I’ve been out and about in Birmingham today and not had time for any art apart from my #Letter365 piece, but I went to the new Library and took some more “Personal Reflections” photos featuring the dots on the windows and this one of the shadows of the dots.
Apart from the visually arresting architecture, interesting spaces and good design the new Library was packed with people enjoying using the facilities in a respectful and cooperative way – and I stress the word “enjoying”! Mostly the people were young students working together in groups or couples as well as private study, probably more than 70% non-white ethnicity, and there were lots of smiles and as sense of comradeship and shared endeavour. It felt like a library should feel – alive. So while there may be other local issues about the way the library budget has been spent in Birmingham, the building itself seems to me to be a huge success.
I also managed to catch a nice exhibition on the work of Stefan and Franciszka Themerson, avant-guard filmakers in pre-war Poland, and another quick look round the Library of Cultures exhibition (I think it was called) which has some fantastic images and artifacts, printed materials and photographic archives. Both shows were at the Library.
At the Museum and Art Gallery I poped in to see the Grayson Perry tapestries. Which were entertaining and in part visually rich and interesting. I’m unsure how much the good feeling and story in the TV programmes coloured my judgement about them. Would I have liked them less or more had I come to them fresh? I was a bit rushed too so probably took them a bit for granted which I may not have done had I not seen the programmes.