Tuesday, 1 April 2014

I am a degenerate

It's official, I am a degenerate. 

A tale of two exhibitions.

The first, Jeremy Deller's All That Is Solid Melts Into Air at Nottingham Castle. I entered the exhibition space, and there was a very friendly invigilator there, already chatting to some people. So when they'd gone, I asked if it was OK to take some photos - there was no sign to suggest not, but I thought it polite to ask anyway. She said it was fine, and told me a bit about the exhibition, recommended a couple of works, and told me what she thought was interesting about them - most notably photos of women that weren't posed, like most were in the era they were taken.

I then went to have a look around, taking a few pics for later recollection, some of which I uploaded on here as of interest to my own practice, or in general.

I still receive email invites to other shows in Nottingham, whether or not I can go to see them, I always feel welcome. 

On Thursday I had a dentists' appointment to have my wisdom tooth removed. As it was located at a surgery on The Strait, I left feeling very wobbly on my feet, so I took a short walk around to the Usher gallery, thinking I'd sit somewhere quiet for a while to calm my nerves. 
Many people had said how they'd been to see the Modern Masters exhibition, with works by Picasso, Matisse, Warhol and Dali on loan from the V&A. I've been to the V&A before, so I thought perhaps I'd already seen them, but anyway, I was numb, and my face felt like Guernica, so I went to have a look. 

I didn't notice any signs about photography, but I was getting random sales text messages that I had to get rid of, so I was distracted, and still feeling very Picasso. In this exhibition, the gallery staff flocked around looking like Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven. The walls had been painted black, so it was rather like walking into a funeral. I didn't know why.

I saw one image that I decided to try and draw - it was black ink print of a portrait of a woman that I thought resembled a Klimowsky image.

My mouth was too numb to enter into a conversation with anyone, but luckily no one spoke to me.
Until I went into another gallery with work celebrating 150 years of the Lincoln School of Art & Design. I saw work by lecturers, and noticed one piece by a fellow illustration graduate of my own class, and for some reason (possibly pride) decided to take a photo of it. I was then pounced upon shortly after by a member of gallery staff that told me not to take any photos. I tried to apologise, but my mouth was still numb. I tried to explain that it was work by a colleague of mine, but she was just horrible. I didn't feel welcome there. A graduate of the Lincoln School of Art & Design, made to feel like a degenerate in the gallery that I'd once spent much of my degree involved in. 
Mostly, a polite "please can you not take photos" would suffice, but there was a full on rant. It wasn't as if I necessarily would've used them for anything, it was just nice to see someone's work that I recognised immediately exhibited.

I left and passed the offending woman on the way out. It was pointless trying to make my point, but I said that I'm a graduate of the School of Art & Design, and complained that I'm not allowed to take photos of a colleagues' work. She just started another rant, so I left, feeling more ill than I'd been when I went in. 
I just think that it was bad enough that I'm an artist, and a local graduate, but many of the visitors won't be, either artists themselves, or University of Lincoln graduates, so I waited until my mouth was less painful, and have complained.