A few weeks ago my grandson and I determined to visit Derby Museum and Art gallery. We haven't been for years and while he loves the mummies, fossils etc I wanted to see the restaged Joseph Wright exhibition. In case you didn't know (and why should you?) Joseph Wright of Derby was born in Derby (no *** Sherlock!) and we Derbians are extremely proud of this.. While he painted many portraits of local dignitaries he is especially famous for his painting of various forms of light. Do look him up folks. Anyway, with just a week to go before J starts a new job that will mean he will have less time to indulge his frail elderly grandmother,(recognise me folks?) this week was our last chance to visit the metropolis. We then hear the fabulous news that a large collection of Leonardo da Vinci drawings from the Royal Collection are being divided up and lent to museums around the country for all to see and Derby was a chosen one, starting last weekend and running until May. How excited was I !? Apparently the number of visitors has been so high that they are having to give people times tickets to view. Derby Museum and Art gallery has free admission, which is commendable. I invested £5 in the donations box, worth considerably more I think. While waiting for our "slot " in the da Vinci exhibition, we had plenty of time to look at all the exhibits and collections.
The icing on the cake came as we left. There was a wall of random types and styles of drawings on a wall and one drawing caught my eye. "That really resonates with me J" I said "who is the artist? ". It was a drawing by Ronald Pope a local sculptor who taught me wood sculpture when I was at Art college in the early sixties! I was SO pleased to have seen this and be taken back to those days. I was able to tell J. that the relief carving in the kitchen and the sculpture in my bedroom were both done under Ron's tutelage. Incidentally, I bought some old wood carving chisels at a car boot sale last year , intending to attack some lovely chunks of wood in our woodpile! maybe this is a sign that I should do just that.
While I'm om the subject of painting, did anyone see the programme by Anthony Gormley about cave painting?. While it was really interesting and beautifully presented I thought that I had seen many of the examples of cave art over the years. However, I have never seen any Australian early art. When he lay on his back in a cave and we saw that fabulous drawing of a kangaroo my breath was taken away. It was the BEST line drawing of a kangaroo I have ever seen - from any era.
So, I reckon you must be "Arted-Out" by now, but I've got it off my chest and will now get some ice and settle down for the evening with David and a serious scotch.