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From an Art Gallery Bench

I sit on a comfortable bench in front of a window which faces out towards the Alexander library. The gallery forecourt is dotted with statues, frozen in bronze. Also in the forecourt and mall are people, dotted about like living statues.

Looking about me, I see the stiff stark sandstone lines of the gallery and the surrounding paving. All around me are steps and straight crisp ninety degree angles. Even the water in the fountain has been forced into these steps.

What has happened to the soft flowing slopes of yesteryear, and the smooth gentle fall of water? They have gone, pushed away by modern architecture. The straight lines and minimal curves of the architects mind are reflected in the Henry Moore piece, and the marble sculptures outside the library.

Yet, despite all of these straight lines and sandstone blocks, nature's grace and beauty show through. The trees and gardens grow freely and lushly, restoring some softnes to the stark landscape, and the small glimpses possible of the old technical college hark back to an older, more graceful style of building, with it's red brick lending some colour to a pale world.

In the pools and fountains, unheeding of the architect's intent and straight forbidding lines, seagulls frolic and squabble for tidbits. The pigeons join them on the steps, chasing crumbs, and the flowing athletic lines of the Apollo watch people enter the gallery, while the Caller heralds the visitors.

This work is copyright Meg Thornton 1990 - 2005. All rights reserved

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