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Lines of thought, thinking through drawing...

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My second family experience in Hull's year as City of Culture was a visit to the excellent Brynmor Jones library at the University of Hull to view the ‘Lines of Thought’ art exhibition.

The exhibition was billed as “the greatest gathering of artist talent ever seen in Hull” and although I’m no expert, I can testify that some of the biggest names of the last 500 years in the art world were on show. Hockney, Matisse, Rembrandt, Riley to name a few.

My first interaction with this exhibition however wasn’t a pleasant experience and started the week before when I tried to book tickets. The City of Culture website stated the exhibition was free, however recommended booking tickets. But from where? There was no booking link on the official site and when I visited the University of Hull site there was nowhere to book tickets. I left this to the brains in the family; my wife, who duly ‘went round the houses’ to book the tickets. This has since been remedied and there is now a link on the City of Culture website to book the tickets directly:- https://www.hull2017.co.uk/whatson/events/lines-thought-british-museum-touring-exhibition/ which you should do, now!

Tickets secured (I’m still not sure how), we entered the exhibition on a Saturday afternoon and I was pleasantly surprised at how busy it was. It was the second weekend after opening so I expected the demand from Hullensians to be calmed slightly, but it seems our thirst for culture knows no bounds.

The exhibition was brilliant! It showed the thought processes behind many of the greatest artists who ever lived. How they used the medium of drawing to develop and evolve their creative ideas. Walking around the exhibition you felt part of their thought processes, it was as if you were stood in the studio with them, seeking their inspiration. I must admit that looking at one particular drawing and imagining the artist in their studio, stirred so much passion inside me I shed a tear. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me whilst in an art gallery and seems to be a recurring theme with City of Culture events!

Highlights for me where Bridget Riley’s ‘Study for Blaze’ a pen and brush using black ink piece – ‘all angles (must be) as acute as possible’. This was also my son’s favourite piece.

I also loved Ariane Laroux’s ‘Le bijoutier’, where the artist has chosen to draw what their focus is on. At first the drawing appears unfinished, however the artist has chosen only to draw what their attention is focussed on and avoid any of the periphery or environment the objects are placed within. I could draw parallels with this when using a camera and deciding on what you should focus the lens on. See if you can you spot the jeweller in the image below.

A very enjoyable afternoon was topped off with a visit next door to the Universities’ own art collection. I had visited this before when it was located in Middleton Hall, however it seems to have grown considerably. Walking around the exhibition there were a number of artists (Nevinson, Spencer, Wadsworth) who were part of the ‘Slade Coster Gang’ a group of artists who attended Slade College between 1908-1911. A particular favourite was ‘Girl Reading’ by Adrian Allinson, the son of the founder of Allinson’s bakery.

If you are interested in art or how creative thought processes manifest themselves this exhibition is a must, just don’t forget to book your tickets:- https://www.hull2017.co.uk/whatson/events/lines-thought-british-museum-touring-exhibition/

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