Had a really good research visit last Saturday as managed to have three productive gallery visits.

[1] Dulwich Picture Gallery – to see murillo & justino de neve: the art of friendship where I was particularly impressed by

The Infant Jesus Distributing Bread to Pilgrims

where the different types of bread seemed to suggest each person had a particular bread especially for them.

It was good to learn how Neve’s patronage of Murillo was an extension of his concern for ordinary people as demonstrated through his charitable education and health projects; this provides me with encouragement as I seek to exercise a similar integrity in my work.

At the time the following works were also noteworthy:

Three Boys, c1670

Invitation to a Game of Argolla, 1665-70

[2] Tate Britain – to see

[a] Simon Starling’s Phantom Ride [which I had heard discussed on Radio 4’s Front Row] I thought the staging of this site specific video installation was tremendous, how the video could be viewed from either side of the screen and how the sound was made to fill the entire space of the large Duveen Sculpture Galleries.

[b] Looking at the View [which I had seen in The Guardian – in a few of articles – including an online slide show and Framing the view: six artists reveal how they choose landscapes ] I was impressed by the eclectic collection of work, but I thought some of the work would have worked better if it had been presented differently, e.g. Wolfgang Tillman’s Concord Grid could only be viewed in close proximity because of the gallery layout, but the overall impact of the grid was best seen from a distance, but this could only be achieved by viewing it a a fairly acute angle.

In my notes at the time, I also observed the following:

Paul Graham, b1956, Roundabout, Anderstown, Belfast, 1984 (layers of symbolism in an initially mundane vista, & then notice the running soldier, & then the graffiti

Lucian Freud, Two Plants, 1977-80 (ultra realism)

Wolfgang Tillmans, Lutz and Alex sitting in the trees, 1992 (noticed the uncluttered hanging of the large unmounted print (about 6×4 ft) simply using 4 white bulldog clips at each corner each secured to wall with a basic nail!)

John Brett, The British Channel Seen from the Dorsetshire Cliffs, 1871 (beautifully renders the wonderful beam of sun light in sky & as falls on sea- very uplifting)

Tacita Dean, Disappearance at Sea 1996 (14min film) (really beautiful and uplifting use of light especially seeing the background vista thro the lighthouse lens).

Wolfgang Tillmans, Concord Grid, 1997 (4 rows of 14 a4 photographs on paper perfectly lined up but taped to the wall- overall grid did have impact but would have perhaps worked better on a different wall where the viewer was able to see it at more of a distance).

[3] Tate Modern

[a] Transformed Visions here the personal highlights included Rothko’s Seagram Murals, which I again found to be a uplifting and spiritual experience; Germaine Richier’s Shepherd of the Landes which I found has really stayed with me over the last 10 days; and Alfredo Jaar’s two light box installation Lament of the Images 2002 was powerful and beautiful

[b] Ruins in Reverse This was an overpowering exhibition which did not seem to engender prolonged contemplation within the gallery space as it was almost an audio visual sensory overload. It makes me mindful of my selection of work and that the overall effect maybe somewhat different to an encounter with a work by itself.