Surprise poetry

I came across this poem while walking in Manchester yesterday. I have walked by here and not noticed it before, but this time I stopped to take a phone call, looked up, and found myself trying to make out the words while paying attention to the person on the line. Such a fitting poem for this city, and also just the sort of surprise art I equate with my visits here.

Seeing in new ways

At the Manchester Art Gallery this summer I encountered an exhibition called And Breathe…. Part of the gallery’s Mindful Museum campaign, this exhibition invites you to sit and listen to guided meditations as you look at the paintings.

One of the meditations led me to look around a painting clockwise, taking in the colors, textures, and other characteristics without judgment. Another encouraged me to slow down and notice small details. By the end of the visit, I was looking at the paintings in new ways — enjoying the experience of seeing without worrying about what I was meant to see.

Discovering new (to you) art

While in Madrid this week, we went to the Reina Sofia museum. I was excited to see Guernica again, but I had forgotten just how big the museum is and spent quite a while wandering through the fourth floor. There, I came across the piece Hiver-grey (Winter-Grey) by Eloy Laguardia:

It makes me think of looking out the window on a dark winter day. It surprised me, as I don’t usually connect so strongly to abstract, Color Field style paintings — I guess I connected to it in a way that made it less abstract, and it seems appropriate that I discovered it at this time of year!

Appreciating new art

While visiting the Manchester Art Gallery, I discovered the artist Jai Redman. His watercolor series portrays still life using representative water sources — Beauty of Bath uses juice from the apple itself. In these paintings, once the water is used up the painting is done!

In this case, Gavin Turk’s Ergo Sum (the bronze apple core under the painting) provides an intriguing juxtaposition.

There are many paintings by Redman on exhibition (in this series and others), and entry to the gallery is free, so if you’re in Manchester I recommend stopping by for a visit!

Creating things

My brother and sister-in-law gave me a 3D pen for Christmas. While preparing to watch this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, I thought of the perfect thing to create with it:


A TARDIS! It’s the perfect size for my Doctor and Cyberman (which I picked up at the Doctor Who Experience a couple years ago in Cardiff). I didn’t have enough blue plastic to make all the walls solid, but I’m pleased with my first creation. Who knew 3D doodling could be so fun?