Good-bye Shakespeare et al

I can’t believe that the exhibition is over – it doesn’t seem that long since it went up.  I started condition reporting it this morning and got stuck in straight away as I was a bit late having taken my children to school.  Unfortunately my husband couldn’t do that this morning as he had a meeting in London first thing.  Anyway I feel quite confident about the conditions of the works of art as we would have been notified of any damage that might have occured during the course of the exhibiton and they are all glazed.  Unfortunately Ambrose (my job-share partner) is not in today and apparently the Exhbitions Team have got a very tight turnover, so I need to get cracking!

My parents came and visited the exhibiton during the summer holdiays and really enjoyed it and various people from my Book Group have said that they would like to go, so may have done so.  I tried to persuade some of them to go to a talk which was held in the Lecture Theatre last Saturday which was called ‘Reading the Novel’ I met a couple of the ‘Friends (of Southampton’s Museums and Galleries)’  but nobody else that I knew was there.  The talk was really good fun and very interesting.  I learnt quite a lot apart from the fact that the film of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ is no good (I am going to see it this week with my Book Group) but that the book was worth reading (we are reading it at the moment so that it can tie in with seeing the film).  I learnt a bit about the structure of novels, the different persons that they can be written in and the importance of a good opening sentence.  We had to think about our favourite novel at one point and I thought of ‘Attonement’.

Whilst I was at the talk my husband and children were attending a workshop which was based on the exhibiton.  The boys produced two great portraits and one of my sons made a collage with the poster as a basis as well as creating a silhouette of himself.  The portraits were painted on little canvas which even had their own stretcher keys – I was very impressed!

Anyway, I started condition reporting the exhibition.  When I got to the portrait of Roald Dahl it reminded me of a review I had read about him in the Guardian which had been prompted by a new biography which has come out about him.  The article was really critical of his character which, according to the article, wasn’t very nice. It made me rather sad as I love his childrens’ books and used to enjoy reading his short stories although some of them are pretty macabre.  Apparently they are quite a good reflection of his own character.

So I steamed on full-speed ahead and completed the condition reporting in the morning.  I noticed second time round that Ian Curtis appears to have a rather large right hand in his portrait.  I’d also read an article in the Guardian about Morrissey since the beginning of the exhibition which was pretty critical of his character, or at least a lot of the letters which were in response to the article were critical of him.  It must be hard work being in the spotlight.  Maybe creative people do not always have very nice characters.

Anyway, my involvement with the exhibiton now appears to be over, at least until the courier comes tomorrow when I may be asked to help again.  I enjoyed watching the videos that my colleagues made about their jobs a while ago and the exhibition itself has been really interesting.  I hope that Plymouth enjoy it as much as we have.

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