' Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.'
Monday, 19 December 2011
The new museum, M Shed that opened in June this year is an absolute triumph and what's more it's doesn't cost a penny to look round unless you give a great big fat donation after your visit because it's so brilliant! Housed in an old cargo warehouse on the River Avon, it tells the story of Bristol and is packed full of information, objects and interactive installations which are guaranteed to enthrall the young and old, whether they're locals who may have contributed to exhibits here or, like us, come from further afield. This city has had international connections from distant times and the goods that used to be stored in this very location made their way from here on ships destined for ports around the world. Whereas this bus? Well, I expect, its covered a mileage that was equivalent to several global circumnavigations before it reached its resting spot in the 'Places Gallery', one of three at M Shed.
And so we move onto the 'People Gallery', probably my favourite. This was stuffed to the 'gunnels', an entirely fitting nautical term for somewhere with such a strong naval heritage, with pieces that reflect the creativity of this city's inhabitants over the centuries and also demonstrate how they have fared and also fought in times of adversity. Even though I was spoilt for choice in what I could have used to illustrate the diverse work displayed in this gallery, this poem etched on glass easily came out tops. It demonstrates that those regarded as the lowest of the low, in this instance an eighteenth century black slave woman can leave behind a legacy of wisdom that far outweighs the value that was attributed to them in their lifetime.
Let's go now to the gallery portraying Bristol Life that explores people's shared experience of both everyday and more momentous events. This 'Mod' jumper that is so up to date but was a statement wardrobe piece way back in the 1960s, caught my eye. It was worn by a trendy Vespa riding youth in the days before designer clothing took hold. Need something to set you apart from her peers in the cool and trendy stakes. Well, easy peasy. Just get your mum to illustrate your favourite mode of transport on knitwear.