Tuesday was almost as grey and uninviting as Monday. I didn't want a second housebound day so I caught a bus into the city centre to visit The Graves Gallery on top of The Central Library.
Apart from checking out current exhibits, I knew there was going to be a free talk at 1pm - all about the abstract artist John Hoyland who was born and raised in Sheffield.
I have always been drawn to art - if you will pardon that expression - and I consider myself to be quite open-minded about artistic fayre. However, I must admit that I have often been totally unimpressed by abstract canvases. Sometimes I think this is a failing in me. Perhaps I am blinkered or unenlightened but I simply cannot help what I feel.
Before the talk, I saw a wonderful, quirky tapestry created by Grayson Perry in 2014. In a light-hearted manner, it seeks to capture what it means to be British. It is titled "Comfort Blanket" and I was of course pleased to find "Yorkshire Pudding" woven in there though I could not find "The Beatles".
The talk was by a bearded academic in a stripey woollen sweater. He mainly spoke about the differences between a canvas that Hoyland created in 1969 and another that he finished before his death in 2011. I could see depth and interest in the newer picture but the earlier one left me stone cold - just big blocks of colour. What possible merit could there be in that? It reminded me of similar canvases by the American abstract painter - Mark Rothko.
It was all two hours well spent and afterwards I went to the indoor Moor Market for a sausage and tomato sandwich and a mug of tea before visiting the T.J.Hughes department store to buy a new shirt. Then I rode back home on the Number 82 bus. Living on the edge.
|Memories of Rain by John Hoyland (14.4.09)|