Thursday, 2 February 2012
Occupy Thanet, The Turner Contemporary, You Can’t Always Say What You Want.
I went for second look at the new exhibition that is on at the moment at The Turner Contemporary and also a second chat with the people in the tents outside.
I am a slow thinker and find it hard to absorb things without several attempts, so guess it will be several more visits before I even know if I will ever understand the exhibition or the demonstration.
Because both of these thing are happening in the same place at the same time, they are linked for me and I have to consider them both together. I go into the exhibition look at some of the paintings, go and have a cup of tea, go and talk to the protesters, go back and look at some pictures, go an have lunch in the gallery restaurant, sketch a few of the people in the restaurant, go and talk to the protesters again, go back an look at some of the pictures and so on.
One thing is absolutely certain and that is I will never be able to write down properly what the Turners are about, if I could then painting them would be have been pointless. In much the same with the protest, if I could communicate what it is exactly about in a few words then there wouldn’t be much point in people camping out in a very cold and exposed place at this time of year.
With both things you really have to go and engage with them yourself, with the turners looking at the pictures online or in a book isn’t the same at all and with the protest it is as much about exchanging ideas with the protesters as anything else.
Many of the Turners on display are small watercolours, sketches to catch an idea or a moment, some work for me and some don’t, I would guess that some worked for Turner and some didn’t. If you use a sketchbook, then I imagine you will understand what I mean. If you don’t then using a digital camera is somewhat similar, you take a lot of pictures, some work and some don’t, some convey something to you personally, because you were there when you took them and wouldn’t convey anything much to anyone else, some convey something meaningful to some other people, stand up on their own in some way.
As readers of this blog will know, if I go somewhere I usually take a lot of pictures and publish them all, including the ones that didn’t work, here are today’s http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/laptop212/
If I get time and somewhere reasonably comfortable to sit I also do some sketches, this just isn’t something you can replace with photography, for instance I did three in the restaurant, today.
One of the window cleaner.
One of the people sitting in front of me.
And another one when some people went away and someone else sat down.
Some are obviously better than others, but you can only tell up to a point, unless of course you were there, recognise the people and can therefore tell if I managed a reasonable likeness.
I think it is much the same with the turner watercolour sketches and this is more difficult because it doesn’t say which ones were intended for display, with some it is obvious that they weren’t. One is four different sketches on one large piece of paper, which has been cut up after the sketches were done and then reassembled in the frame.
With the protesters, it is obvious that they have some real and valid concerns, their statement gives you some idea http://thanetpress.blogspot.com/2012/01/statement-from-occupy-thanet.html
I don’t think they are so much proposing some sort of solution as they are discussing ideas with the people who visit.
I will ramble on about this I expect.