For many of us, Sunday can too easily turn into the day before we go back to work rather than part of our well-deserved weekend. Thoughts can turn to preparing for the week ahead and the list of tasks that await us on Monday and the days that follow. Even if we like our jobs, we can do without the tendrils of toil creeping into our free time. Does this scenario sound familiar to you too? I decided that in 2019 I will reclaim Sundays – grab them back from the looming presence of the working week.
I use public transport which is significantly reduced on Sundays so travel can be difficult, wasteful of time and sometimes more trouble than it’s worth. I’ve set myself a few Sunday Rules to make sure I don’t end up wishing I’d stayed at home instead.
1. Sunday is about relaxation and indulgence rather than adventure
2. Easy one-stage journeys. No connections.
3. No early starts to cram in as much as I can.
Today I took the train to Liverpool to look at some art. The Walker Gallery is in the city’s cultural quarter, a very short walk from Lime Street station. I like to wander round and look at my favourite paintings, sometimes sitting for ages and noticing details which I hadn’t spotted before. Today I went to see a new exhibition.
I love the art of Glasgow Style, in particular the designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Having visited the Kelvingrove Art Gallery a few months ago I was thrilled to read that some of those exhibits and others on loan from some private collectors would be shown at the Walker. Admission to the exhibition was ( I thought) expensive at £10, but there were some exquisite items of furniture, ceramics and glassware which I hadn’t seen before. Permission for photography is still pending from two of the contributors, so unfortunately I can’t share any images here. It is hoped that the permissions will be granted before the exhibition ends in August. You can read about my visit to Kelvingrove Gallery here.
Another important collection is attracting lots of visitors at the Walker: the drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci. I have to confess at this point that I’m not enraptured by these sketches. I saw a similar exhibition in Manchester a decade ago on a much smaller scale, and although they are undoubtedly very detailed and impressive, I wonder if the excitement is perhaps due to the status of the artist rather than the works themselves. As I was on site I decided to take a look. It was difficult to take photographs due to reflections.
After Da Vinci I went into my favourite room which hosts an eclectic mix by British artists from 1800 to 1950. Here are a few I like best.
This abstract cross between sculpture and painting depicts a gentle kiss between mother and child. I love the simplicity of this construction. A perfect image for Mothering Sunday.
In this painting the water of the river Mersey is white and difficult to distinguish from the snowy ground. It gives the impression of somewhere much colder, perhaps eastern-Europe of the time.
Like the Waterloo Dock painting, this looks like a wintry scene. The Liverpool waterfront fades into a soft backdrop to the bolder and disproportionately sized plethora of boats. This is one of my favourite Lowry paintings.
The ‘Fever Van’ of the title is the ambulance which has come for a victim of diphtheria, scarlet fever or one of the other contagious and often fatal diseases prevalent in Salford at the time
Mrs Mounter was Gilman’s cleaning lady as well as his muse. I love the colour in this painting including the wallpaper panel in the background. I like the ordinariness of Mrs Mounter’s expressive face.
I’m not familiar with Russian born artist Meninksy’s work apart from this one glorious painting. I love the sheer abandonment with which these women head across the beach to the water’s edge.
The grandson of psychologist Sigmund Freud, Lucian Freud painted this for the Festival of Britain in 1951, a showcase for new British talent. The subject is Freud’s friend, Harry Diamond. He seems to be retreating into the alcove, unsettled by the quite sinister-looking plant. Very Freudian!
After feasting my eyes on works of art I treated my taste buds to a delicious hummus salad wrap and bottle of Dandelion & Burdock in the Walker cafeteria before strolling in the sunshine back to the station. Sunday Rules work for me. Have good week!