Earlier this year, I made a couple of visits to mima (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art). For more information about mima click here. I wanted to see two video installations by Jane and Louise Wilson Undead Sun, We Put the World Before You (2016) click here for more information, and separately, I wanted to see paintings by Winifred Nicholson in an exhibition entitled Liberation of Colour. I particularly like Winifred Nicholson’s paintings of flowers in vases and pots, like this one, which is entitled ‘Polyanthus and Cinararia’ :
The exhibition was co-curated by Jovan Nicholson, and it looked at ‘the major periods of the artist’s creativity’, including landscape, still life, portraits and abstraction. I enjoyed the whole show, but the floral pieces remain my favourite. The exhibition has finished now at mima, but it continues to Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham, 4 March – 4 June 2017 and Falmouth Art Gallery, 24 June – 16 September 2017.
Part of the pleasure of visiting mima is The Smeltery, the excellent cafe/restaurant on the ground floor. The food there is tasty – and unusual. I discovered that the person behind it is Luke Harding, who ran The Waiting Room in Eaglescliffe where I had previously enjoyed lovely vegetarian food. The food at The Smeltery includes meat.
The furniture and furnishings are intriguing and unusual. The floor looks like this:
It was a while before I realised that this must be recycled wood from a gymnasium floor – so inventive!
A number of the chairs had clearly been recycled too.
Further investigation revealed that before the opening of the cafe in Autumn 2015,an interesting ‘Localism’ project had been run by artist/designer Adam Clarke, which encouraged creation of recycled furniture. Adam Clarke is the initiator of New Boosbeck Industries. This references a local 1930s initiative: ‘a response to unemployment through creativity’. Find out more here: www.newboosbeck.com.
Other furniture in the restaurant is made by Artisan, a company based in Bosnia. Click here to see more about them. You can just see one of their beautifully-shaped chairs (with a green seat) from The Smeltery in the photo below.
And as a postscript, the well-stocked museum shop sells fabric patches by Jennie Maizels, which I love! I bought an anchor here and a bird at the Flo-Jo Boutique fabric shop in Bristol (click here for more about that). Click here for Jennie Maizels’ website. I now have both patches on the back of my denim jacket, where they are joined by a lace butterfly from Burano, Italy.
The butterfly was a gift – and a souvenir of an amazing trip. Here is a lace-maker working in one of the lace shops on the island.
And finally, some examples of other examples of the intricate lace products they produce.