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The Tate Britain – matchstick men, animals and a rent collector

Link from the Tate Britain website

Last weekend I went on a pre-booked visit to the Lowry Exhibition. I have childhood memories of Christmas day journeys through the soot stained streets of Salford. Viewed with my nose pressed against a back seat window, wiping the condensation off for a better view of the great hulks in Salford docks. So therefore, I have history.

It wasn’t my first view of an exhibition of Lowry’s work but it certainly was the most impressive and expansive. I would like to give you a gauge of the body of work displayed but when I asked, at the suggestively titled Information desk, how much the estimated value of the exhibition was, I was told it was a vulgar question and that the exhibits were properly insured!

Maybe it was a vulgar question but I’d already been informed of the £4m and £5m purchase price of two exhibited paintings so I had thought it was a reasonable statistic to add to this blog. Said assistant's attitude was a disappointment but not a surprise. When I picked up my tickets, at the start of my visit, the information assistant actually rolled her eyes disdainfully at the backs of her previous customers. Shame. Brickbat over!

And back to the brilliant guided tour by Raymond, who was a gentleman and a better example of the type of representative for the Tate Britain. There were too many details, facts, info and insights that Raymond gave, to record here, but I would strongly recommend that you do utilise this added bonus, if you can.
Lowry, if nothing else, has depicted a valuable record of his area and his era. I have to say it was very sobering to link the paintings of suicide, eviction, poverty and misery to present times and in the week that food banks hit the headlines. 

I couldn't take any photo's of the exhibition but I thought this display
was a genius way to show Lowry's colour palette

Unless you are already an art enthusiast, without your guide’s enthusiasm and interpretation, the paintings may mean little and, despite the soothing atmosphere of a gallery, I think I certainly would struggle with a little tinge of boredom (sacre bleu!).

This exhibition closes this weekend but do take a look at the other events. Or just go and book onto one of the other guided tours (get in early) and educate your mind.
I will return to the Tate Britain but, as I am busy this weekend, I will be unable to don my hooped jumper, mask and swag bag.
So, for now …. hope you all have a fab weekend, whatever you are doing!

Mme Vulgaire x

My own interpretation of a matchstick man!

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