16 March 2013

Writing on the Wall

I used to live about 2 blocks away from the Whitworth Art Gallery, on Oxford Road, near Manchester University, so I caught all its exhibits fairly regularly.

These days, though, it's a bit out of my way, as I rarely have need to even go to the university, much less further south. Walking down long, trafficky, loud and smelly Oxford Road is not a delightful prospect, so I avoid it as well as I can.

But today... I was meeting someone at the Whitworth Cafe. Someone from the internet. EEP. I don't know why this made me so nervous. I've met loads of people from the internet before. I have a nasty habit of bullying people on Twitter to meet me in real life. But this person... well, he wasn't from Twitter. He was from a dedicated dating site. EEP!

Wandering around the gallery, though, my nerves calmed upon coming to the Richard Long show.  His work is largely landscape art, which includes stuff like using stone that's already in a landscape to create artwork in that landscape. He reminds me a lot of Andy Goldsworthy. Needless to say, a lot of his art installations can't really be brought into a gallery.

A quartz stone path was laid down the middle of the room, and on the walls, there were bits of text inspired by his walks (see picture above). The whole room had a sense of calm and quiet, despite the jazz quartet warming up downstairs. It was like he'd brought the quiet he'd found on his nature walks into the space, somehow.

I breathed the calm in and realised it was 2pm. Time to start my internet dating adventure... What could possibly go wrong in an art gallery, right?

ps It turns out you're not technically allowed to take pictures in the Whitworth. Woops!

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