'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Thursday 9 December 2010

Catching up and calming down.

I’ve spent the day catching up on all the mundane things which got postponed, due to the weather and Wensleydale's self-diagnosed sciatica – which is getting better. [He has a doctor’s appointment on Saturday so we’ll find out what he’s really got!]

In a way, it’s been nice to have a rather boring routine day, because yesterday was exhausting. It was the college trip, to half the Tates [we left St Ives and Liverpool for later].

We started off at Tate Britain for the Turner Prize exhibition – which was interesting …

I was a bit disappointed by Dexter Dalwood’s work – I have admired his pieces when I’ve come across them on the ‘net, but these felt less powerful than some of the earlier ones I’ve seen.

Angela de la Cruz was new to me and I thought the work and the ideas behind them were interesting, and worth thinking about in the context of embroidery.

I found the Otolith group’s works so intense that it was overwhelming – I would have liked to sit and watch each video in turn, but there just wasn’t time, so I am left with a fragmented series of images.

Susan Philipsz work is very haunting but I didn’t feel it was well served by the gallery space, although I'm sure that under the bridges of Glasgow, which is where it started, I believe, it must have been a very moving experience.

But for me the most stunning work was not part of the Turner exhibition at all, it was Fiona Banner’s Harrier and Jaguar – words fail me!

After lunch we went on the Tate boat down to Tate Modern for the Gauguin exhibition. I expected to be blown away by it but, perhaps because I was tired, I wasn’t. There were a few knock-out pieces – mostly the ones I already knew, like this one, but in general - when you’ve seen one pubescent scantily dressed South Seas maiden or one less scantily dressed Breton peasant, you’ve seen them all.

I wished I had spent more time on the floor below looking at Bacchus, Psilax, Mainomenos by Cy Twombly, or this Lee Krasner, or this exhibition which I missed completely.

Then we crawled home though the rush hour, playing ‘spot the Metropolitan Police’ round Westminster [it was a good night to commit crime in the other areas of the Met’s patch], and I eventually got home after a 12 hour day which I am not used to any more!

I enjoyed it though, despite my whinging!

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