I had my first visit to the Usher Gallery on the 28th of January, as one of many future visits in preparation for a performance, View Points, around the collection. This performance will only be able to function within and around the architecture of the building, combining action and the physicality of the collection.
The prominently Roman collection spans from religion, to development of a structural society and then I went into the exhibition room where art works were displayed on the walls in the room. The arrangement of the art was interesting as they were in date order so as to eliminate any bias emotions due to clashing works. After viewing these pieces I was given an envelope with two paintings and some instructions. ‘The four seasons’ was presented to me and I remember looking at this piece beforehand. At first glance I just thought it was a nice representation of the seasons but when I looked further, I realised it was a piece about development, growth, destruction and stillness. It was a freeze of the four stages of being.
1 – Birth, growth and development
2 – Prime, peaked and ripe
3 – Decreasing and ceasing
4 – Death and discontinuing
The most thought-provoking aspect of this art work was that the winter season which I link with number four, is at the beginning. This is something I’ve had to think through and disintegrate. Do we need death, initially, before we can live? Or is it saying that death must be accepted as a part of life? Or was it simply showing that even at the end of the piece, life still continues? There is certainly more to this art work than just a pretty set of four pictures.