Wednesday 5th February 2020, 9.45am (day 3,086)
Was obliged to visit a place I had not set foot in since 20th January, namely campus. This mural is a relatively new addition to the landscape along the way. Very Manchester, old and new.
Back at home — for a couple of days. Time to look around and see what’s going on. This is new…. surely a portrait of Humph the Hebden Heron or one of his homies. But diminished by the red signage, so important they stuck it on twice…
Some parts of the old Berlin Wall remain in the city. Probably they could have been demolished back in 1990 but the authorities realised — correctly — that they were valuable as memorials and/or tourist attractions. Or, as in the case of the East Side Gallery, which runs beside the Spree for about a kilometer near the Ostbahnhof, an art installation; this long line of concrete has been decorated by a range of murals, including this one of Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, who seems to disdain the busker beside him, playing as he is on a load of old water pipes, or something.
Finding myself on Stoke-on-Trent railway station for half an hour today, and time therefore to ponder this sculpture: not so much why is it there at all (for there should be more public art if you ask me), but why tuck it down the very far end of platform 2 where hardly anyone ever goes?
The blue post may seem an intrusion but I like it. The photo becomes a study of the various lines going both across and down.
First weekday of the school summer holidays, and Joe Whitworth expresses his opinion at spending this in the Whitworth Art Gallery. Well, it’s five minutes from the place where I’ve worked for thirteen years and I’ve never been, which seeing as it shares my name is pretty shameful. There were work reasons to visit too. But was it exciting? Not really. So I kind of share his yawn.
It’s Joe’s half-term, so to occupy him (and also mark Clare’s birthday) we went to the National Football Museum in Manchester. This is part of the new “From Pitch to Pixel” exhibition, head that bright orange ball and become part of some giant interactive artwork being compiled over several months, called “Hit It!”. And become part of my rather longer-lasting interactive artwork too….
And so I came home again, with my itinerary merging at Helsinki with the last few English football fans who had been in Estonia for the match on Sunday evening. Around gate 37 of Helsinki airport is an art gallery, which makes a difference from the usual duty free shop, but then again they do most things better in Scandinavia if you ask me. Finland sneaks back onto the blog then, 793 days after its last appearance on 12th August 2012.
As if there hadn’t been enough art last week, a trip to the Mondrian exhibition at the Tate in Liverpool. “Please don’t take pictures of the art,” we were told, “but you can take pictures of the view from the windows.” Well, OK then — here’s a bit of both.
I said a few days ago that this blog would soon feature its 20th country, so here you go — the world’s smallest independent state, the Vatican City. Also the state with, almost certainly, the highest proportion of tourists to residents. And probably the world’s largest art gallery. This is one of the ‘Raphael rooms’, decorated by said artist in the 16th century, slightly before Michelangelo painted the more famous (and even more crowded) Sistine Chapel.
And is the Vatican worth a visit? Well, it’s certainly the most sumptuous interior decoration in the world. But it does depend how much you like looking at a) excessive displays of wealth and status and b) other people.