Today was ‘Culture Day’ for Team North-North-East and so we went to visit the Turner Prize Exhibition at the Baltic Gallery.
We began the day with coffee and some thoughts from our resident artist, Andy Barker, on how to think about art.
We wandered round the exhibit.
Then we went for lunch.
And it was rather a fun day, as it always is when spending time with such lovely people.
As far as what I thought about the art itself, well, I think I’d have to summarise my feelings as ‘unsatisfied’.
There are four nominees: Martin Boyce, Hilary Lloyd, Karla Black and George Shaw, and we saw them in that order. I found the first three interesting, probably preferring the third most of all, but then we got to number 4 and the problem emerged. You see, back in April I actually saw George Shaw’s full exhibition when it was on display at the Baltic and I really liked it.
I liked the subject matter, I liked the technique, I liked the materials and I liked the way it made me think.
But of that exhibition only about 10 pieces were on display in the Nominees exhibition today, and having seen the full thing, and seen what it’s reduced down to, I rather wonder what we were missing out on from the other 3.
A big deal has been made of the fact that the Turner Prize has come to the north. This year is only the second time it has been displayed outside of London, and the first time outside of a Tate Gallery. Wonderful.
But, the Baltic is a big gallery, and only one floor was given over to the exhibition. Why? If it’s such a big deal shouldn’t they have given the whole place over to it, and then perhaps we would have been able to see more, and get a better idea of the full scope of each artist’s work.
I feel unsatisfied by it because I only got a little taste of each. Andy said it felt like the art version of tapas, and I have to agree.
Tasty, but not really enough.
In summary: somewhat filled with culture