I recently searched my nearest proper art gallery, The Wilson, looking for any type of art that I could use to talk about Time and Place. Instead what I found was a perfect example what I think of as art and how, to me, it compares to modern day art.
Below is a fantastically detailed painting by Pierre Jean Hellmans from the 19th century. It is presented in a gorgeous gilt frame and is an absolute delight to view. It gives an immediate sense of time and place, the scene is depicted so well that I could just step through the frame and into the images itself.
In the same gallery room I found this mixed media ‘Figure by a River’. It took skill to make and still gives a sense of time and place, albeit of a different quality. However, comparing the expertly painted former image with this block painted and paper mache strewn latter sums up how I feel comparing old classic art with modern art. The older stuff, in my opinion, is better quality, more skilled, timeless and infinitely better presented. I know it’s a cliche and I know that one of the many points of this module is to introduce me to the concept that the definition of Art is now as broad and indeterminate as the edge of a sunrise, but it is just not for me. I like the old stuff a lot more!
Randomly, the art gallery also held an exhibition of furniture. I found this wooden chest very interesting. I am attracted to wooden furniture with metal twiddly bits, especially ornate ones such as this. They make me think of exotic places and exploring new lands. Looking at this metal work makes me think of adventurers travelling through jungles, or the Silk Roads or trekking to Macchu Piccu and picking tea in China. So whilst not reminding me of a specific time and place, it makes me imagine new ones very easily!