Friday, 4 June 2010

A cultured week

This last week has been very cultured, as I have been busy visiting exhibitions here and there before returning to France for a month. I went to the Quilts exhibition at the Vand A - how could I not, as years ago I attempted a little patchwork, and also made a simple quilted bedcover for my bed. I'm also currently remaking a piece of patchwork my mother made for one of my sons. It's being "quilted" by button quilting, so not too complicated to do, and will go to France for the guest bedroom. The bits and pieces shown have been produced over a period of time, and for me the time taken to produce the wonderful examples seen at the Vand A was an important theme.

I went to visit my sister on Tuesday, and we went out to lunch in Cookham, afterwards wandering round the Stanley Spencer gallery, which I drive past on the way to my sister's house but had not yet visited. It's only small, but has some interesting paintings. We are both fans of his paintings, partly because I think they represent a part of our past. When the lady at the reception desk asked us how we had heard about the gallery, we could only reply that we had known about it for a long time.
For a bit more local culture, I visited the Sea Fever exhibition at Southampton City Art Gallery, which has an interesting collection of art works on the theme of the sea. Some are by local artists, such as Eric Meadus, others by well-known names like Turner, Lowry, Maggie Hambling. It's only a temporary exhibition, ending at the beginning of September.
My final cultural visit was to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, which my husband had also been wanting to visit, especially as they have added a beautiful modern extension. There is so much to see at the Ashmolean, that I think you have to be a bit choosy. We visited a very interesting temporary exhibition on the lost world of Old Europe, which had numerous artefacts from Europe, the Danube valley mainly, dating from 5000 to 3500 BC. Very enlightening, except as to why it all came to an abrupt end. The numerous copper mines stopped being worked, the type of farming changed and life apparently reverted to nomadic, instead of settled. The time we spent there was very enlightening, and as we used the Park and Ride facility, with free bus passes the cost was very little.

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