It has been a while since I have written on this blog and documented my experiences of an exhibition. Having completed my Masters in August and after graduating in November, I needed a break from reading and writing about art. Instead, I have been catching up on the books that have been sat on my bookshelf gathering dust throughout the past year. Through my readings I have travelled through several eras and genres; reading Fitzgerald and Steinbeck classics, as well as more sombre books charting semi-autobiographical experiences of war, such as Slaughterhouse 5 and Catch 22 (both of which I highly recommend). I have been enjoying the experience of being sat on a beach, at home, in the bath or in a coffee house, travelling through time and space and being lost in fictional words.
Taking time out of writing about art has been really important in the sense that it has allowed me to reflect on what I learnt during my Masters. Having completed it in a year, there was very much a frantic nature to the research and the learning. There was so much to absorb at such a fast pace, that casting back and making notes at a more leisurely rate has been integral to furthering my understanding of what I learnt on the course and has allowed me to develop my research interests beyond an institutional framework.
Despite a quiet period on the blog and a sabbatical from my writing practice, that is not to say I have neglected art entirely. I have been writing art reviews for The Wee Review, a platform which provides reviews and opinions on performing arts across Scotland. I have also continued to visit exhibitions in Edinburgh and travelled down to Newcastle twice since September, most recently in the past week. I was fortunate enough to visit Newcastle at a time where every space was brimming with art; BALTIC had a show on every floor, Side Gallery had some fantastic documentary photography, The Laing Art Gallery had its beautiful permanent collection as well as Stephen Scully and David Bomberg (more on the latter in a later post). BALTIC never ceases to amaze, but one of the most prominent and influential shows of the trip was a visit to Vane Gallery; which I will reflect on in a separate post once I have gathered my thoughts and frantic notes more coherently together!