After having an exhibition in the gallery last year, I was interested to see that the annual open exhibition was taking place at the moment. Awaking early to a sunny day, last Wednesday, I was surprised when Sue suggested it would be a good chance to visit the exhibition before lockdown started on the next day. It is something I had been meaning to do but had never gotten around to.
Upon arrival, we parked in the main car park which was surprisingly quite full. Although relatively small, the park does have some excellent facilities for families as well as artists. Making our way to the gallery we entered through the front door and having donned our masks and cleaned our hands started to follow the one way system. The first display was in the now empty café, as food is only served outside, and the we entered the main gallery to the left where there was a good variety of paintings in several themes. It's always fascinating to see the range of styles and materials used by both professional and amateur artists in these exhibitions.
Following the arrows around the room, we then moved through to the corridor. The upstairs gallery, where I had my exhibition wasn't open, possibly to stop crowding on the stairway.
Walking along the corridor, there was plenty to look, with a wide range of work on show.
When the art gallery is fully open, the final gallery holds art and craft classes. Again, we were interested to see a mixed range of paintings, jewellery and sculptures all of which were for sale. In fact, while we were there, someone purchased a painting of Jurgen Klopp, hopefully as a present for a Liverpool supporter otherwise they are in for a shock!
As we wandered around, we always discuss which ones we like the best and at times which one we would buy. There are always favourites and I tend to pick ones in styles unlike my own or ones that explore similar topics in a different way. There is a superb range of work and something for everyone in exhibitions like this and they are always worth a visit. Shortly after our visit, several prizewinners were listed on the gallery website. It was a shame that these weren't known at the time of our visit as it would have been something else to debate with Sue.
As well as being an impressive park and gallery, it was also interesting how they were coping with the present pandemic and rules. The café was serving food and drink to small isolated groups on benches outside and a large marquee had been put up for shelter. To add incentive to visit, a musician provided background music as people enjoyed their food and drink. An excellent idea which could be copied in other venues.
A nice day out and a chance to escape the present situation for a while, as well as our third visit to galleries in a short time.
After not visiting an art gallery to see an exhibition for some time, we managed to get to three before the latest lockdown, I have already mentioned my visit to #TheLowry which was very enjoyable.
Deciding to venture into #Bury for our first visit, and were interested to see how the gallery had coped with social distancing etc. We first had to find our way in which was now down one side of the main entrance through the basement. On arrival, we donned our obligatory face masks and signed in. After a refreshing coffee in their super café, where we sat and viewed some cat prints which we were tempted by but they seemed a little dear, we proceeded through to the first gallery.
Here we viewed the exhibition by Bury Photographic Society. I always enjoy looking at these as they often have a different perspective on capturing images than an artist. The photographs are always stunning and show the level of commitment in a range of subject matters from the members.
Wandering through to the next room, we saw an interesting exhibition by the gallery's art group. It's important and refreshing to find that the gallery has groups like these and supports the local community.
The last room is always interesting, as normally, galleries show examples from their collection in a themed room with paintings and sculptures from the same era grouped together. However, in this gallery, you see a modern sculpture next to a traditional one, a contemporary landscape next to one by Constable and the same applies to traditional figurative work as well. An eclectic mix which made for an interesting visit.
One of our favourite works, Spring Morning ; Haverstock Hill by George Clausen, is also on show and we always stop to discuss this one. The mother and daughter walking towards you and the interesting figures in the background always fascinate us.
As you leave the gallery, there are a set of paintings by Maurice Mumpasi showing support for BLM.
The last room always has an interesting range of work by local artists and crafts people for sale. Again, another good idea by the gallery to support the local arts scene.
An enjoyable visit in a safe environment. The one way system takes you through the galleries and it's a shame that galleries such as this are continually hit with closures when they are making such an effort during these times.
At the moment I seem to be jinxing exhibitions. After the disappointment of not being able to visit the Tŷ Pawb Exhibition in #Wrexham I was looking forward to the 'Days Like These' exhibition taking place at the Lowry art gallery until the latest lockdown was announced. Fortunately, this time I did manage to view the exhibition before it closes for a month.
The safety at the Lowry was excellent and we were kept informed as we made our way through the one way system. Not surprisingly, as visits have to be booked now, it was fairly quiet which gave us a chance to chat to the attendants as we walked around. The first room introduces the theme and local people's work is linked to that of L S Lowry's. Poetry, prose and art are all on show completed during lockdown and showing Salford residents' reaction to the circumstances they find themselves in.
Entering the second room I was pleased to see my four paintings in prominent position along side other artists work from the area. I focussed on the effects on the people in the area others reflected on the local cityscapes.
It's good that artists can still get out to paint these images and it is noticeable that the streets and roads were a lot quieter in the first few weeks.
#salfordartclub hasn't met now since March and the only links we have had is through the internet. Members have been busy producing work and it was good to see that six of us had work in the exhibition. A few members have been doing a 'One Inch' challenge, painting an object in a one inch square every day. Susan Leech has kept this up since the beginning and I think now is on the sixth sheet. In this exhibition Kathy Bowers has hers shown on the TV screen, Carol Parkes submitted a satirical painting showing Colonel Tom and the Prime Minister, which also can be seen on the screen. During, the first lockdown we also had to social distance during VE Day and my image of that is on the screen as well.
Other art club members focussed on different themes such as. Lynn Ann Kirkley who paid tribute to a nurse with her painting, whereas Liang Sun and Gill Nicolas were moved by darker thoughts and their work reflects that.
An enjoyable visit that showed the true spirit of many #salford people in these difficult times. Through the arts people are able to pass the days creatively and hopefully this is an uplifting experience as is this exhibition.
As a bonus some of Lowry's artwork have been re-hung with many unseen works added and every time I visit, I am enthralled by the way he saw the world and as he says, life can be difficult. A super exhibition and I look forward to going again when it reopens, hopefully next month.