Posted by Ruth Barker 12:01:11 13:45
Yesterday I spent the day at the Great North Museum, in a slightly melancholy frame of mind. It's my last month as CIAS ' artist in residence - and even that has been extended. I should have finished at the end of December, but because of the bad weather I couldn't make it down from Glasgow for most of the month, so I'm using my remaining days up in January instead.
So, a little on the gloomy side, I really wanted to get back to some looking. It's interesting how the way we look changes with familiarity. I remember when Lindsay first showed me round the museum - she went far too fast, as there was so much to see, so many things to look at that I felt quite overwhelmed. Left to my own devices after the tour I lost myself in the cases, finding extraordinary objects too numerous to mention. Then, over the months I've spent visiting and revisiting the collection, I came to know the museum well and the degree of looking decreased. I felt I knew what was there, and a cursory glace was enough to remind me. Lazy, I know. And so I spent a day going back to basics. Looking again, trying to see with fresh eyes. Looking and spending time looking. I looked until I was bored and then I stuck it out and then I kept looking until it became interesting again. And it did. And then I wasn't gloomy any more, because I knew that I'll still be tracing the treads of this residency for a long time to come.
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