biennial. The Liverpool Biennial is the UK Biennial of Contemporary Art, and for ten weeks every two years the city of Liverpool is host to an amazing and extraordinary range of artworks, projects and a dynamic programme of events. Living in Liverpool when I am not in York, has meant that I have had the opportunity to experience the Biennial first hand. Being offered the role of intern was fantastic, and throughout my two months I have had an incredible time. My role was wide and varied, and enabled me to gain an invaluable insight into the world of the Liverpool Biennial and the art/culture world in general. I assisted the head curator and head of public programmes with a variety of tasks; such as researching, helping organise events taking place, assisting with the technical, logistical and administrative aspects of developing and delivering the year-round public programme and conducting research and collating information on artists for press, marketing, grant applications and general archival purposes. During my time at the Biennial I had the chance to handle some pieces of artwork, one of the jobs packaging and archiving them.

It seems naïve and stupid, but before I came to the Biennial I never knew so much hard-work and enthusiasm went behind the scenes of such an organisation, and I cannot wait to see who the choose for the 2014 Biennial and the various events that will be taking place. Hopefully, I will get the chance to come back and work at the Biennial once again.

Apollo Magazine Internship

For two weeks in September I had the opportunity to become the editorial intern at Apollo Magazine in London. Being an avid reader of the magazine, this was a fantastic opportunity, and I had a great time learning all about the practices and processes of an arts magazine.  Apollo Magazine is one of the leading Art Magazines in the UK, exploring a mixture of traditional and classical work, all the way to contemporary and modern pieces. A definite wide variety. This is one of the aspects that really attracted me to completely an internship here at Apollo, the fact that it is so diverse means that it encompasses all aspects of the art world without ignoring one. I sometimes feel that some areas of art history get neglected because maybe they’re deemed by some as ‘too boring’, or ‘irrelevant in today’s society’, which is why the magazine is so valuable as it explores all areas of art history.

My role as editorial intern was to help and work alongside Apollo’s assistant and head editors, and the two weeks I completed was during press week! This meant that the office was a little hectic, and there was a lot of proof reading to do for the next issue. The various tasks I completed including attending exhibitions at major London museums and galleries on behalf of Apollo to write up reviews for the online blog, picture and copy-righting research, general researching for future articles, proof reading and so much more! I attended my first Arts Fair, and whilst there met the Rolling Stone’s guitarist, Ronnie Wood! Very surreal.

You can read more about my internships on my personal blog: roisingrace.blogspot.co.uk

York Minster
York awaits.

Apologies for the rambling post, but as you can tell this summer has been incredibly busy! I am excited to return to York and begin my third year; which reminds me, I best get back to packing… I hope that all the first years reading this will have fantastic freshers week, and enjoy settling into York life.