Art Appreciation Group Visit to the Van Gogh Experience in Leicester
In February 8 members of the art appreciation groups travelled to Leicester to learn about Van Gogh. This was a very different art experience in that you do not go to look at the painting but rather through a unique sound and light show you become immersed in the paintings. As art lovers this experience left haunting impression in our minds . The presentation is quite astonishing and I don't think the quality can be bettered. The experience tailors itself to Van Gogh's art in a truly wonderful way. We had not known what to expect but the presentation exceeded our expectations and brought Van Gogh’s beautiful art to life.
As was usual with our visits, after the experience we adjourned to a local restaurant to share our thoughts about what we had seen.
Group visit to "Feast and Fast" at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
In March members of the art appreciation group embarked on their first visit of the year. We decided to visit the critically acclaimed exhibition “Feast and Fast” at the Fitzwilliam Museum.
Described by the Telegraph as “a banquet of morsels to tickle the taste buds” and by the Spectator as “a remarkable and imaginative exhibition filled with edible and inedible glories”, the exhibition certainly did not disappoint. After lunch at a local restaurant, we listened to a talk by the curator of the exhibition, Victoria Avery, on the thinking behind the displays and the parallels with modern attitudes to food. We were then taken round the exhibition by Victoria. We saw the works that the food historian, Ivan Day had recreated including a Sugar banquet for a Renaissance wedding which included a number of items made from sugar paste including a miniature version of the banqueting house at Melford Hall in Long Melford, Suffolk, plates and playing cards. To contrast with the feasting there were exhibits on the subject of fasting and the hidden costs of our feasts including slavery.
The highlight of the exhibition was a Baroque feast with some exceedingly showy avian pastry. Decorated pies are topped with the plumage of swan, peacock and pheasant, with gilded beaks, eyes and necks. Their beaks would even have been set alight, to spit golden sparks.
As Feast & Fast demonstrates, many of the contemporary concerns about our relationship with food including veganism and self image are not new.
We left with a lot to think about and with many of us planning to return.