Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A day off in Swindon is good for you.

A couple of weeks ago I took a day off from the studio and drove across to Swindon to see an exhibition that my friend Ray was curating at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.
When I got there Ray was installing into a glass cabinet (see below) a LOT of limescale on behalf of a local artist that had made it her job to collect. (...Don't ask !!)

The ancient study of Alchemy was obsessed with the quest to turn base metals into precious ones, ridiculous as this sounds to us now I think that a similar kind of strange magic happens today in the world of modern art, in which valueless scrap can be turned miraculously into fantastic treasure merely by its proximity to an art gallery's wall or floor.

Looking at this collection of limescale in all its variation of shade and the subtle differences in color and shade I did become transfixed by its beauty. It did very much become beautiful and precious but mainly because Ray's enthusiasm for art is so cheerfully contagious, real alchemy is at work in Old Town Swindon in 2011 as provided by curator/alchemist Ray ward.

The rest of the day went by in a continuous sequence of wandering around and chat.
The highlights of which were....

Going to Christchurch and seeing a nice stained glass detail of a GWR Train.
Having lunch in a Cafe and Ray overreacting in quite a theatrical way when a lady almost put some milk in his Tea.
Meeting a guy in a Ramones T-shirt complaining there were no pop up books in the pop up exhibition (fair enough) but then accusing ray of being in the pay of Damian Hirst.
Talking about Swindons Fascist (tho not rascist) manager !
Having Ice Cream in a cafe named after RAY and discussing it's future chances of survival in Swindon.

Walking past Don Rogers sports shop. (Don was a great hero of mine in the early seventies when he played for Swindon Town FC).

Walking through Queen's Park and remembering the long gone hot house.

All in all a great day.

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