Today I finally managed to find the Tate Britain on the day before the day before the last day of the remarkable Francis Bacon exhibition, which actually wasn't that hard when you aren't taking a round-a-bout route via shopping centres and getting distracted when being given directions.
As an occasional dabbler in art, I sometimes find it difficult to connect with a painting because I'm thinking too much about what I'm supposed to be thinking, and how much of it is totally going over my head because I don't have a degree in Art History, and which is the best position in which I can appear to be thoughtfully gazing at a masterpiece whilst also getting a good view of the rather handsome arty types who tend to frequent art galleries.
But I thought that this exhibition was exceptionally selected and curated in a way in which the paintings all of a sudden became fascinatingly thought-provoking and also very, very beautiful. My personal favourite was the sequence of screaming popes in cages. Numerous references to Bacon's inspiration in Diego Velazquez's 17th century Innocent X were impossible not to catch. I wandered through the exhibition (much faster, I might add, than my note-taking art student friend) with profound thoughts floating in my head on the nature of human beings, inherent bestiality, aetheism....
Naturally, following any art exhibition, comes the gift shop. First came the postcard rack, from which I dutily selected the Pope images. But then my eye quickly caught the selection of bags. The strap on the tote I was carrying had broken on the way - a tote I'd purchases at the the Zoo Art Fair. I fell head over heels with a black satchel specially designed for the Tate by artist Ally Capellino (oh, you'd feel so arty carrying that):
But I didn't have enough money on me at the time, and I am beginning to see that it was probably a good thing because I definitely have a surplus of bags. There is definitely no question that in the greatly controversial SHOE vs. BAG debate, the bag side definitely wins for me. You see, when you're going into designer price ranges, bags are evidently far more expensive but at the good quality lower price bracket in which I shop, there are so many delectable-
By this point I was really starting to come to terms with my inherently superficial human nature. Then on the tube home, the train stopped at Oxford Circus. Oooh, we wondered, shall we just pop in? Oh might as well! Very soon, whilst supposedly window shopping, I spotted a cardigan, perfect in every way (I won't bore you with the list) and where on earth was it when I was specifically cardigan shopping a few days ago?
But, as before, I didn't have enough cash and so we headed home, I with a heavy heart, weighing over the ultimate questions: do I buy online? Am I willing to spend £5 on postage and packaging? Or should I just nip into the shops tomorrow... something I really don't have time for, to purchase the holy grail of cardigans? Actually... do I even need it? If I had had enough money on me at the time, these questions wouldn't even be coming to question, but as it was, the basic, solid principles of life, that I needed this cardigan, were beginning to show their cracks.