Something wonderful has landed in Gas Hall, in that wonderful gem of the Midlands called Birmingham. Alongside the fascinating Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery situated in Chamberlain Square is this little beauty of historic & epic proportions. Well worth a day out!
Apart from my usual excited enthrall at standing as close to someones soul as you possibly can (which I always think happens when you view artwork), I was amazed at getting to see my ‘first’ original Blake watercolour…and it was, to my amusement, ‘The Circle of the Lustful’ for those of you who are interested. Originally I’d visited for the Rossetti & Simeon Solomon collections, but was amazed to find many other unexpected beauties amongst these treasures such as works by Sandys, Beardsley & Albrecht Durer. If you do decide to visit don’t get caught without green, as its £6.00 a ticket, unlike the free collection in the main building. There is a truly fascinating book to accompany this worth while collection quite simply titled ‘ The Poetry of Drawing’ & it really is a fine read & viewing experience.
The visual world of these fabulous masters of eroticism, sensuality, fairytale & horror are brimming with sumptuous literary influences, oozing with symbolic pleasure & rebellious, defiant spirit (get your history books out again if you don’t agree with me & check out the social etiquettes of the times!) To top it off the Pre-Raphaelite movement was jam packed with individualist, dynamic, saucy female models & artists who damn well knew the true meaning of the word ‘FEMINIST’…none of this b*lls you get today…they had amazing strength & power in acknowledging their own beauty, feminity & talent…so as well as modelling for their men they gave their own back artistically & probably quite literally. Elizabeth Siddall & Jane Morris being two of the most popular ‘super models’ of the day, so if you’re looking for a place to start, these two ARE the magnificent duo & who could forget ol’ dubiously named Fanny Cornforth. Now jump on a train & enjoy the experience….& let the ghosts of the past lead you to magical places….oh yeah…and the Edwardian tea rooms in the main Art Gallery delivers a fine cup of tea!!! Have fun 😉