Monday, February 15, 2010

Make Art Not War - NAGW Party

Last Thursday, 11th February we popped over to the New Art Gallery Walsall to help them to celebrate their 10th birthday party.On entering the gallery we were greeted by the jolly site of lots of paper balls floating in the space. It was lovely to be back, and see Iannouis and Helen and Hannah and all the other staff. Iannouis said thanks for the card - and pointed up the stairs and said 'we put it on show.' So I went up to have a look, and was really pleased. I had got a message asking me to send a birthday card, and I did along with a gift - an Interrogation pack for the gallery archive. All of the artists who have worked with the gallery over the last 10 years were asked to send in cards, and all of these were on display in the We are Ten! show. It was also great to have another look around the Garman Ryan Collection, and it was exciting as the collection had been revived and refreshed with things moved around, and new things added. I particularly liked Bob and Roberta Smith's head in between two Epstein's. I realised that part of the reason I love the Garman Ryan so much is how accessible it is in terms of it's subject matter, and this must be because it was someone's personal collection - the intimacy and love seems to show. The other reason is I think because of the brave approach taken by the curators. Not since the Lille visit to Torcoing's Musee des Beaux Arts have I seen such intelligent, and exciting curation; where beautiful classical sculpture is allowed to converse with contemporary objects, creating new and exciting dialogues.Fiona Banner's piece 'Be There Saturday Sweetheart,' which was originally commissioned for the opening of the gallery, and taken from one of Lady Epstein's love letters, was back on display - and looking great.
The Party exhibition was also really enjoyable - and had some of my favourite artists, altogether in one place. Go and see it - it's fantastic.

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