Saturday, 29 September 2012


September has been something of a busy month. And as always everything seemed to happen at once.  A Hockey Club Open Day, an exhibition preview, a wedding party and three visits to the theatre. I actually had to turn down invitations because dates clashed, or I just couldn't fit them in (I do have to work, and look after three men, too!). Oh, and I had two refusals from my Other Half too, so no outing to see a band we both liked back in the day, and no Salmon Fishing either! (And to think I went along to support his Hockey Club thing! Where is the give and take, I ask you? That, maybe, is a rant for another blog!) First, let me tell you about finding the balance!

My frantic social month started with a little pool of tranquillity at the preview of  "Balance".  If you are looking for an escape from the rigours of life and work I recommend a visit to the Art Gallery in Hartlepool. It's a quiet calm place to while away an hour at the best of times, but until November 10th  you can soak up the extra calm of Adrian Gray's Stone Balancing Sculptures. These stones are impossibly balanced on one another - only held in place by the equilibrium and the friction between the two surfaces. There is no trickery involved, they are just balanced. We watched him do it - an experience which was, for me, tense yet serene. Adrian usually creates his sculptures outside on the beach at Lime Regis. I can't imagine how much patience it takes to achieve the balance out in the elements. It seemed difficult enough in the enclosed and protected environment of the gallery. I found that I was holding my breath the entire time as I watched him find the perfect balance point, tentatively release his hold on the stone, and step away. Miraculously the stones stayed in place. I breathed again, not quite believing what my eyes had just seen!

This is an exhibition that is quite different to anything I have seen in an art gallery. Reactions to it can be mixed, most people seem to find it calming, but some do find it unnerving. The sculptures by their very nature are transient, in the natural environment wind and rain and tides eventually sweep them away...

Next week I have a Workshop at the gallery with my writers' group. I hope it inspires them. I will report back and hopefully share some of the writing that comes from it.

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