Our daughter was attending the British musical firework championship so we decided to meet up with her for the day. Fortunately, it stayed dry most of the day. It's been a long time since we have visited the art gallery there and it was a surprise to see how much it had changed due to lottery etc funding.
We started on the top floor entering a historical area showing Southport's development with information, artifacts and artwork.
In the next area was a collection of memorabilia with toys such as Meccano and a cabinet of items related to Dan Dare, a character from the Eagle comic. I remember him slightly but it did promote an interesting conversation about how they saw us living in the 1990's, with technology and space travel. One of the staff even joined in and was very friendly as we talked about this topic.
Next, was the Egyptian room where a range of artefacts were on show with information about the ancient Egyptians. As we arrived at the gallery, the mummy was being taken away to be x-rayed which, we were informed, was an exciting event for the gallery.
Moving on we came to a room entitled Cross Pollination.
Here were a range of interpretations of the theme and featured a variety of work both traditional and more abstract.
After viewing these we moved through to the next room. Here we came upon a room called Black Presence an exhibition by Nahem Shoa
Using paintings from other artists to introduce the theme, he then included a range of his own very impressive pieces. I'm not sure how true his statement is but his work was very moving. I have done a lot of portrait studies over the years but unfortunately, I have not had much experience as I would have liked,to experiment capturing the nuances of colour needed for these skin tones.
As a complete contrast, the next room we entered featured the designs of Vivienne Westwood. It was interesting to see these designs and look at the fashions from the past.
Finally, before going downstairs we walked on to 'The Landing' where work, by invited artists, were on show. It was good to see that the gallery included these, as often there are no places for upcoming artists to showcase their work in the modern art gallery.
Also included in the arts complex, were a theatre, a shop, a café, as well as areas to study and places for children to participate in artwork.
All in all, a building that other art galleries should aspire to with a range of exhibitions that are varied and offered something for everyone.
After one of the wettest Augusts on record, it was now our turn to fly to Texas for a road trip. Flying with Singapore airlines was an enjoyable experience. What made us laugh was the final announcement as we arrived that the temperature was a mild 33 degrees!
After an expensive taxi ride to the hotel, we did have time for a quick explore of the nearby area before retiring to bed. The next day was described as Labour Day and we thought that this would be like one of our bank holidays.
We woke to a surreal environment with everywhere looked deserted, so we decided to explore further. The streets were empty. Had there been a pandemic with only a few survivors? Was there a battle ship out there looking for a cure? Maybe it was linked to a presidential edict where the population had been taken to a centre to be brainwashed, or was there a clue in the title 'Labour Day' had everyone reported to the border to build the wall?
As we wandered, we eventually found the remnants of a party with discarded food and drinks. Had everyone been abducted? Where were Mulder and Scully or the Men in Black when you needed them?
Arriving at Sam Houston park, which contained a collection of old style houses, we stood and reflected on our surroundings when suddenly a waggon train of Segway's arrived. They stopped and the leader got off and fed the ducks before they slowly sped away leaving us once more on our own.
Following the path along the Bayou, we were accosted by lone cyclists as they sped to an unknown destination before suddenly hearing music off to our left. Here we found an entertainment area isolated from the outside world. Families carried on enjoying the rides etc as if caught in a Groundhog day. Maybe a large bubble would form to save this group.
Moving on, before we were trapped, we decided to head to Main street as we were getting hungry by now. Only a few odd eating places were open and the survivors congregated in these. As we sat with a meal, a group of youths passed by arguing and becoming aggressive. Eventually, one member became isolated as the group turned on him. He was soon squatted and the new leader lead the rest away.
As we made our way back to the hotel, we encountered a few lonely people, some talking to themselves, others foraging for food. Eventually, we reached Green Park, which was near to our hotel. Thankfully here people had been spared and life carried on as normal. I decided to sketch some of these people for prosperity and sat in the café. I felt sorry for the first man I drew, as he was drawing a building and before he finished a park ranger left her buggy in front of him. A lady sat enjoying her ice cream and a young couple sat opposite each other and he was massaging her feet. If only these people knew what we had seen in the city, they wouldn't have been so relaxed!
Returning to the hotel, we found out that only eight rooms still had people in them, after the hotel being fully occupied the night before. Was this just a bad dream and what would we find the next morning?