A Lund Scholar’s Guide to London: Xena Senn

2019 Lund Scholar Xena Senn shares her personal take on what to hit (and miss) in London

1. Walk your appetite to Borough Market and get that wild mushroom risotto, made with spelt and plenty of cheese by Turnips in Three Crown Square. Just steps from London Bridge, this 1,000-year-old market features more than 100 stalls selling fresh produce, seafood and game, as well as prepared food and drink. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself and splurge a little on food––it’s worth . Just EAT THAT MUSHROOM RISOTTO.

2. Get lost in the Tate Britain. But do find your way to David Hockney’s famous California swimming pool painting, “A Bigger Splash” (1967). Instead of rushing through the whole museum, give yourself time to spend with individual pieces. If you’re an artist, take detailed notes and make sketches. Art is suggestive, so don’t focus only on the famous paintings just because they are famous. Focus on the work that interests you. The art is a conversation waiting for your response. 

3. Give the female form a rest and seek out art that features the male instead. Seeing paintings of nude women practically on every wall, and hardly any men, made me a bit upset. When I got back home for my last year at State, I wanted to give the female body a rest. She has been exposed too much and men are just as beautiful as women. So, I focused a heterosexual female gaze in my art, representing men. I created a piece that looks like a large phallus — and rattles. It won an award in the senior art show.  

4. Visit a local London grocery store near your lodging. I felt the most at home when I was with my little Lund scholar family, which went to a nearby grocer multiple times. We gave ourselves family member titles: I was papa and we had a mama, a child, a brother, an aunt, a mistress and a milkman. I remember an old lady threatening us at the grocery store, telling us to go back to our country. That was a memorable moment that we laugh about now. Buy food to make breakfast so you can have an easy morning.

5. Document your journey. Take notes. Take pictures. Take more notes. Back home, they will be your best friend when going back to build upon an idea or a thought. Also, just buy the book at the museum. It’s the best investment for future resources. One tip: save journaling for night. Make the most of your days

6. Always go to the pub with the professors. Even if you are tired. Just go. Also, there isn’t any Ranch dressing at the pubs. Don’t ask. Take a risk and try one of these eight great London condiments instead. 

Xena Senn is a sculptor and ceramics instructor at Sanger West High School, where she shares notes and knowledge from her 2019 study abroad in London with her own students. Recently engaged, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in studio art or art education, and to return to London in between wedding planning and pursuit of her newest artistic passion, taxidermy.  

Photo of 2022 Lund Scholar Tony Xiong

A Lund Scholar’s Guide to London: Xena Senn

by | Jan 1, 2024 | Forever Lund Scholars, London Program, Uncategorized

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