How many art galleries did I go to last year? A few. On my own though? One, I think?
You inevitably use a gallery differently when you are with a small child. You don’t get to look at things as leisurely as you might like to. I really need to get back into the habit of visiting a gallery now and then, for me, just me, looking at pictures.
You end up going to different places too. I mean, I like the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, I do, but I sometimes struggle with sculpture. At the risk of sounding like a philistine, if you need a little plaque to explain why an upside-down car on a giant sandwich represents the loss of autonomy in a war zone then maybe, just maybe, it doesn’t actually represent that. Maybe it is just an upside-down car on a big sandwich? I dunno. I’m not an expert.
In fairness to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and sculpture in general, Jem Finer’s shed with a big metal ball on it, which I think was called Spiegelei but may not have been, which was there a few years ago, was one of the best pieces of art I have ever experienced. Stood inside it, sounds from outside were amplified or quietened randomly so that a dog barking became a whimper and a private conversation whispered conspiratorially between confidants became a public broadcast, boomed out for all to hear. Light and colour swirled too. It was pretty fucking fantatstic.
Which is all very nice but mostly my way of avoiding the fact that I can’t actually give you a round-up of my favourite art from last year because I didn’t see enough of it to have anything useful or interesting to say. Perhaps I should distract you with some gorgeous teapots from the (brilliant) Nordic Craft and Design exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery and then do a runner?
Yeah, I’ll do that.
Check out the spout on that one!