Trains, art, a boon, a weir, and Tim Robbins…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s carefully selected colours are: boomerang brown, fidgety fawn, angry auburn, ragged red, platonic purple, tantalising taupe, and gnarled green.

I recently heard of the existence of the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield, Yorkshire; it is of course named after the sculptor Barbara Hepworth who worked around those parts, and it houses a good lot of her works. The Hepworth.
I thought that I might as well make the trip and have a look at it – change trains at Leeds – I don’t mind travelling on trains, especially as I now have my noise cancelling headphones with me at all times – they are a boon for the modern traveller! (Ahem, not really sure what a ‘boon’ is.)
Not to miss the chance of an easy blog post I decided to ‘document’ my day with things observed – I only decided to do this half way through the trip, so some of these fragments are remembered and not jotted down at the time, and are as a result are perhaps not in strict chronological order – still, I’m sure you’ll manage to keep up dear reader:

It is not permitted to cycle, skateboard, (or think) on the station concourse.
Heading west on the train: Three triangular Ginsters frighteningly rough (for me anyway!) wholemeal bread sandwiches with cheesy and spicy fillings – could only manage two, I’ll save the other until later in the day.
The girl opposite who hadn’t ‘activated’ her virtual ticket on her phone had to cough up £14 to the cheerful Cockney ticket inspector, whom I noticed repeatedly addressed her as Darlin’…
A sideways downpour of big white hailstones thrashing the carriage windows. Nice!…
…and the next station stop will be Selby...  (station stop?)
So, Leeds: I get the Penzance train to Wakefield then? I thought that it might be full of pirates on their way back down south, but it wasn’t – only an 11 minute journey from Leeds to Wakefield.
…with pushchairs and heavy luggage please use the lifts…
It looks a nice place Wakefield, nice big cathedral too. Straight into the gallery cafe I think…
Taylors of Harrogate green tea, I’ve never had that before, it’s very nice, I’m sure it’s authentically Japanese because it has a hint of fish about it; those Japanese do love their fish! It was not unpleasantly fishy though.
The Hepworth: Ugly plain concrete exterior, doesn’t look too bad as you approach, but like a lot of buildings like this they are best seen from a distance, close up you can see the rough detail where the joins and round holes have been filled in with gobs of mortar.
Inside it is quite plain and not unpleasant, but if you have a bout of sneezing, as I did, each one resounds and echoes like a gunshot through all of the hard-walled rooms – slight embarrassment on my part…
Arty videos of women with big coloured padded cloth appendages gyrating and dancing and gesturing… Hm…
In the gallery shop they had a big hardback book on Eduardo Paolozzi – it was £45; I really was tempted, but I don’t have the space for it.
Gentlemen. Accessible Toilet. Babycare.
Some very large, I mean large, circular string or rope mats, some up on the walls some on the floor – they look like, er… string or rope mats… They smell funny – that’s the most interesting thing about them… I wonder if that’s why I was sneezing earlier? Is one allowed to walk on the ones on the floor, or is that considered bad form?
Isn’t Henry Moore’s figure drawing, er, hairy-looking?
John Piper, I can take him or leave him.
Michael Ayrton: Oh I do like that one!
Oh look, Barbara Hepworth’s tools and workbench – I have an old vice just like that one! (Note: sometimes vice is spelled vise.)
Rooms full of hanging drapes and clothing, kimonos, frocks on manikins – not really my sort of thing. Oh, look out of the window – I’m glad we are high up; what a nice view, is that a weir? Perhaps I’ll take a photo – oh dear, is photography allowed in the gallery? Ah, there’s no one looking. Click…

Now then, where have they hidden Wakefield Westgate Station?
Back to Leeds on the train (it’s from Penzance – still no pirates aboard).
The Leeds second-hand guitar shop was like the Mary Celeste, it had seemingly been abandoned, and was completely empty of human beings. After a few moments the owner poked his head in the front door and said, ‘You alright?… Only I’m waiting for the fire brigade…’
‘Alright,’ I said…
No, I really shouldn’t go in another cafe, I might just sit here on this nice foreward-sloping railway station steel mesh seat and eat the third triangle of my Ginsters pack as I wait for the Dulltown train.
The waiting room: Four Chinese blokes having a very loud shouted conversation in some Chinese dialect across the width of the room – they laugh a lot.
Due to wet weather conditions please take extra care
On the Hull train: A couple sitting opposite; he’s the spitting image of a very young Tim Robbins.
We zoom past a large green grassy field; the field has two hills in it; on each hill stands a black and white cow; there are only two cows in the field.
Tim Robbins’ girlfriend looks just like Drew Barrymore – how very nice – they decide to play cards.
The train just passed a shop in Selby called Candy Convenience – I do like that!
The next station stop will be Hull. This train will terminate here… Er, no, the train won’t terminate, but the journey will… and it did… Phew!… What a jolly nice day out…

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in architecture, art, books, colours, cool, dreaming, food, Hull.UK., humour, information, learning, observations, painting, photography, sculpture, seeing, serendipity, surrealism, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Trains, art, a boon, a weir, and Tim Robbins…

  1. twallisstone says:

    What a great description of your trip! Good inspiration for future trips to galleries and then writing about them. Cheers!

  2. Aww what a fabulous day! I do like Leeds, and Selby of course. And so what happened when the fire brigade showed up at the guitar shop…..?

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