Inspired by Anna over at Toxteth, I took a daytrip to Ipswich to see the sights.
The Ipswich Art Gallery is terrific, particularly the children’s gallery upstairs- one day, I’m gonna steal somebody’s kiddies and get them some culture. (Any volunteers?) Have you noticed that the children’s programme in galleries is often the best bit? Or is that just me…
The main exhibition (for grownups) was a showing of a whole lot of wood carving from early last century, made by an inmate of the subtly named Ipswich Hospital for the Insane.
Peter Harley was a Scot who spent 35-odd years in the hospital. The curator’s notes would almost suggest that he was there because he was a bit confused… I’m sure there was a bit more to it than that though.
Aren’t these beautiful?
And check out this jaunty Scottish couple.
Also on show was a series of correspondence regarding Harley’s time in the Hospital- including a “Memorandum:- to The Curator in Insanity”. What a great title. What a show that guy could curate!
Wood carving is something I’d like to turn my hand to- I did an evening course for 6 months, but was too impatient to complete anything- halfway through each exercise I would claim that I’d learned that and was ready to move on. (Here is the only one that came close.)
But this exhibition has inspired me to try again… maybe I’ll try a naïve style carved box with the words “ALBY DOG” in bold letters on the top. I think he’d like that.