Tuesday, 24 January 2017

newport street gallery; beaconsfield gallery

On Saturday 21st January we - with Bethan's dad - went to the Newport Street Gallery, which is Damien Hirst's gallery. Bethan walks past it on the way to work, and thought her dad would be interested in the building. It's a changing exhibition, I think from his own collection. The temporary exhibition - which filled all the rooms was of Gavin Turk, and was surprisingly interesting, though very much in the modern 'artist as subject' way of things. The most impressive things were the painted bronze sculptures of ordinary objects, like sleeping bags, which were so realistically rendered, though the main thought it prompted for us at least was why he didn't use that ability on more interesting and lovelier things. That choice is presumably saying something, of course. It's a modern well-designed building, well-staffed and free to entry, so that we wondered how it worked financially. There is a restaurant, and a shop with very expensive art in it, and perhaps there's venue hire also.

On the way we also went into the small Beaconsfield Gallery, which we happened to pass, and went back there afterwards for a light lunch. There was nothing particular in the gallery (one room closed, the other some collaborative pottery workshop not going on while we were there), and the cafe was vegetarian and slow, but significant as part of the artistic/gentrification developments going on in the area in recent decades. Never heard of it, but it's been there since 1995!