Wednesday, August 31, 2016

cardiff clouds

Clouds a-plenty, this morning, before the conference here in Cardiff got formally underway - I was, however, in the art gallery.  Lots of Welsh landscapes - but plenty of other great stuff that I didn't know, including this Rodin sculpture from c.1902, called, appropriately, Clouds.  There was a compelling video installation by Shimon Attie, The Attraction of Strangers, about what it's like for the people of Aberfan to live perpetually in the shadow of the dreadful tragedy there in 1966, when a slag heap slid down and buried a primary school, killing 116 children and 28 adults - no one (at least no one of a certain age), the rationale behind the piece goes, can look at someone, learn that they're from Aberfan, and not automatically think of this.  So the inhabitants there are under a form of continual scrutiny.  I remember being on my way home from school that October day, and learning of it from all the people reading evening papers with the awful headlines: it was quite clear that for other people (well, both other people) watching the installation today that it was a memory prompt, too.

So I was too preoccupied when I walked away from this to note who this poignant Victorian piece is by (I'll check, tomorrow - we have our Conference Banquet there);

and this is the part of the museum I didn't get to - dioramas, nature, and a special feature on wriggly worms.

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