I did manage to go to some exhibitions, both locally and in London, and the baby came with me to all of them. When he was a few weeks old, and my husband was still on paternity leave, we went to a beautiful exhibition, Sculpture in the Vineyard, a the Bothy vineyard outside Abingdon. There was a really eclectic mix of exhibits, and we were really lucky to visit on one of those early autumn days when the sun is getting lower but still retains lots of warmth. We also got to taste some wine, and there was a gorgeous retro tearoom set up too. I'd really recommend a visit, and plan to go again (I think the event happens once a year around the same time).
As the baby got more wriggly and less sleepy, there was a bit of a hiatus in exhibition-going; but I did manage to catch the Sappho to Suffrage and Story of Phi: Restricted Books at the Weston Library one afternoon while he was asleep (the Weston cafe has great baby-changing facilities, incidentally!). I always enjoy these mini-exhibitions, which act as a showcase of the wonderful collections of the library, and there are two great ones coming up: one on Babel and Translation and another on Maps.
In the new year we also got to see the wonderful exhibition on Modern Couples and artistic collaboration at the Barbican in London. My favourite part, in a huge exhibition that we had to whip round as the baby got restless (and set off seemingly a domino effect of whimpering with the other babies in the exhibition), was Picasso's lover Dora Maar's extraordinary photography. The exhibition also cleverly, and intricately, linked artists and writers in couples, trios and quartets -- often overlapping -- in a non-voyeuristic way, to suggest how webs of creativity are spun.
|Baby with Blue Ball at 'Jeff Koons'. Boredom or the banal?|
Just today I saw the latest exhibition at Modern Art Oxford: Penny Woolcock: Fantastic Cities. Again it was a brief run around (the little chap being rather startled by the audio), but the work explored in really interesting, and sometimes startling, ways the manner in which individuals can occupy the same spaces in cities but experience these spaces completely differently: making the story of China Mieville's The City and The City seem eerily prescient. This week, too, I had a quick scoot about the William Morris and the Thames exhibition at the River and Rowing Museum, Henley, which was full of beautiful fabrics which were not particularly fascinating to a five-month old. It made me desperate to get more Morris, and somehow to re-visit the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, which is brilliant (and free). I plan to return to the Henley Museum when I have a little more time (?!) to revisit that, and the permanent John Piper display, which has had new additions this spring (a ticket gives you a year's access to the Museum, as well as free parking by the river!).