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Sunday, 23 March 2014

What's The USE?

I paid another visit yesterday to the good folk of  The Minories Galleries to have a wander, take in the atmosphere and view their latest exhibition USE. Well what else would you want to do on a Saturday in Colchester?

The 'official blurb/information' is to be found if you click on the link above. Here is mine. Not particularly prosaic or wordy just plain and simple. I like it. As in really like it. It's delightful.

Against a backdrop of white painted walls we have collections of whisks, buttons, screws, hinges, coat hangers and, neatly displayed in glass cabinets there are salt and pepper pots, scissors, nut crackers, coffee stirrers and, wait for it, paper clips.

Shall I tell you why I liked it so much? Okay then, seeing as you asked so nicely.

Well my initial and overriding response was that it reminded me of being in my Dad's shed, with all the 'tools' in their place ready for use. The tools in this case being everyday ordinary household objects. The buttons, scissors and the whisks reminded me of my Mum. She used a whisk for cooking and knitted us all jumpers and cardigans. The final act being the sewing on of the buttons. I still have her button tin. Also, on the odd occasion I create an artwork (usually for my Daughter at Christmas) I add a button or three from that tin. It's a way of being creative and passing on a small piece of her. The screws and hinges the very things my Dad would use as he went about his livelihood, and nowadays my Son, both being carpenter/joiners.

I wanted to take a whisk down and make myself an omelette or a milk shake. Then build something that involved hinges and screws. Whilst I was at it I could hang up my jacket, stir my coffee and, erm, crack my nuts.

I was also struck by how much the older style of whisk, with the handles (Mum had a red one) one for holding and one for turning, were very similar to the hand-held drills we used to use for woodwork. Just replace the whisks for a drill bit. None of this namby pamby rechargeable nonsense, and probably why Dad (and Mum at times) had such a vice-like grip of his own!

Who'd have thought it, a collection of everyday inanimate practical objects nailed to walls or in glass cabinets invoking such rich, deep memories. Also just so lovely to wander around and spend some time observing.

But is it art? I hear you asking. Well yes, it is. More on that very question in another blog though as it's also something I have been pondering.

Do go along and have a wander around and decide for  yourself. You could also have coffee/cake/lunch/wine/beer in the Garden Cafe. You can even get married there. Crikey heck what more do you want?

Go on Go on Go on.....

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