What I Like

Artistically I’m kind of inept in many ways. I’m a novice at having to look at things from an artistic angle and then having to critically analyze it. I do enjoy it though, even if I (well I think I do…) end up at rather cynical and negative mutterings towards a lot of the populist (I presume its populist) work I’ve seen in commercial and non-commercial galleries I have visited.

Recent exceptions are a furniture exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery of Joe Columbo‘s work and Ben Hall’s Wild Britain exhibition at the Manchester Museum. Joe Columbo’s embodies the swinging sixties. Eccentricity flows throughout his work and designs that have now become some modern design classics. Without going to heavily into it right away the exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery comes highly recommended. Ben Hall’s exhibition in contrast is a straight up photography show. I’m not an expert in the field, but his are some of the most evocative and inspiring photographs I have seen in a gallery recently- vibrant colours throughout and thoughtful composition. I was also slightly ‘chuffed’ to see that all of his work exhibited here is from a digital camera. See http://www.benhallphotography.com/

I’m particularly impressed with the technical skill required to take this shot, as well as the photographer’s patience and vision for getting the shot. After having watched all of the BBC & David Attenborough’s Planet Earth documentaries I’m even more in awe of the wildlife film/photography brigade. Maybe key to his success, Hall studies the animals he photographs extensively prior to attempting a shot. I wonder if this is possible with humans?

My tendency in art appreciation, is toward enjoying and liking pieces that (deliberately or not) evoke some kind of emotion in me. Sometimes it is explicit, and you can see what the artist is trying to do. Other times its not and everyone will come away with a different feeling. This withstanding it is definitely what I look for in art works, of all kinds, and also what I aspire to produce myself.

Bob Dylan, Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright:

It ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It don’t matter, anyhow
An’ it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If you don’t know by now
When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and I’ll be gone
You’re the reason I’m trav’lin‘ on
Don’t think twice, it’s all right

It ain’t no use in turnin‘ on your light, babe
That light I never knowed
An’ it ain’t no use in turnin‘ on your light, babe
I’m on the dark side of the road
Still I wish there was somethin‘ you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
We never did too much talkin‘ anyway
So don’t think twice, it’s all right

It ain’t no use in callin‘ out my name, gal
Like you never did before
It ain’t no use in callin‘ out my name, gal
I can’t hear you any more
I’m a-thinkin‘ and a-wond’rin‘ all the way down the road
I once loved a woman, a child I’m told
I give her my heart but she wanted my soul
But don’t think twice, it’s all right

I’m walkin‘ down that long, lonesome road, babe
Where I’m bound, I can’t tell
But goodbye’s too good a word, gal
So I’ll just say fare thee well
I ain’t sayin‘ you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don’t mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don’t think twice, it’s all right

These words, in combination with a beautiful piece of acoustic guitar playing, make probably my favourite of Bob Dylan’s songs. Its not a protest song, its not political – and I’m not trying to say Dylan’s more political works are better or worse songs – but for some reason, this is always the one to make me feel the most. I’m not even sure what the feeling normally is, but I always know it’s there.I took this shot on a day when I went to visit Crosby to see Anthony Gormley’s “Another Place”. I was interested in the piece after its extensive coverage on television. The timing of my visit meant that it was an extremely windy, wintry day and the tide was up so few of the figures were accessible – however I think this probably added to the experience. I really like this photograph and feel that even though I am ‘bouncing’ off Gormley’s art it does have its own merit autonomously.