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We visit art exhibitions in various locations during the year, with good numbers attending. We meet twice during the year to plan our visits, once in September and once in January. These meetings produce varied and interesting ideas about what to do and where to go.
The 2019-20 session was oddly truncated It began, for us, back in June when we organized a visit to the Japanese garden at Cowden. Nearly 30 of our members enjoyed a guided tour of these wonderful gardens. We continued into the summer months with a visit and lunch at the Pittenweem Arts Festival. Despite non-stop rain the small group who braved the elements had a great day, doing the rounds as the mood took them but meeting up for lunch to chat about what we had seen – and purchased.
The official start of this session began, after our first open ‘planning session’ in Perth theatre’s café, with a visit and guided tour of the Grayson Perry tapestry exhibition at the Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh. We were fortunate to have our ‘usual’ guide show us round and as we have got to know him, and he us, there were lots of questions and chat about the exhibits and the time in which they were set, the guide being far too young to remember the 60s. This was followed, in October, by an unguided visit to an exhibition of Collage at Modern 2 in Edinburgh and then by a guided tour, at the same gallery in November, of the Paula Rego exhibition which proved to be quite a hard lesson in the cruel treatment of women and girls both in past decades and ongoing in some cultures. It was both disturbing and thought provoking.
We wound up the year with an unguided visit to the RSA Annual Exhibition which was much enjoyed by the small group of us who went.
We began this year with our second annual planning meeting at which ideas brimmed over. We have managed to fit in a tour with talk of the Fergusson exhibition at Perth Museum & Art Gallery in January, a guided tour again with our usual guide to the wonderful May Morris exhibition at the Dovecot Studios in February, and an unguided visit to two exhibitions at the City Art Centre in Edinburgh in mid-March.
We had further visits arranged, to see the Phoebe Anna Traquair murals at Edinburgh’s Mansfield Centre and to the eagerly awaited Mary Quant exhibition from London’s V&A now to be shown in Dundee. We planned to return to the Dovecot Studios for a Conran & Quant exhibition and had an idea for June and considered a return to Pittenweem. That was all shelved as the current coronavirus epidemic confined us to home and closed all public venues. But we shall return, resurgent, once this pandemic is controlled if not ended. In the meantime, we try to keep in touch with the group by sending out links to art news, programmes and online exhibitions so the members, especially those who
are particularly isolated don’t feel too alone.