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Friday, January 25, 2008

There's really only one place you can go to celebrate a new job. Yes, that's right: a basket-weaving exhibition at Hove Museum. With the imminent threat to my free time, and the very real possibility that I may have to retire from the world of Argus blogging, in favour of actually working for a living, I thought I'd try to get in another article while I still can. So with that in mind, I've spent the morning in Hove, examining the work of more than fifty British and Japanese basket cases makers, at an exhibition called 'East Weaves West'. It's a title which so nearly works.

Mmm... pretzels.If you thought basket-weaving was only for pensioners and the mentally ill, you'd be wrong. I think. To be honest, with some of the exhibits it was hard to tell. I don't care what anyone says, this is just a giant pretzel. Although according to the card it's entitled 'Mu'. So it's probably something to do with cows.

Most of the items on display are for sale, so it's not so much an exhibition as a car boot sale, which is probably why I enjoyed it. The museum blurb talks of "cultural comparisons and fascinating contrasts", which is true. A lot of the Japanese art is clever, intricate and awe-inspiring, while a lot of the British art... um... isn't.

Something smells fishy.I did like the coral made out of cane by Polly Pollock (who sounds like a character from Finding Nemo), and the sculptures by Joanna Gilmour, but I felt the handbag made of logs was a step too far. Lisa's bag is heavy enough as it is.

Then there was the work of Laura Street (I think I've lived there), who rejects raffia in favour of old newspapers. A lot of her art resembled the contents of my recycling bin, but I have to say it was quite inspiring and did make me feel like rushing home to plait something out of last week's Sun.

Twisting my words.
It makes a change from journalists twisting other people's words.

I have to say though, ever since Lisa kicked the balls of a Japanese artist back in October, I've preferred the work of our sushi-eating cousins, and today was no different. After all, when did you last hear of an Englishman weaving an eel trap out of bamboo?

Eel Meat Again
It's like a condom for congas. And it's by Kazuo Hiroshima. I bet he's bombed at a few exhibitions.

'Revolving' by Noriko TakamiyaAnyhoo, if, like me, you're a fan of blankets made out of moss, paper sculptures modelled on the Michelin Man, and wire figures which look like The Clangers, then it's well worth a visit. If you're not, then it isn't. Which is probably why the place was empty this morning.

It was all good preparation though, because as it happens I'm meeting a couple of basket-cases for dinner in an hour.