An unexpected delight

Over the weekend we were in Newcastle (upon Tyne) for a wee break. Before we went we knew that there was an exhibition of some works by Turner and Constable at the Laing Art Gallery. We decided to go to the exhibition on Saturday morning. It wasn’t too busy, and we were able to move at our own pace looking at the 60, or so, exhibits. I didn’t count, but I’d estimate that 50% of the pieces were by Constable or Turner, the rest were from some of their contemporaries.

A few aspects of the exhibition interested me, but overall I wasn’t inspired.

Then, we poked our heads into a gallery and were stunned to find Susan Stenger’s work ‘Sound Strata of Coastal Northumberland‘, which is part of the AV festival. I was particularly impressed with the visual part of the display – a 12 metre long geological diagram detailing the strata to be found along the Northumbrian coast. It is a detailed, precise, technical drawing, but it’s a thing of beauty.

The diagram is accompanied by a 58-minute soundtrack, which uses the images to trigger musical responses. I have to admit that I didn’t listen to all of the music – I was aware of it, and I thought that I could place where the music was fitting parts of the diagram.

But the diagram was the star of the show for me. I was captivated by it, which more than compensated for my slight disappointment with the Turner and Constable exhibition.

Unfortunately I can’t post any photos. I did ask, and I agreed to abide by the answer. So you’ll just have to go the Laing Gallery if you want to experience it for yourself. It’s on until 06 April 2014.


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