EDitorial ± 11-Jun-2002

Smiley Culture

Couple of weeks back found me meandering around Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich's own version of Central Park. More often than not, of a lunchtime, you'll find me (if you were looking for me) propping up the bar of a sleazy cappuccino joint, so it made a wholesome change to go in pursuit of some local culture.

First up was The Room Upstairs for a mini exhibition entitled The Queen Visits Suffolk in Pictures. Digression: I detest unnecessary capital letters, so take my word that the previous sentence couldn't be helped. Evidently HRH has been to our fair town thrice:

  1. in 1961, for the opening of the Civic College
  2. in 1975, to open the Post Office Research Centre
  3. in 1977, to swan around the town centre before setting sail from Felixstowe in the royal yacht
NB You may know these places better as Suffolk College and Adastral Park, or even BT Labs. Maybe the town centre will be renamed prior to her return visit next month.

Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, as shown on an old picture postcard

Leaving that room, heading right then left brought me to the Victorian parlour for two items of personal interest: a painting of Margaret Catchpole by a chap named Rev Richard Cobbold, and a sketch of Cobbold himself by another artist. Hadn't seen these before.

Finally, with my late-review-o-meter hitting dangerous levels, into the Wolsey (who he?) Art Gallery for a "collaborative exhibition" called Loss Of Face:

"...in which a hundred defaced heads are juxtaposed with an electronically constructed score"
Each photo showed a close-up of a saint or angel taken from a medieval rood screen, the face having been gouged or scarred during the Reformation. Sounds grim, but was compelling.

Funny thing was that I went back to the Wolsey Art Gallery on Sunday with the kids. Not to show them the gouged eyes and scarred faces, but for an interactive art show for 3-5 year olds. Called Five Alive, it's on until Sep 2002, and is top fun. I liked the playhouses built of blackboards the best. Chap in charge was saying that the houses have to be checked for rude words at the end of each day.

Be seeing you!