I read about the open exhibition at Warrington a few months ago and applied but didn't get accepted. What I hadn't looked at was the title of the exhibition, 'A contemporary Arts Festival'. With selectors you are always being judged by the theme of the exhibition as well as their personal tastes. Also my larger work doesn't look it's best when looked at on a small screen as the textures etc don't show it off properly. Like most things in life you win some and loose some.
We decided to have a look at the exhibition to see what had been selected for the show. Before going we had to download a ticket for a selected time slot as a result of the present situation.
After arriving early, we had something to eat and then went to the gallery to sign in. Considering how busy the town was there was only one other person in the gallery, a complete change from when we last visited. The gallery then was crowded with people looking at the work of a traditional representational artist. This could have been because of the pandemic or could it be the subject matter?
We always find contemporary exhibitions a mixture of work we like or dislike or we even have trouble understanding.
Some of the work really appeals and when you can see what the artist is trying to achieve, this is when I think it is more successful. I prefer work where I can see some meaning to or a starting point from which the artist has developed such as the ones below.
I do find it hard sometimes to relate to work as in the case of the three blanket like artworks around the gallery, where even the title by the artist leaves me confused. The other two were behind cabinets so I couldn't see the titles.
Throughout the show there were only a couple of more traditional pieces such as the ones below.
The lack of what I would call traditional art reflects the overall content of the exhibition, although some pieces made us smile, a few made us think that as a whole this type of exhibition often disappoints with clever titles being the norm whereas the talent isn't always obvious.
A nice surprise was the work entitled 'Brand Spanking Neon' by students from Priestley college. They had been inspired by the Botany and Geology galleries to produce ceramics and textile works. Along side their brightly coloured finished pieces were the sketches they used to inspire their final work, which helped the viewer to understand more easily their vision.
When viewing a modern exhibition like this, it is always a joy to visit the gallery holding the historical pieces of art. Here the talent and hard work is there to see and appreciate.
The museum itself, set out on three floors is also worth a visit on its own. It has interesting and eclectic exhibits and we spent some time following the one way system around the empty rooms. It seems such a shame, that due to the present circumstances, places like Warrington Museum are suffering from lack of visitors.
An interesting visit and at least I can see why my paintings weren't selected and I can move on to Wrexham next week where I have a painting in the open exhibition there.
A nice touch by the gallery were the facemasks on sale, featuring paintings from their collection. A nice idea that other galleries could use to raise funds at the moment.
With a sudden improvement in the weather, we decided to venture out to Lytham for the day, away from the local area. Our first stop was Lowther Park where we went for a coffee. This was quite busy but we found somewhere to sit on a bench outside.
After the drink, we decided to walk along the seafront into town. As an artist I appreciate certain scenes and this lone boat on the estuary was impressive. I'm not sure it would work as a painting but who knows!
With the present situation and schools etc. being reopened, we didn't expect it to be too busy. To our surprise the shopping area was crowded and bars and restaurants full. Social distancing was hard and masks were only required in shops.
A couple of years ago I was involved in the Lytham arts festival and I was interested to see how the art scene had progressed in the area.
The only artwork on show on the main street was upstairs in a gift shop. Here, there were a range of original artwork from local artists, some prints from a northern artist and some generic work from other artists. The other gallery off a side street had been turned into a hairdressers and the local art shop had disappeared. This was a shame, as we had had a lovely talk, on a previous visit, with the owner who was trying hard to make a go of it.
Moving on to St Anne's, we parked near Ashton Gardens. The reason for this was two fold. As well as being a pretty park, there was an exhibition in the Pavilion Café by #StevieBruce. He is a local artist I follow on Facebook. His paintings really capture the local area, some of a bygone age and are always worth viewing.
Being a very hot day, the queue to get into the Pavilion Café, was slow moving as people tended to linger over their drinks. Whilst waiting in the queue, there was a medical problem where an old gentleman was overcome with the heat and a local lifeguard volunteer had to look after him. I did get a chair for the gentleman though!
After refreshments, we decided to have a walk along the seafront. Again, this was quite busy with nearly every bench being taken. Everyone was social distancing on the beach, although that wasn't hard as the sea is so far out!
Eventually, the heat got to us and we drove back to Lytham for a fish and chip evening meal.
A really nice day with a little respite from the problems and stresses in the world today. At times, you wouldn't have known that there was a pandemic, as people were enjoying the sudden hot spell, and life was carrying on.