Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Art Smells Like Flan

I decided to take myself along to the Whitworth Art Gallery today. It had been the first day of breatheinbreatheout no stress for a while.

I wandered around for a while, very aware of the fact that it was shutting in twenty minutes. I had loads of time, really, but I was irked by the feeling that some be-polo-shirted employee could, at any moment, tap me on the shoulder and tell me to leave. This, of course, would have been fine, I would have left. I do not have a history of gallery tantrums. It is unlikely that I would have started screaming and windmilling, demanding to be allowed to finish perusing the series of tree-themed paintings. Still, when I came to realize that I was spending more time thinking about that than appreciating the art, I left.

(Also I find the Whitworth gallery always smells overpoweringly of school canteen flan.)

I sat outside on a picnic bench next to my bike (Glinda). I tried to feel arty, to channel some inspiration from the tree paintings I had just seen, but before long realized I was sitting next to the open window of the ladies toilet, through which I could hear someone scrubbing the floors and complaining. Also just in front of me was parked a slightly grubby Ford Focus. It was just starting to turn from a eye-splittingly bright spring day to a nose-searingly chilly spring evening. I gave up and went home.

This morning I played my cello for an hour. Last Friday I was part of a performance by Manchester collective rift cuts, at the Yard Theatre in Hulme. There was brilliant poetry and a warm audience. (My favourite line of the show came from Vanessa Fay "when we laugh/it's like the sun smacking the sky/with diamond knuckles")* I played my cello while people were coming in, and then played and sang one of my songs in the middle. It was cool. I mean, cool, like actually really cool (for me). It sort of just clicked, that playing and singing thing. I felt liberated and comfortable. Today I practiced, and sang. Belted open strings and matched it with a wide, open voice. Tried scribbling about up the top of the range and plucking strings, and bowing tricky, happy rhythms. Matching and mismatching voice and strings. It was fun. When Ben gets back after he has been in Devon for two whole weeks** we will no doubt try beatboxing (him) and looping stuff up and generally being very high tech and excellent (also him).

Right. I only really started this blog post so I could have something to do to get me to a time I wouldn't feel guilty about opening some wine, and it's now ten past seven! In fact I have just heard Ben sneak out of the study and clink something, so I suspect he might have had precisely the same idea. I must investigate at once.

*This may not be accurate, but anyway it was brilliant, whatever it actually was.
**Two whole weeks! This is a problem because since living with him I have entirely forgotten how to cook and therefore may well starve to death.

7 Comments:

Blogger Ellie said...

You can always eat the art.

9:00 pm

 
Blogger Léonie said...

That's an excellent idea! Thank you, life saver xx

9:22 am

 
Anonymous Jackie said...

the song at the yard was boss. re: food, i'll lend you some spam.

12:16 am

 
Anonymous Paul said...

I hate the word flan.

8:02 am

 
Blogger Joni said...

if you get to appreciate art and artistic wholesale handbags, then you're definitely satisfying yourself...food satisfies us right? so perhaps food and art bring the same satisfaction

8:20 am

 
Blogger Jonathan said...

I wish I lived near somebody who played a musical instrument that could be heard on the night air as they practiced...

1:56 pm

 
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