Phew! I’ve finally edited all my Istanbul photos and now I’m wishing I was still there drinking beers in the sun! It’s such an amazing city, all based around the beautiful Bosphorus stretch of water. It’s actually bigger than London which surprised me during my pre-trip research. There is so much to do, and during our 5 days there we definitely didn’t cover everything! Highlights were the Galata tower area, a Bosphorus river tour (totally do it), exploring the Mosques (post number 2 – to come), eating all the foods and the Grayson exhibit I blogged about a couple of weeks ago.
Istanbul is certainly a product of it’s geographical location culturally. It feels very middle eastern in lots of ways, which I love: the people, the mosques, the food. But then it feels very western: the galleries, the little shops, bars, the younger trendier kids everywhere! For example the area around Galata tower feels a little bit East London or Berlin. But then it’s really unlike anywhere I’ve been in Europe, yet not quite as strict and influenced by it’s religion as the Middle East.
Henry kindly took me for my birthday and we stayed at Soho House Istanbul which was the best hotel I’ve ever been to! You’re not really allowed to take photos in the Soho House buildings but it was incredible place, a 19th century palace. The food was also super nice in there. Though in Turkey, most of the food is AMAZING… I’d get obese if I lived there for sure.
Once a friend said I looked like Grayson Perry. I have to say that it’s a pretty huge compliment, he has great hair (both as Grayson and as Claire). Also he’s without a doubt an incredible artist: one of my all time favourites.
I went to Istanbul for my birthday earlier in the month (another post soon!). On our last day, we realized there was an exhibition by Grayson Perry showing at Pera Museum. His ‘The Vanity Of Small Differences’ tapestries were on display. We couldn’t have stumbled upon a better exhibition as I’ve always loved Grayson’s work but never seen the tapestries in real life. The detail, the colours, everything about them is incredible. Photographs just don’t do them justice at all. They were amazing, some of my favourite art pieces I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.
The tapestries tell a story of a man called Tim Rakewell who comes from a very working class background in Sunderland. As he grows older and attends university, social mobility comes into play and he makes a ‘better life’ for himself. Tim becomes part of the middle class, and does very well financially. The tapestries show 6 parts of his life, with a slightly gruesome ending. They are based on Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress – a modern take on these old artworks.
You can watch “In The Best Possible Taste” on Channel 4 here. It’s a documentary Grayson filmed to document the research for his tapestries. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be up right now – but it may come back to watch soon (4OD does this a lot! So keep checking back). His other documentary series “Who Are You” is still on 4OD and is well worth viewing.