I had my birthday yesterday and we went into Liverpool to visit the galleries in the morning. At the Walker Gallery there is an interesting exhibition of black and white photography on at the moment. It isn’t usually my thing but these are exceptionally good and many of them are very interesting and often also very amusing. These photographers definitely had a remarkable sense of humour and a quick eye to spot these often extremely transient phenomena. We also saw the John Moores prizewinners. Some of the winners seem so ridiculous it makes you wonder how they arrive at a result like that. I recall that one of the entrants was a truly magnificent massive watercolour work that caught the attention of many local artists but that was , naturally, not to be found amongst the prizewinners. Why that piece and some others were not “deemed worthy” is beyond me.
This morning as I sat down with a coffee I burst out laughing as it suddenly hit me (I don’t know why I never saw it while I was there!) but the John Moores competition being held at The Walker Gallery is unbelievably ridiculous. If it was at the TATE, fine, but at the Walker it actually shows something utterly ridiculous. All these works of art in the Walker gallery have been collected over many years as great works of art including many of the country’s most loved artists and yet not one of them could possibly win the John Moores competition. So are they all rubbish and redundant in the face of the John Moores competition? Or is the John Moores competition a load of self-serving twaddle and redundant in the face of the great masters of the past? In the context of the Walker Gallery as a whole I do not see how one or the other conclusion is not applicable. Anyway, the absurdity of the whole thing certainly made me laugh. Maybe you can think of an answer to this dilemma but I can’t. Let’s see what the comments show, if anything.