Please try to ignore my almost fetishistic love for abstract and/or metaphoric titles. This post is about a lovely little art exhibition at the Walker art gallery, Liverpool. I’m talking about The Living and the Dead, an exhibition of some of visual artist John Kirby’s paintings and sculptures, which is on until the 15th April 2012 (admission free, see official Liverpool museums webpage). The Walker gallery in Liverpool is worth seeing for a thousand separate reasons which I’m not going to list here, as it would take me an eternity. But Kirby’s exhibition was a pleasant little surprise. Now, I’m not going to pretend I know the first thing about visual art, as I probably don’t. But I am an enthusiast of visual art and I enjoy seeing original and challenging exhibitions every once in a while.
Kirby’s works strive to represent a variety of complex themes – sexuality versus gender, family, life versus death, race, marriage, religion – and, I would say, manages to represent them without becoming overreaching and overbearing. His figures are clean-cut and their aspect is always neatly neutral. They way I see them, they ask no heavy questions and require no reluctant answers, but they do trigger a sense of melancholy and reflection.
I really enjoyed the exhibition a lot, and only regret the fact that I didn’t have more time at my disposal to be able to linger more than thirty seconds in front of each of his paintings or sculptures. From my art fancier/ amateur point of view, Kirby’s was interesting and non-pretentious enough for me to want to go back and see it a second and a third time. So if you live in or around Liverpool, or if you just happen to find yourself there for whichever reason, I strongly recommend that you pay The Living and the Dead a visit. (Shall I stress again that the exhibition is admission free? 🙂 )