I met MJ for a catch up; his life more eventful than mine it seems, refreshed me. We talk and drank coffee, ate cake. Talked more.
Then we walked.
“But the beauty is in the walking – we are betrayed by destinations”
He wanted to show me something. Up New Street, across Victoria Square, past Birmingham’s Museum and Art Gallery and it’s Victorian grandeur. And across Chamberlain Square in memory to a great Victorian Statesman. By contrast, ‘Paradise Place’ is hardly that, a ’60s concrete juxtaposition, not even of the brutalist kind, just the memorably ugly kind. But pushing on we emerged by the new library – our destination, I thought.
But no. we carried on, through the ICC then along by the canal basin to emerge in the mish-mash of bars, restaurants and corporate offices making up Brindley Place. All a bit so so. Yet there, crouching off a pedestrianised & setted alley just off Broad Street was our destination. The delightfully off-centred Ikon Gallery (http://ikon-gallery.org).
I wished I had been more prepared mentally, as it was it was all a bit of a mental assault. MJ talked me through some of the pieces – but what struck me was the space. Some, open, clean, airy. Others, darker, cavernous, troglodytic. Worshippers stood in muted silence, in awe. Other gaggles giggled and moved on.
Go there. Enjoy the art. Enjoy the space.
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