9 Some Days are Golden
Years ago there was a song, I forget who it was bye, its not really important except that the line “Some days are Golden” came into my head to describe today Friday 5th October 2012.
Its now almost 4 complete years since I entered this world of darkness, at first there was some residual sight, the odd colour if the light was right, but that quickly disappeared and with the darkness cam the dreaded depression.
Like most disabled people or people who I should say “become” disabled” life is a roller coaster ride, with far more downs than ups it has to be said. I was dragged to the brink of suicide, a slough of despond so deep I thought it was the real bottomless pit, but one day, don’t ask when or why, I awoke and decided to have a life, not just to live, or exist, I wanted as much of my life as I could back again, even though there would be serious financial restrictions along theway.
I discovered Ad theatre, concerts and all forms of art that I had once enjoyed, I even found AD Ballet thanks to the Birmingham Royal Ballet & Birmingham Hippodrome.
But the world of art, old masters, and the impressionists eluded me.
Just over a week ago the Birmingham Mail our local paper which thankfully publishes on line and tweets headline grabbers through the day, announced that a famous “convicted” art forger was to hold an exhibition “Provenance” in Birmingham’s Water Hall Gallery, part of the art gallery & museums complex in Birmingham, another of the cities hidden gems.
John Myatt @john_myatt served his time and after his release set about using his undoubted talents to create copies and “new” works in the style of famous artists, ranging from Cézanne, Turner, Monet, Matisse Van Gogh Jan Vermeer Mark Chagall and so many others etc, but its time they are all signed in his own name.
His PR team in turn tweeted me after I circulated tweets informing others about the exhibition; they asked if I would be attending. My response was all too familiar, “I have to find a sighted guide to describe the works to me otherwise its pointless my attending.”
Their response was fast and simple, when do you want to attend and we will try to fix it, we need 24 hrs notice..
My response was perhaps faster and was direct Friday 11am preferably, giving almost 72 hours notice, and within the hour it was fixed.
One of the last TV programs I was able too “see” was when John painted Myleene Class in the famous Jan Vermeer painting, “the girl with the pearl earring”, this together with a copy of the original were side by side at the exhibition.
Another stand out picture was that as Stephen Fry as Pope Innocent in the style of Diego Velasquez you need a keen eye to spot Stephen in this one but trust me he is in there.
What they had arranged for me was a lady (Pat) who is a friend of the gallery,and works in their customer support team, it was her first go at describing art to another person who know the artists in some cases the original painting but was unable to see what John Myatt had created. There was no need to worry she grew rapidly into her role and allowed me to ask questions as we navigated the works of art, which had been collated into small or similar groups.
The tour concluded when I purchased a rather expensive catalog which John Myatt signed for me, we had a discussion about one of my favorite pieces of art, Rubens 4 negro heads, or Black Kings as they are now called, they can still be seen in the National Museum in Brussels. the picture is believed to have been a study for a sculpture but either way the detail is stunning.
This really was a golden day, and sadly there are not many or enough of them, either for me or my disabled friends.
All the cares and worries of what will this Government do next? How will the next round of cuts affect me? These were questions I didn’t ask, or discuss when I bumped into friends, yet usually they are our main topic of discussion.
Thanks top all, who would have thought a simple visit to an art gallery could be so special!
The Exhibition closes on October 12th but signed limited edition prints are available as well as original works of art if your pockets are deep enough
Birmingham Museum & Art gallery
Castle Galleries (local dealer)
Washington Green (publishers)