James Hamilton says that regional art galleries are as evocative as local landscape
Gillian Darley’s book has the pace, colour and deliberation of a Vesuvian eruption, which is fitting; for we must get used to the fact that sooner or later the volcano will erupt again with a devastating power.
From across Margate Bay, the prickly silhouette of the new Turner Contemporary art gallery points towards the sea like prows of departing cruise liners.
The Artist’s Studio
Compton Verney, Warwickshire, until 13 December
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, 9 February to 16 May 2010
Joscelyn Godwin, the author of this vast and beautiful book, admits at the outset that while Athanasius Kircher was held in awe during his lifetime in the 17th century as ‘some rugged headland jutting out to sea’, when he died this had been eroded to the point of collapse: ‘the seas wash over it as if it had never been.’ Kircher’s triumph and tragedy was that his work was the final complete expression of magic, arcana and dogma, and when he died the world was moving into the Age of Reason.
‘Thank you. It’s magnificent,’ said Philip Pullman as he opened the new extension at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in Oxford at the end of October.