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.