Sheffield and David Shrigley

Just got back from driving Rebecca and I to Sheffield to check out the David Shrigley exhibition at the Mappin Art Gallery.
It’a a beautiful day and the drive across to Sheffield was fantastic. Snake’s Pass is gorgeous and fun to drive, even though you do have to keep your wits about you. I love it.
Got to Sheffield, and had to drive around a roundabout several times because I overshot the correct road, and then we had to circle a couple more times before we found somewhere to park. But that’s okay, I like roundabouts anyhow.
Found the Mappin Gallery in Weston Park, and had a look at the work we came to see, it was certainly “select”. Just the one room containing a handful of his silly sculptures and photos really, and to be honest they were more “thoughts” than sculptures. One piece was rather disturbing, entitled “Nutless” it was a stuffed squirrel nibbling it’s own neatly decapitated head.
Inept but endearing.
Oh yeah – there was one Shrigley piece called “Why?” which was just plasticine models (I think) of each letter of the alphabet stood up and placed in a line on a shelf, except for the Y which was deformed and lying down. The gallery supervisor left the room for a minute or two and I watched a small girl try to carefully reshape the letter and stand it back up alongside it’s comrades!
Moseyed around the rest of the Gallery/Museum’s rather electic collection. Saw Egyptian mummys, (including a photo of one crossing the road on its way to being x-rayed) ancient Japanese wrestlers, a gallery full of random silver in no particular order with a note saying that the “labels are left over from a previous exhibition and bear no relation to the current exhibits”, a fibre glass replica beaker people stone carving, a polar bear, some 18th century portraiture, a selection of old shoes, a gallery of Pop Art (some of which I rather liked but have immediately forgotten), some children’s toys, a rubber girdle, and some igneous rock, amongst other mad things.
Had a cappuccino and a muffin in the cafe, couldn’t believe how good and cheap it was. Sat browsing through the local art listings paper and was amused to read an advertisement for an evening class in pole dancing “sexy dancing to sexy music”. We wondered if you had to provide your own pole or not ? Maybe they also give tips as to how to avoid splinters or cold burn?
Anyhow, bought some handmade paper in the gift shop to attempt to make some lanterns with. Rebecca bought me a little book “Dream Machines” which is a catalogue to go with an exhibition that Susan Hiller put together exploring altered states of consciousness. It’s quite good although I haven’t seen the exhibtion to go with it the catalogue is written in such a way that it doesn’t matter and contains interesting text descriptions and pictures of each featured artist. I flicked through it earlier and my favourite so far is Minerva Cuevas’ “Drunker” documenting the artist’s progressive descent into a state of complete intoxication as she consumes an entire bottle of Tequilla before a camera, while writing lines.
Sauntered through Weston Park on the way back to Lara, it was so sunny and nice, people were out playing tennis and you could look out onto the city. It was really pleasant.
Drove Lara back through Snake’s Pass again, even better the second time. On the way back to Manchester you get more of a vista and you can see down into the valley. Was surprised to see how low the reservoir looked considering how rainy it has been this year. There were large “beaches” with sheep paddling at the edges!
Made it back to Rebecca’s without getting lost, she cooked me some yummy noodles and showed me what she’s been up to artwise. It’s cool, she’s going to make a little Kay to hopefully go in a potential exhibition along with other little “superheros”, which is her theme. Can’t wait to see the finished pieces.
Which brings me up to date, so I can now go and wash the dishes (oh joy).

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