Enjoyed Tessa Farmer's tiny, destructive Unwelcome Visitors careering their way through the Holburne, Bath. I didn't really have enough time, but I wasn't sure if I'd have another opportunity before the show ends in September, so I decided a short trip was better than none. I hope I do go back, though - reading about it afterwards (as is my contrary wont), I discovered that I'd missed quite a lot - the 'visitors' were so well integrated into the displays that quite often I assumed things were part of the original and moved on too quickly, without enough attention to what was there.
For me, the whole thing was finely balanced between delight at such a brilliant conceit, jaw-dropped awe at some of the miniscule craftsmanship and (I confess) a touch of squeamishness in the face of some of the exhibits - intimidatingly large ants, for instance (not desperately keen on ants at the best of times), and a generously sized caterpillar, squashily skewered on a stick. I had occasional difficulties with what appeared to be varying scales, too, but I think more attention to the work might solve those.
On to the Hot Bed Press Wayzgoose this last Friday and Saturday - essentially one of their occasional 'under-the-bed' print sales, with much added letterpress this time as well as a handful of printmaking demos. When I looked through my planchest drawers a couple of weeks previously for old prints to put in the sale, I discovered not a lot, so I decided to complete a small edition of a tiger print (I started it three, four years ago and then abandoned it at the time so that I could do the same image rather bigger for the 20:20 print exchange).
I know that people do turn up, look round and leave again empty-handed, because I saw a couple at the very start, but it's rare - most of us end up leaving with something new to put on the wall, and many with lots of somethings. I was unusually restrained, but I did acquire just a few things, including a lovely inky blue lithograph of a crow by Katy Hollinshead (the charcoal-coloured version is in the picture below right).
And finally 'Around the World in Eighty Days' at the Royal Exchange. It was just fantastic, inventive fun from start to finish. I suppose some of the more slapstick elements could have been too much if I'd been in a different mood, but as it was, I just thought it was all great, from Phileas Fogg's beautifully timed daily routine at the beginning to his wedding with Aouda at the triumphant finish. The train carriages! The ship scenes! The elephant! The slo-mo fights! So many brilliant, ingenious things.
I make prints and book arts, though nowhere near as often as I'd like - no good reason, just an inability to get on with things. I occasionally go on about landscape (with which I am mildly obsessed) and various of its elements, and I like to pass comment on exhibitions I visit.