Meet An Artist and Art Historian
Lydia Bauman is born in Warsaw. She is an internationally recognised landscape painter and freelance art history lecturer. She has lectured widely for adult audiences including at the Tate Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA as well as the National Gallery in London where she works as a guide. She has had around 30 solo exhibitions in the UK and abroad with numerous private and corporate buyers including Gordon Ramsey and the Dorchester. Her studio, which incorporates a gallery and a shop open to the public, is currently in Lincoln's cathedral quarter, but she'll be moving back to London permanently later this year. She is also currently completing a book “The Mona Lisa and Other Housewives - an Impartial Guide to Great Themes in Art “. www.lydiabauman.com Lydia has kindly accepted to answer to our four questions.
What brought you to London?
An MA in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Aged twenty one, I came here wide-eyed to submerge myself in the study of Art and to discover the glories of London’s art scene, from the Egyptian sacred Bull at the British Museum to pickled cows by the then emerging YBAs ...
What is the last exhibition, film or show that inspired you and why?
A few days ago I watched a broadcast of the current Bayreuth production of Tristan und Isolde at my local Odeon cinema. I was totally bowled over by the ability of the glorious music to override and compensate for the visual shortcomings of what was easily the most unattractive staging of Wagner I have ever seen - the drab contemporary setting, the overweight, middle aged lovers, their ill-fitting fashion blunders, the sweaty close-ups ... In the eternal battle for supremacy amongst the arts, music won hands down on this occasion. For a painter it was a revelation.
Although you are coming often to London for professional reasons, what aspects of London you miss the most ?
This was made crystal clear to me in the first few days of moving to Lincoln: after 5.30 only the supermarkets have any life in them, and that life is strictly white and Anglican. I miss London’s ‘culture at the drop of a hat’ and its multi-ethnicity.
Could you recommend some of your favourite places in London?
Ridley Rd market in Dalston E8 - everything under the sun for a fraction of supermarket prices, where you can pick up a yam from the stall and the instructions on how to cook it from the Caribbean woman behind you in the queue.
Cafe Canova: an utterly un-prepossessing little eaterie in Whitcomb Street just behind the National Gallery where I go for my lunch break between lectures. Family -run and they serve the best home-made tomato soup for next to nothing. (9 Whitcomb Street, Chinatown, London WC2H 7HA)
Atlantis - art supplies emporium in Hanbury Street, Whitechapel E1, largest of its kind in the UK. Just taking a stroll amongst its aisles will leave you with enough creative inspiration to last a month. That’s even before you bought and used any of its amazing and comprehensive art materials.