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When we walk into a room, we instantly know if we feel at home. Some rooms are built to impress, others purely for comfort. We also make judgements about the person whose room it is: would we actually like someone who lived like this? Is something happening just out of sight?Where there are people we try to see what is happening. We glimpse people from the back or side and cannot always see why they are there or what they are doing. Again, we make judgements and concoct stories that fit what we see.
With a painting we are able to make up these things for ourselves: we can decide what to believe and make things as simple or as complicated as we choose. Take a little time to look into these paintings and drawings and think for yourself: where would you feel happiest? Who would you like to talk to?
All these paintings are drawn from the Williamson’s collections, from all parts of the gallery’s life: from one purchased in 1913 to one given in 2015; prizewinners, bequests, gifts, transfers: they represent almost every way pictures come into museum collections. Over half are by artists with local connections; some by artists with international reputations, others by local students, they encapsulate in one room the range and diversity of the Williamson’s art collection.
A room full of rooms, some empty, some occupied. Explore them; where do you want to be?
The exhibition is named ‘A Room of One’s Own’ is after an essay published in 1929 by Virginia Woolf, the sister of Vanessa Bell who has two paintings within the collection on show in this exhibition.
The gallery will be closed on Saturday the 3rd of December between 12 and 5pm.