I took a little time off work yesterday and it was a joy.
I had lunch with friends and then we visited the Art Gallery of South Australia to see the much anticipated Turner Exhibition.
Joseph Mallord William Turner (23 April 1775 – 19 December 1851) was an English Romantic landscape painter, watercolourist and printmaker, whose style can be said to have laid the foundation for Impressionism. Although Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day, he is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting.
His work was exhibited when he was still a teenager. His entire life was devoted to his art. Unlike many artists of his era, he was successful throughout his career.
I first saw some of his paintings on my 50th birthday in the Tate in London.
I stood in awe when I looked at the images before me and I went back several times to work out how he captured the light.
Yesterday we had been in the gallery for about 3/4 of an hour and suddenly the alarms went off.
Blaringly loud, they shreaked a warning to get out of the building. We hadn't even got to the exhibition and we had to leave. We could have offered to take some of the paintings out with us for safekeeping.
We sat in the sun outside the gallery amongst groups of other people biding their time with their electronic devices. Within minutes sirens heralded the arrival of the fire brigade.
Whilst they investigate the presumed fire, friend Kay and I decided a strong coffee would help the situation and we found some interesting mural compositions in the back alley of the gallery as we visited the cafe so all was not lost.
The exhibition will be on show in Canberra after the May ending and then return to the Tate. How lucky are we.