“We shut in twenty minutes time.”
I wanted to say that I knew that as I could read the sign, but I was too polite. I think the woman on the desk realised that, because she added: “What I wanted to say is that if you only have twenty minutes left, you really should see the wallpaper.”
I’d gone into Rusholme for a curry with my family, and so, as we often do, we’d dropped into the Whitworth Art Gallery.
The Whitworth is my favourite Art Gallery. I used to go there as a student, usually after walking through the little park beside it. You can look out from the gallery windows at the winter trees in the twilight. The room that you can best do this from had been decorated with green ivy wallpaper as part of the exhibition. It looked spectacular. The artist’s notes, if I remember correctly, said that it was supposed to inspire feelings of menace and claustrophobia but I thought it looked rather pretty.
I thought that was it, and to my mind that room alone would have been worth the admission charge, had there been one, but the exhibition proper lay through another door.
All sorts of wallpaper, designed by contemporary artists. The fascination for me was in the repetition, something I don’t think that was properly explored, but that’s the trouble with most artists- they never explore the possibilities inherent in the maths properly.
Even so, the wallpaper was excellent. Which is more than could be said for the curry.