Blog News

1. Comments are still disabled though I am thinking of enabling them again.

2. There are now several extra pages - Poetry Index, Travel, Education, Childish Things - accessible at the top of the page. They index entires before October 2013.

3. I will, in the next few weeks, be adding new pages with other indexes.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Things I Miss About England #2:Galleries

If you live in one of the major cities in China - say Beijing or Shanghai - there are art galleries and museums galore for you to visit. Sadly I don't. I live in a small industrial city in the middle of a desert and art galleries are more or less non-existent. There are artists - I have twice visited artist studios - but no public galleries.
Back in England I was a frequent visitor to exhibitions in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and had a couple of visits a year to the major London galleries. I would pop into Wolverhampton art gallery whenever time permitted and finding myself in an unfamiliar town or city would always seek out the galleries.

Here in Baiyin the only artworks that I get to see are the large, and mostly awful, public statues. There are plenty in the park. The largest being three slightly stylised people in uniform representing the glorious workers who built the city. Most schools have a piece of art in the schoolyard and most of them have a grim similarity. They usually consist of pillars and posts with globes and doves and often a Chinese flag. 

The Experimental School out in the west, perhaps in keeping with its description, has something different (and actually quite appealing), a twenty foot high polished boulder. It's really rather striking.

But the kind of gallery I used to visit? The Tate, the Saatchi? No, there's nothing like that.

And I miss having the chance to walk around just looking at things, trying to see them with the artists eye, making my cynical but (hopefully ) affectioante comments about the art.