Sunday, 19 August 2012

Getting Arty in Oxford

When i mentioned my plans to the local mums you would have thought that I was planning to scale the Eiger in a bikini - but by this stage of the summer holiday I need the sustenance of good art. Besides it was the first solo exhibition for Jenny Saville and the Pickle had been studying Greek pottery at school. Armed with snacks, a scooter and by Viva Glam lippy (no hip flask) I set out for Oxford.

Having escaped the clutches of the Westgate Centre we were on the way. First stop the Ashmolean and Greek Pottery and the first Jenny Saville pics, but only if we can get in through the door. Never fear, my mayhrm barely ruffles a hair on the immaculately coiffed heads of kindly matrons of the Ashmolean. Armed with a selection of possible trails we set out on the first adventure but first time for a snack. Lovely cafe, the cost made my eyes water (hoping it would be the only tears for the day).

It was a perfect visit, we attacked the Eygptian art trail with gusto before heading onto the Greek pottery. Who said antiquity is dull? Dead bodies in Eygpt and silly faces to be copied in Greece - nothing could be better. Just to think I thought that the Ashmolean would be stuffy: perplexed by our giggles maybe, but definitely friendly. We had to quit while we were just ahead and miss their Jenny Saville's but, being a Mum is all about spotting 'the signs'.

The smiles continued to Modern Art Oxford. The art trolley snared us before we even made it into the gallery. next armed with an art box we headed to see the exhibition.

There is a fundamental physics of childhood, one of equal and opposite energies. When faced with a death eater as imagined by Miss Jean Brodie...well, you can imagine the rest. suffice to say that when we made it down stairs to the cafe again never did a coffee taste so good...and the chocolate cake was medicinal (did I mention I left the hip flask at home?).

Aside from the deeds and misdemeanours of a Mum was it worth the visit? Yes. Jenny Saville's is a phenomenal talent - being a contemporary painter she can be too staid for the contemporary camp and too challenging for the traditionalists. Forget the labels, she works on a scale and with the broadest brush strokes that cut to the emotions with the precision of a scalpel. I was trying to avoid the Mummy talk here, but I was still quite pleased that the Pickle did not question me too much on the eye level penis that seems to launch itself into the room from the body of a transexual in transition.

We got home before I had to listen to Alegria for the 30th time that day so all things considered, it was a huge success. V&A tomorrow? NOOOOO I need a fortnight to recover; I got my fix and I will be planning my next visit but first that drink I had been promising myself.


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