Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tate Britain, Cecil Collins and Millbank

I finally managed to get to the exhibition of paintings by Cecil Collins at Tate Britain, it was actually just a room which is why I had been a bit confused looking out for it. The room had about 9 paintings by Cecil Collins and a few sketches and pieces of writing in a display case and about 16 smaller ones by William Blake and they did compliment each other.
It is always much better to see Cecil Collins paintings in the flesh, as it were, as they are much more luminous than can be captured by print.
The Angel Of The Flowing Light is particularly beautiful and striking. The angel conveys an emotional and spiritual truth that on the one hand we recognise from deep within us, but at the same time seems to be from another reality. It is a moving experience to stand and engage with the painting. The Artist's Wife Sitting In A Tree is also a delightful painting.

I have always loved William Blakes work and the little pieces here have his usual blend of mysticism, vulnerability and strength.

I hadn't been to Tate Britain for a while, so I took the opportunity to look at a couple of rooms while I was there. I went into the unpainted landscape room, which has work by Hamish Fulton, Richard Long and others. I liked the combinations of photography and text in the works.

There was an interesting piece by Ian Breakwell called The Walking Man Diary, which was a series of short recordings he made in all the counties of Britain, The recording of Fife was playing when I was there. I have been thinking about recording in my back garden for a while, which I might set up soon.In the next room RogerHiorns had a piece where he had covered an engine with copper sulphate, which had grown these vivid turquoise and blue crystals giving the engine a very different quality.
There was also a lovely installation by Vong Phaophanit, which was made of very tall bamboo poles suspended from the ceiling. You were faced with a wall of them which as you passed through made a range of sounds like a giant wind chime. In the centre was a space filled with light.

Out side Tate Britain I walked along Millbank and took some photographs of the Henry Moore sculpture and buildings. Alongside the Henry Moore there was a man doing what looked like exercises or a performance piece, it seemed to fit with the mysteriouness of some of the work I had just seen.

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