Visiting a friend

There are certain art works in the Tate Modern and the National Gallery (the two galleries that I have visited most in my life) that I have a relationship with.  I have seen these works many times over the years and they have become living things for me.  I have a relationship with them.

This is the first time that I have had the experience of seeing an art work daily for a sustained period of time.  It has been a great experience.  Ultimately I have the view that all of my art work is a self portrait.  To this extent, it’s not surprising that I personify the works as I get to know them better.

In terms of having a daily engagement with particular art works, I read an interesting book a while ago called ‘The Sight of Death’ by T.J. Clark.  He viewed the same two Poussin paintings daily for a period of time and recorded his changing experiences with the work in a notebook. He was effectively ‘blogging’ about the experience but his posts have been published in a book.

I’m finding this to be a very satisfactory way to appreciate and engage with an art work.  The model of entering a large gallery as a tourist attraction and seeing lots of art works as a one-off is certainly a very different experience.

Back to ‘Beacon’, tonight I was there late. I love this time as usually there is nobody around.  It’s just me and the art work.  Tonight I had the feeling that the beacon was a very close friend and that my daily visits were akin to visiting a friend regularly.