Thursday, 10 August 2017


What is art? Yes, I know that's a big question, but do you have an answer?

When we were in Northumberland a few weeks ago, we happened upon The Gymnasium Gallery, which is part of Berwick Barracks. The signs outside were advertising 'Bethan Huws: Singing for the Sea', described as an 'Installation' a word that can be intriguing or terrifying, depending on your point of view.

The place was in almost complete darkness. We were the only people there, apart from a little man behind a desk who was wearing earplugs. 'Take a seat,' he said. It's just about to start.' We fumbled our way towards a sofa, which seemed the only option, and waited. The installation was a film made in 1993 featuring eight female Bulgarian singers performing traditional songs on Sugar Sands on the coast off the North Sea. I can't say we enjoyed it, but it was extraordinary, and we both kept mentioning it for the rest of the day. Was it art? Well, Berwick Visual Arts certainly thought so.

Last weekend we were at a more conventional art event, the private view evening of the Fellowship of  Professional & Amateur Artists Annual Art Exhibition held at a local museum, where the fare was not only more traditional, but also to my mind more accessible. If part of the function of art is to communicate, I'd say this wins hands down over wailing women (no disrespect intended).

Last night it was my turn to be the artist, when I went to a Paint Like Pollock event at Corby Rooftop Arts Centre. I was so far out of my comfort zone it was but a distant memory. Nevertheless, armed with a plastic pinny and a generous supply of paint, I went for it with gusto, and d'you know what? It was great fun!

The whole floor in the working area had been covered with plastic sheets and we had to take our shoes off, so we didn't paddle paint on to the unprotected carpet in the rest of the gallery. We had been instructed to take along a pair of old shoes to paint - I'd taken some silk wedding shoes I'd picked up at a charity shop  - and we put them on a canvas and just splattered away! The result of my efforts is pictured at the top of this post.

Then we had a go at painting shoes with a brush, in a more conventional style. These are mine:

And these are my feet by the end of the evening.

So, did I create a work of art?


  1. What fun - the painted feet are a work of art in themselves!

  2. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Wendy.