We thought we’d celebrate the first day since goodness-knows-when, that neither of us had anything in our diaries and there was no builder or decorator expected here, to go to Bristol to visit the Eric Ravilious exhibition. I’d read a report here and was keen to see these pictures first hand. My hero was perhaps a little less enthusiastic but is always amenable to a reasonable suggestion, so off we went.
The Damien Hirst “Charity” installation on the front of the building is a real conversation piece, isn’t it? His studio is not so far from here and I was driving past one day when this huge figure was being moved out of the workshop and into a large truck. Of course, we had no idea what it was at that point, but soon recognised it when it turned up somewhere or other in an exhibition shortly afterwards.
Anyway, what of the Ravilious exhibition? Well, sad to say, we were both underwhelmed. Whether my reaction was affected by the luscious prints of Peter Reddick in the gallery preceding “Going Modern/Being British” it’s hard to say. Certainly, that lovely airy space filled with the most glorious woodblock prints was in stark contrast to the dark and rather dreary atmosphere of the gallery where the Ravilious paintings were shown. Perhaps I’ve seen too many reproductions of the watercolours used as illustrations in books? I don’t know. But for some reason or other, neither of us reacted as positively as we’d anticipated and I left feeling rather more equivocal about his work than I had when I began.
Not at all the usual outcome of a gallery visit!
Never mind. We enjoyed being out and about, somehow managing to walk uphill on the way to the gallery and then again returning to the car park – how?