Dulltown, Europe: Today’s adjectives are: scrappy, exponible, suaveolent, wan, pickled, and langued.
Of these I think suaveolent is my favourite; I think I’ll try slipping it into conversation today, if I can find anyone to talk to.
When I was last in the city of Leeds, about fifty miles north-west of Dulltown, I spotted a large poster on the wall of the corridor that leads to the public toilets in the scary new glass-domed shopping centre. It was advertising an art gallery that was new to me – the Tetley Gallery on Hunslet Road. (T.G.) It is in a large old building which used to be Tetley’s Brewery headquarters. I straightway set off in search of it.
It turned out to be just a ten minute walk away, down the hill and over the river. It’s a nice looking building on the outside, it has an old-style revolving door, and plenty of polished hardwood panelling and fittings inside.
The current exhibition is called Painting in Time which is co-curated by Sarah Kate Wilson:
‘This visually stunning show brings together an exciting array of works by international artists practicing within the expanding field of painting. Exploding ideas of what painting can be, these artists work across sculpture, performance, painting and film… the exhibition asks, ‘what constitutes painting today?’
I had a walk around. The gallery doesn’t have one main room, but has several small rooms on three floors of the building. Shall I describe a few of the exhibits for you?
A room with some paintings lying on the floor: the entrances to the room were blocked off though, and one had to peer in over the signs hanging in the doorways. I expect people had been stepping on, or tripping over the works and damaging them (that’s what happens if you put stuff on the floor – you’d think that they might have predicted that…) From what I could see the work looked surprisingly uninteresting.
Another room had small coloured things laid out on tables. Again the doors were blocked and you couldn’t go in. Perhaps people had been picking the items up and playing with them, leaving finger marks? From what I could see of the works they looked surprisingly uninteresting.
In the larger space next to the stairwell there was a large, inflated, stitched-together, amorphous cloth bag, oh, about five metres long and a couple high. It had random shapes in washed-out coloured paint on its surface. It reminded me a bit of a very large well-worn tie-dye t-shirt. There was a video showing a gang of enthusiastic young people carrying it around and playing with the thing in a grassy field. It was surprisingly uninteresting.
In another of the small rooms there was a toilet bowl with a wooden seat; it was set up against the wall. The idea is that the visitor may, if he or she wishes, knock nails into the wooden seat using the hammer and nails which are available alongside. (This one is by the very famous Yoko Ono.) It was surprisingly uninteresting.
On one of the landings there was an array of plastic plumbing pipes fastened to the wall. They were connected to some sort of pump which forces white emulsion paint out of nozzles so that it runs and drips down the wall surface, and then oozes out to form puddles on the polished wood floor. It was surprisingly uninteresting.
In another room there was an interactive piece where small paintings were displayed, I can’t recall what they looked like I’m afraid, but they weren’t hung normally, but were hinged to the wall at one side so that the visitor could, after putting on a pair of white cotton gloves (supplied), angle the works in and out, should they feel inclined to do that. It was surprisingly un… No, no, I can’t go on… Have you had enough of this dear reader? Or shall I go on? There is plenty more…
It is a nice building though. The show runs until 5th July 2015 if you feel like seeing it for yourself, you may like it!… Oh, and they seem to have a nice-looking cafe…