Having recently finished a gruelling series of exams, I wanted something light yet provocative to take my mind off of things. It just so happened that the end of the exam period coincided with the beginning of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery’s new Watercolours of the West exhibition detailing eight paintings by the romantic landscape painter Joseph Mallord William (J.M.W) Turner (1775 – 1851), most of which were undertaken when he was just a teenager. The museum pamphlet described the collection as ‘an intimate touring show of eight works by JMW Turner’ which —since the exhibition is contained in a single room — was a fairly accurate description. A single room felt incredibly personal, unlike other gallery experiences which can be overwhelming owing not only to the sheer number of works on display, but due to the large spacious regions which can make us detached from the pieces we set out to view! Indeed, perhaps it might even be fair to describe the experience as ‘home-like’, as if one were lucky enough to have eight Turners hanging in a spare room!
Below are the pieces from the exhibition for your delectation should you not be able to make the exhibition which runs at the following times and locations:
- 1st May – 6th July 2014 – Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
- 15th October – 13th December 2014 – Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
- 10th January – 8th March 2015 – The Holburne Museum, Bath
- 13th March – 10th May 2015 – The Wilson, Cheltenham
Note however that no photographic representation can do this small body of work justice. I’d encourage anybody to go down to at least one of the exhibition venues before it closes and the collection disperses, especially since one of the paintings belongs to a private estate.
– Le Nouvel Artiste