Hughie O'Donoghue has been a favourite artist at least since I went to see a major exhibition of his work in Birmingham, maybe nearly a decade ago. No, before that, even - the Whitworth was showing his set of carborundum prints, A Line of Retreat. I was hooked from there on in. I haven't noticed any of his exhibitions being on within easy reach for quite a while, now, but once I'd spotted this one (and with only a couple of weeks left to run) I was definitely going to make the trip.
I'm a lazy viewer of art, and I know it. Due to the bored company I have on occasion taken with me to exhibitions, I really can get through a gallery in an amazingly short period of time. What that means, of course, is that while I might have glanced at a lot of art, I have missed out on a tremendous amount of depth down the years due to lack of application, and that quite often it's luck whether anything makes a deeper impression on me. But you just can't approach O'Donoghue like that. Everything about his work concerns layers and depth and then more layers and further depth.
I liked Kendal too - not enough time to do much more than wander up the street a way, but I'm looking forward to a lazier return visit sometime soon. I cut across (a beautiful trip, full of Postman Pat hills - no, really! - and stark tree silhouettes against the skyline, and I didn't see another vehicle or person on the B road from one end to the other) from there to Kirkby Lonsdale, which was empty - not how most people see it, by all accounts. On a grey, lowering day, the town looked built for weather - hunched down and ready to withstand whatever winter might throw at it. I find it hard to imagine that it looks as good in the summer, but maybe that's just how I feel about summer.