|this months post it note hastily scribbled on, some notes on key national and legislative events from Victorian era made with lovely fountain pen on my fave vellum notepaper, copy of Mary Barton with post it notes for mentions of death/death customs, mostly obscured copy of Bleak House bought from Oxfam shop on Oxford Road on way back from Whitworth Art Gallery on Friday which will be similarly annotated (plus Bleak House features spontaneous human combustion as well as being in part inspired by real life murder case known as the Bermondsey Horror in which Patrick O'Connor was murdered by Marie and Frederick Manning) and copies of the brochure for the Gothic North Art Exhibition currently on at 70 Oxford Road and which the pictures below are currently on show at though without me stood next to them looking a bit gormless and uncomfortable as I hate having my photo taken....|
|My work as part of the Gothic North exhibition at 70 Oxford Road - included are some of my prints on coffin lining material, including one washed with graveyard dirt and an overlaid digital print.|
It's been about a month since I've written and a lot has been happening within that time - some if it good and some of it not so good. The good things involve exhibtions, books, films and the like and the not so good is a mix of lurgy, labyrinthitis symptoms and panic attacks. So in order not to let the not so good things outweigh the good things I decided I'd best write up what's been going on plus it's also a good way of collating and clarifying my thoughts about what is next on my horizon and also a way to blow my own trumpet a bit about things like the Gothic North Art Exhibition. An exhibition which features my work and that of the Manchester Gothic Arts Group.
So I'm looking at my diary to see what I have been up to - I've had a mooch round Armley Mills Industrial Museum and taken some pictures, which was lovely. I've been to see lots of films at the ever lovely Hyde Park Picture House - including Enough Rope - which was another in the Patricia Highsmith adaptation series - no-ones write murderers quite as cold and disturbing like she does, Hunt for the Wilderpeople which was both poignant and laugh out loud funny (I especially enjoyed the priests talk over the coffin) an Odourscope version of L'Age D'Or which was both smelly and still somehow shocking to see a monstrance left on the floor of a taxi, the Ron Howard documentary about the Beatles which was also very interesting. I also introduced my husband to the joy of The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires - Hammers attempt at a martial arts bloodsucker movie with Peter Cushing. In many ways it's extremely shonky but nevertheless I love it.
I also had a road trip to Beverley and Hull to see a very wonderful exhibition about Mary Elizabeth Braddon followed by a trip to The Deep. The exhibition on Braddon is on at the Treasure House, Champney Road in Beverley until November 19th and is well worth a visit as it details her life, has some yellow copies of her novels and is really interesting. The trip to The Deep afterwards was less exciting though as it smelt vaguely of nappy bucket to me and wasn't a patch on the Aquarium in Barcelona which I went to a few years ago, but am glad I've been and the part of Hull The Deep is in had all sorts of interesting Victorian era buildings near by. There is a lovely toilet block near the Minerva public house (the MInerva itself opened in 1829 and so is Georgian) which I had a bit of a meander round and made a note to go back and visit properly and have a proper menader round. I did enjoy seeing the penguins at The Deep though - not sure what kind they were but they defintiely weren't Emperor ones. Saw a stuffed Emperor penguin at Manchester Museum on Friday - they grow up to 1.22 metres in height and compared to all other penguins I've seen this one was huge. There are lots of live frogs, lizards and suchlike in the Vivarium bit of the Museum - my favourite bits though were the plaster cast of the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and the mummys with their exquisite painted wooded face covers which somehow still look very modern indeed.
Along with going to see lots of dead things in jars and cases at the Museum we also fitted in lunch at Bakchich which was delicious, and a look at the Elizabeth Price Curates exhibition at the Whitworth before heading back to 70 Oxford Road for the formal opening of the Gothic North Festival and the accompanying exhibition.
It was especially lovely for me to be part of an exhibition in my home town in a building that I went to see lots of art in when it was still known as The Cornerhouse and also to be part of a self proclaimed and proudly identified as gothic exhibition. Plus I learnt some hanging and framing tips from the team who put up the pictures - allowing a gap between glass and image will protect the image better, and using a piece of card masking taped to the wall and held out at 180 degrees from the wall whilst you're drilling holes captures most of the brick dust which can then easily be put in the bin.
It was also especially nice to have someone else put them up - albeit to my instructions as a) I'm not very good at getting things straight even with a spirit level and b) the way they were put up ie with screws and mirror plate fittings as last time I put anything up was at Lentos and the work could only be affixed to the uneven rough wall was with blu-tack which isn't ideal as it's not very secure plus it has a tendency to dry out in cafe settings as there are big fluctuations in temperature and humidity and so things often need re-attaching. Apparently my work fell on customers a couple of times...so it's just as well they were only mounted paper prints and not heavily framed ones. I doubt that'll be happening in Manchester though as they are very firmly attached to the wall.
My obsession with the Victorian period shows no sign of abating and I am especially looking forward to the new series starting this evening on BBC2 called The Victorian Slum, I've enjoyed the series called Railways: The Making of A Nation too though I have also been tutting at the tv with that one - as I do with many documentaries that show clips that appear to be of what they are talking about but can't be eg film that purports to be of a railway being built but can't be the railway they are actually talking about as it was built before film was invented or just showing clips or photographs without an onscreen list of when/where it was from.
But maybe that is more forgivable (as there is usually a list of sources in the credits) than the purely fictional series set in Victorian times - the latest series of Ripper Street which apparently is set in 1897 had Inspector Reid using a camera which wasn't invented til 1900 and far too close to the subject as it was the kind of camera with a minimal focal length of five foot. I understand that there is such a thing as dramatic licence but that's taking it too far if you ask me....it's also the perils of watching tv set in a particular period when you are both a history and an analogue camera nerd.
There's been a lot of work over the past few weeks to get stuff ready for shows (framing stuff in a way you're happy with takes almost as long as making the work to begin with - well it doesn't but it feels like it) and I'm still working on the piece/s for the MA degree show which opens on the 27th October at Studio 24 Mabgate and is on until November 6th. I've still to buy a few ingredients for it too - things like fishing wire, white acrylic paint, some hanging hooks and that kind of thing.
One thing I'm not looking forward too though is the wearing of the graduation gown as it is PALE FRIGGING PASTEL BLUE. WITH A YELLOW AND WHITE HOOD. Of all the colours for it to be - if I do decide to do a Phd then maybe I need to check what colours the gowns are before I sign on the dotted line so to speak.....oh well best crack on - after all Bleak House isn't going to read itself and neither is the broom handle going to paint itself white.