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Blog: Amongst Heroes

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Having spent the weekend looking in MUSEUMS and that, me and The Painting In My Frame continued being DEAD SOPHISTICATED by going to an ART exhibition last night, Amongst Heroes: the artist in working Cornwall at Two Temple Place.

It was actually our THIRD attempt at going - the first time we'd got the wrong day for late opening, the second we were booked for A Cornish Evening Of Song which got CANCELLED (so i got a pasty and we went to the pub instead) - but WELL worth the wait, as it was utterly BRILLIANT. Two Temple Place is a crazy/gorgeous building in its own right, and was worth going for how Slightly Potty it is, with rooms having sculptures based on (i think) Lord Astor's favourite BOOKS from around when it was built.

The paintings were from 18th/19th century painters based around St Ives and Newlyn, mostly Stanhope Forbes (why yes, i DID read all the labels) showing working people in Cornwall doing WORK. You get so used to seeing paintings of Important Figures From History and THE SUPER POSH in paintings that it was slightly mind blowing to see ACTUAL PEOPLE, especially when the SAME actual people popped up in different pictures - there was one fisherman in a red beret, white smock and MOUSTACHE that seemed to be in half of the fishing ones. My favourite BIG painting was "A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach" which was ASTOUNDING and gorgeous, but the best part of the exhibition as a whole was on one of the landings, where they had small portraits of individuals. They REEKED of character and humanity and Actual LIVES - again,when you're used to seeing the same chinless privileged arrogant twits in all old paintings, it comes as a bit of a shock to be confronted with people who look like you could bump into them in the street outside.

ALSO also pretty amazing was seeing sort of Impressionist (again: i read all the labels) style painting applied to places I have actually BEEN. I've only visited St Ives a couple of times, but it looked very familiar in the paintings to how I remember it, and I'm pretty sure we've been to Newlyn too... though it'll have been with my Dad, so we probably nipped to the pub at some point.

ANYWAY the point is: it was BLOODY GRATE. As I always say, living in That London can be a bit of a pain at times, but the ability to wander along to FANTASTIC things like this after work, for FREE, doesn't half make up for it!

posted 4/4/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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