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Another Day of Sun

After spending the first half of my summer working at an amazing summer job, I'm finally getting some sunshine and a holiday. My days now are largely spent by the sea (which is a happy place of mine), but it's not quite as relaxing as I'd hoped. My final year of school is looming frightfully near, as is the storm of university applications and A-levels. I'm trying to establish a balance of doing things to make the next few months easier and also savouring my last days of peace. 

BP Portrait Award 2017 | National Portrait Gallery

Since attending last year as the first assignment of my A Level art course, I've been eagerly awaiting this year's BP Portrait Award exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. With 2,580 entries from 87 different countries, it shows the best and brightest of today's contemporary art scene. The vast technical skill of the works left me in awe. It was also refreshing to see such a diverse range of styles and approaches to a portrait in one space.

The above piece is by Lithuanian artist Laura Guoke. She received a grant to go to Syrian refugee camps and paint the people she came across after winning the BP Travel Award last year. It fascinates me how politics, and social issues continue to seep into contemporary exhibitions - it shows what an important role art can play in terms of challenging how we see and portray the world. Not to mention Guoke's portraits are rather beautiful. Check out the National Portrait Gallery's blog post to read about Guoke's experience.


In my latest video, I'm talking about self-care and getting yourself out of a bad place. Watch above or click HERE.


The Ferryman at the Gielgud Theatre

The Ferryman, directed by Sam Mendes at the Gielgud theatre in London’s West End, was three emotionally-testing hours of my life. It was also one of the best pieces of theatre I've ever seen. Written by Jez Butterworth, the play seamlessly weaves an intricate narrative through many characters. It tells the story of an extended family's experience and relationship with the IRA in 1981. In doing so displays the complex nature of humans and radicalism, and the raw emotions they can trigger.

Special mention has to go to the exceptional young cast members. In particular, Tom Glynn-Carney, who stars as a rebellious teen thrilled by the violence and power of the conflict. He plays the role with an enthralling spirit and was, at times, mesmerising. He is also starring in Christopher Nolan's latest film  giant, Dunkirk, which comes out this Summer. Mark my words - this boy is about to get big. 
The play is superbly directed by Sam Mendes, the man behind films such as Skyfall and American Beauty. There is a beautiful humanity about the characters despite the violent backdrop - the high points of love were utterly heartwarming. Family dinners, Irish dancing around the kitchen; you almost envy their tight-knit unit. Equally, the moments of tension and tragedy left me in despair. There was a baby on stage, a rabbit, a goose. For just over three hours you were fully immersed in the life of Quinn Carney (Paddy Considine) and his family in Northern Ireland. 

Gurls Talk x Coach Festival

Gurls Talk is an organisation founded by model and activist Adwoah Aboah, which promotes open conversation among young women. She hosted a one day festival in London on Saturday in collaboration with Coach. There was a Law Magazine photo booth with photographers taking portraits of everyone, an embroidery station, panels on sexuality and mental health, and much more.

Watch my video coverage above or click HERE.

Shot by Leonn Ward

It felt really special to be in the company of like minded young women, talking about creativity and feminism in an open and welcoming environment.

A major highlight for me was watching Stylelikeu's open call. I have been obsessed with Stylelikeu for years now, and it was such a dream to watch them shoot their 'What's Underneath' series. They invite people to talk about their self-acceptance journeys while removing their clothing, thus proving that style is 'what's underneath'. Each video they produce is utterly inspiring and it was even more powerful seeing women tell their stories in person. I also got to meet the lovely women behind it, Elisa and Lily, which was really cool.

4 Years of Blogging

Lexi Likes is now four years old. It’s hard to believe that I’m celebrating four years of blogging. I’ve taken this moment to reflect on how I started this blog and how it, and how I, have developed over those four years. 

Last year I marked the anniversary with a series of interviews with three of my internet pals on their blogging careersThis year I want to talk about choices.

When I decided to start this blog, it wasn't a 'do I' or 'don't I' question. It was more 'let's try this, it looks like fun'. At the time, the choice was easy.  It was an experiment. It transpires that the experiment was a fate-altering fork in the road.

Looking back, the choices at that time were fairly simple - what to write and what to photograph for the blog.  What to read, what to watch, what to wear. Do I catch the early bus to go to school?  What games choice do I make?  Yes, choices became more difficult – what subjects to study for GCSE and then A level.  But even with those, there wasn’t a wide range of choices.

Now, four years down the line, I'm making much bigger choices. I'm deciding what to study at university, where to study it and what I need to do to get there. It's a natural progression on the conveyor belt of life, but the consequences of these decisions are potentially much greater than those I've made before.  Life is more complex, more challenging.

I'm looking at a range of options. As it stands now, in a year's time I could be about to move to America, or a new city in the UK, or stay in London, or take a year out of study and embark on journey of travelling and working internationally. For the first time in my life, I don't know exactly what I'll be doing next year. That's terrifying and exciting in equal measure.