I keep having to remind myself that I’m really making progress, since the body with its garter-stitch welt has started to lose its resemblance to the sort of hats worn by the English soldiers who burned Joan of Arc – progress of a sort, I guess.
I spent part of the week clearing my desk at work, as we’re getting ready to evacuate the building next month before we close down – all very depressing. Yellow Post-it notes are blooming on the backs of chairs like early daffodils, as people who’ve found jobs with the “new” MLA are claiming furniture for their futures, when they’ll be working from home. And I doubt there’s been so much paper shredded in an organisation since the days of Oliver North.
We had one fun day last week, arising from our imminent closure. We’ve put a sum of money into an arts programme (“New Expressions”), and got some Arts Council money to match it, so we’re funding 10 museums to employ a contemporary artist to use something in their galleries as inspiration, and produce a new work of art. On Wednesday, we all got together in Taunton, and the artists showed us what they’d come up with.
Well, speaking as someone who is, let’s be honest, on the sceptical side when it comes to modern art, it was both interesting and fun. Sure, there were some projects that reinforce the old prejudices (the artist who is inspired by seeing museum objects in storage mostly obscured by tissue paper, who’s arranging T-shirts in a pile of tissue paper so only a few words of the logo can be seen, enigmatically peeping out, for instance!) but others were really creative. So Porthcurno Telegraph Museum is using an artist who’s taking her inspiration from their galvanometer to create a sculpture you can stand inside that will stand outside and reflect the sun onto a contoured wall (what do you mean, you don’t know what a galvanometer is?).
And Plymouth Museum’s artist is creating a circular display based on all the little cardboard labels from their natural history collection, each one taken from a species that is now extinct. (We joked that they should add a label for us too…) But the best of all is from the wonderful Falmouth Art Gallery, who’ve employed a surrealist painter to create a surrealist frame for one of his pictures! If you’re ever in the vicinity, you really should look it up.
And now I’m off to Edinburgh for a week, to try to find somewhere to live during the coming months, and to move things along with the new job. Four nights on my own in a hotel, eh? Sounds like fun. But at least I’m taking the knitting (not as hand luggage!), so I can be bored creatively.