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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Feeling BlueRegular readers of this blog will know that I rarely criticise anyone, and always try to see the best in every situation, but seriously, "'Please Touch!' Denim" was rubbish. I'm almost inclined to think it was some kind of practical joke. Here's how it was billed on the museum website:

Wednesday 24 October
'Please Touch!' Denim
Brighton Museum Link Room
1–2pm Free drop-in
Handle and examine indigo-dyed denim fashions from the Costume & Textiles collection.
Eleanor Thompson, Curator of Costume

Well I've now met Eleanor, and she's very nice, but frankly she's being paid to run the world's smallest jumble sale. The 'Link Room' turned out to be a tiny space halfway up the stairs, in which they'd placed a table. On the table were five or six items of modern children's denim clothing, plus one denim bag that looked like it had come straight from Top Shop. And, er, that's it.

Even more bizarre was that next to this small collection of rejects from the local charity shop were a pile of white cotton gloves for visitors to wear if they wanted to handle the denim. I spent a good thirty seconds convinced I was on Candid Camera. Worse still was that Lisa and I were the only ones there, meaning we were forced to stand in silence in front of two pairs of kids' jeans trying to decide whether to put on a pair of gloves and stroke them like some kind of fetishist, or run out of the room screaming.

Fortunately Eleanor broke the silence by telling us that "some of these clothes date from the 1970s". I felt like saying "Well you really should have thrown them out by now then". My only regret is that the event was a one-off. If it was on again tomorrow, I'd be telling everyone to go, just to witness how breathtakingly pointless it is.

Anyhoo, touching the denim might have been enough to make anyone feel blue, but I'm pleased to say that the actual exhibition ('Indigo: A Blue To Dye For') was a far better experience. I'd tell you all about it, but I've just written a report for The Argus, so to avoid repeating myself, click here.

ShindigOf course, what I didn't tell The Argus is that Hiroyuki Shindo's fantastic textile art installation 'Shindigo Space 07' now looks nothing like the picture on the right, after Lisa decided to find out whether any of the balls on the floor were stuck down, discovered they weren't, and started moving them around. In the end I had to agree to buy her a rock cake from the Pavilion Gardens Café just to get her out of there.

Back in February those rock cakes were personally recommended to me by local historian Geoffrey Mead and I promised a report on them "in the near future". Well it's taken me eight months (mainly because they cost £1.35 so I've had to save up), but here it is at last:

To be honest, my Mum makes better.