Friday, 25 April 2014

Days Out in Devon: Royal Albert Memorial Museum II


I know I've done a piece about this place before but sometimes its good to revisit things and that can apply to lots of different areas of life.  But lets not go and explore any deep meaningful stuff today.   This is just going to be a 'show and tell' type post.

Now the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter is a wonderful place and I'm not the only one saying that.  It won the Art Fund's 'Museum of the Year' award in 2012 and is a far cry from the dusty place that I recall from my university days in the 1980s which I visited just to have a good laugh at the unfortunate taxidermy.  My favourite was a  seal quivering at the feet of an enormous roaring polar bear.    The expression on its face suggested that it was going to have a bowel accident anytime shortly.

There's better reasons to go there these days and the purpose of yesterday's visit was to catch the 'Gilbert and George' exhibition that continues through until 22 June.  One room of the museum's temporary spaces is filled with their work, mainly those great big brightly coloured photo murals that the pair seem to be best known for. However 'Fallen Leaves' was the piece that most moved me, a monochrome image  which was one of a series of over 100 studies of people outside mainstream society.  I'd show you it properly but I wasn't allowed to take photos and the Tate's copyright rules seem to preclude using the image on a blog.  You'll just have to follow the link to see it.  My pictures today were taken in the coffee shop where local children have made stuff to decorate the space and photography is allowed.

As a bonus another temporary exhibit caught my attention.  'Intimate Worlds' is a collection of explicit historical artifacts, some eye watering, that has been put together with the aim of encouraging people to talk about sex and relationships.  If you visit alone, don't shuffle around in embarrassed silence.  I found that the room stewards will happily have a chat!

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