It was a rainy Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago. I was in my two bed flat, with off-road parking which is walking distance to my work (please check my post on that experience !) thinking what to do.
I had finished all my chores about the place and was on my own for a change, it was a chance to explore, try new things, go on an adventure !
Well, not quite, I decided to go and explore a new, to me at least art gallery, in Walsall – which frankly is pretty predictable, art is one of my passions and so it’s nice to post about that rather than marketing for a change. I admit at this point that whilst I think I ‘live on the edge’ it may be that the edge is quite broad !
I was really surprised how close it was to Lichfield and by the time I arrived it had even stopped raining. So far so good … I was exploring new territories, Livingstone like (ok humour me), I have only ever been to Walsall once before to watch Derby County (the finest team in European Football) play a second leg, away, Freight Rover trophy match in the depths of a very snowy winter some number of years ago, so this was indeed an adventure… albeit guided by Sat Nav, and a map, and a smartphone … risk averse you might say!
The New Art Gallery Walsall is lovely, just at the end of the canal and the shopping centre… quite a modernist surprise.
I was especially keen to see the current Richard Long Prints exhibition. I have been an admirer of his gentle, landscape based art for some time, I find it very peaceful and calming. It combines the landscape, words, photography and interventions quite exquisitely.
His website is a wonderfully still place that I visit quite often … check it out here.
The current print exhibition is lovely with some older prints I had not seen before and a wonderful, full wall, in situ original piece that I loved;
I took a sneaky snap – I hope Richard does not mind – I only took one and only for this blog post.
The exhibition was wonderful and I will post more about the permanent collection when I explore it in more detail over time.
The absolute delight of the exhibition was however almost bettered by the customer service I received, the front of house team were a delight, universally, and I spoke to three or four people about art, the rain and working in the gallery. One interesting connection was that everyone I spoke to loved the textural changes in the building, rich hard wooden floors, smooth painted concrete and then beautiful exposed concrete beams and floors showing the ribs and bones of the building. I find art gallery staff generally pleasant, but some are overly vociferous, some have their heads in books, but at this gallery they were as keen to chat about art as I was. I really enjoyed their company.
After a coffee I set out to explore, armed with my new camera (a Fuji film x100s) – I treated myself a few weeks ago … It reminds me of an old rangefinder in many ways and I clearly need to practice more to get the best out of it. I will keep today’s efforts between me and Photoshop I think, but I really enjoyed playing. The enclosed are snaps from my iPhone, tweaked in Snapseed – I loved the graffiti around the gallery, an art form I often come back to.
All in all I would recommend a visit to the gallery, and please say hello to the team, you will be rewarded with a pleasant conversation and a real enthusiasm for art. Take your camera with you too, and hope for a day with better weather than when I went !
12 May 2014