March 18th, 2009

Day Trip To Liverpool

We went to Liverpool on St. Patrick's day.  We thought we might run into lots of people wearing green trousers and silly hats, but we didn't. In fact the cultural quarter round the Albert Dock- with its galleries and expensive shops- was quieter than we'd ever seen it. Blame the recession.

We took in three exhibitions at the Tate. Firstly a room devoted to William Blake, then our main objective (because it parallels Ailz's OU course) the two floors of The Twentieth Century How It Looked And Felt, thirdly the Glenn Brown retrospective. Brown makes art about art (doesn't everyone these days?) and has the trick of getting flat paintwork to look like heavy impasto. He does epic sci-fi landscapes- blown-up and adapted from the covers of mass-market paperbacks, sinister reworkings of paintings by the old masters and portrait things that aren't portraits at all but cruddy masses of faux-impasto. He's weird- which is merely a tendentious way of saying he's doing things no-one else has ever thought of doing before- and that's good, isn't it?

They have a very good cafe at the Tate. Ailz had a scone with cream and jam and I had a caramelised lemon tart.

As an afterthought we drove along the waterfront- past the docks where the rich people keep their yatchts- and stopped off at the Anglican cathedral- a 20th centrury gothic pile that always makes me think of Quasimodo.