Saturday, 3 March 2012

Artistic Likes & Dislikes

I realise that art means different things to different people so the views expressed here are entirely my own & no one else's :o) I don't expect anyone to necessarily agree with them, but here they are, anyway :o)

Yesterday, we decided to pay a visit to the Turner Centre in Margate. It's something we've spoken about since it was opened & as we had to go to Margate we thought it would be an ideal time.

Well. What a disappointment.

The building is, IMO, disgustingly modern & looks totally out of place where it is. Great idea to build it on or near the spot where Turner stayed, I get that, but . . . shudder.  It is UGLY.

Great that they have disabled parking, BUT - who on earth decided that the ONLY way for a wheelchair to get to the slope is at the traffic lights ?  If  there's another way to get onto the path, it's well hidden. The only way we could find was to walk on the road, go past the Occupy Thanet campers, past the steps to the gallery, past the slope for a few feet & then turn onto the path at the traffic lights & turn back towards the building. LUCKILY, there were only a couple of cars going by when we arrived & once I'd got the wheelchair out, they'd gone, but even so - it's ridiculous & dangerous to expect disabled people to have to walk or be pushed among traffic before they can get access.  It wasn't far from car park to lights,  but that's not the point, accidents happen in a split second.

Anyway.  Once we got in, my expectations plummeted. The first thing you see when you enter is a huge white room with a long reception type desk on the opposite wall, a small gift area to the right & on the far left, on loan from the Tate Gallery, Rodin's *The Kiss*, which was pretty spectacular. This was the only area of the building that photos were allowed.

Three full scale versions were made in Rodin's lifetime & this is the second one, commissioned by Edward Peery in 1900, for his private collection in Lewes, East Sussex. Shame it was so foggy, the view from the window across the sea would have looked nicer if the sun was shining :o)

The back view with the reception desk on the left & the gift area at the far end.

To get up to the main exhibitions, we had to go in the lift. It was HUGE.  Bigger than my bathroom & it takes a hundred people. Yes, that's right - 100 PEOPLE !!! Yikes !! There's no way on earth I would get in a lift with more than half a dozen people, never mind 100 !!!

When we got up a floor, there was a small seating area with a couple of display cabinets with nothing of any interest in. Again, just my opinion, I'm sure others will think differently.

We  then went through the doors into the Turner exhibition.  There were quite a lot of people in this particular area - some, like us, looked & moved on, others really did seem to be savouring every moment, stepping back, turning their heads this way & that,  pointing things out to their companions, humming & hawing, holding their chins in their hands etc. I did NOT feel comortable in there at all & I have to say, as lovely as a couple of the paintings were, there were some that just looked like blobs on canvas. Maybe it was something to do with their age, maybe it was the light, but I'm sad to say I was disappointed with most of them.

We left that room & a lovely lady who worked there, opened the doors to let us through easier. We went into the next room & that was all about modern art, the subject being walking. The whole thing left us cold & we couldn't get out of there fast enough. I didn't understand it, nothing caught my interest & I have to say, considering the size of the building, the amount of things on show were, to my mind, woefully inadequate.

Now, if ever they decide to have an exhibition of The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood or Jack Vettriano, I'll be the first one through the door :o)


  1. Really sorry to read that the visit wasn't as you expected it to be, firstly the access to the building sound diabolical to me, maybe a letter might do some good for other wheelchair users?
    I think I might leave a visit to the Turner Centre, I would like to The Kiss but it really doesn't sound like my idea of a gallery, which is a real shame as it could and should be a major draw to the area! I am trying to do a blog about the Wallace Collection just now, definitely more my sort of thing AND I was allowed to take photos all round the place!
    I am aiming to do some lace tomorrow afternoon, and looking forward to seeing you both on Wednesday, love to you both x

  2. Everyone has different ideas about art, so don't just rely on my opinion :o) You might love it :o) *The Kiss* is pretty impressive & I'm glad I got to see it, but the building is so white & clinical, I just didn't like it. It has no personality & I just felt that it could have been made to be more welcoming.

    Looking forward to Wednsday :o)