Our newly-reopened art gallery and museum has given rise to much comment, especially about its vacuous name. Sarah and I went there to see the Open West 2013 exhibition on Friday evening. I let her guess what "The Wilson" signified. "Harold?" she tried. "Woodrow? Pickett?" In the foyer, I was able to introduce her to Sophie (Wilson), who put her right.
The Open West show itself is in the "old" bit of the gallery, all but a few items that is. It looks quite well there, but not as good as in the early years, at the Summerfield Gallery, in Pittville. My photograph shows co-curator, Lyn Cluer Coleman in conversation before one of the relatively few two-dimensional exhibits. I hope to return to look round the rearranged permanent collection, throughout which some more Open West objects are scattered.
The Literature Festival presented a number of events on artistic themes, besides the Alan Hancox Lecture. Caroline enjoyed Jenny Uglow on Turner, and we both found the Cornelia Parker session later on Friday evening of more interest than we'd imagined it would be: this was largely down to the intelligence and good organization of the interlocutor, art historian Anna Moszynska. Thoughts of pilgrimage and relics (The Maybe) brought Grayson Perry to mind, but Parker seems to lay more emphasis on destruction leading to transfiguration.
We are a long way from Reynolds Stone's trees and waterfalls, the product of a process through which culture grew from nature, rather than being set over against it.