‘Looking Beyond: Conversations between John Berger and John Christie’

It’s been a busy few weeks indeed!

Second year is officially over, all essays are handed in and formal teaching has stopped until the autumn… and yet there is no rest for the wicked.

As the new President of the Drama Society, there is an awful lot to organise – the final show of the year, our end of year party, and the selection of the first show of next year! But with persistence it is all slowly coming together.

Even with all this going on there is still time, now that essays are over, to enjoy the UEA campus. It’s never more wonderful to be a UEA student than when the sun is out and you can sit with your friends down by the lake.

I’ve also taken the opportunity to get to know the Sainsbury’s Art Centre a little better as well.

Currently, there is an exhibition curated by the MA Museum Studies students called, ‘Looking Beyond: Conversations between John Berger and John Christie’. A friend and I stopped by one sunny afternoon, knowing nothing about either of the aforementioned Johns, and spent a wonderful hour reading and poking around.

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It is a curious exhibition because it is so site specific. John Berger, the novelist, painter, poet and Booker Prize winner, and his friend, the artist John Christie, both visited the Sainsbury Art Centre together and it is mentioned in the beginning of the book they penned together, ‘Lapwing and Fox’.

It was this book which sparked the idea for the exhibition, encouraging as it does visitors to try and look at the galleries in new ways.

The whole exhibition is built from this ethos and as a visitor you are made to feel that your interpretation of the art is just as important as what the artist or the gallery curator wanted you to take from it. Some of the gallery is taken up by the works of Berger and Christie, but interspersed with them are works from the museum’s permanent collection – often pieces that Berger or Christie mention in their correspondence.

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The exhibition is fairly small but I would highly encourage people to give it a visit, especially if they are someone who has been to the centre before as this collection offers so many interesting thoughts and ideas on what else is there. Because of this, although the display is small in comparison to the permanent collection, its influence can be felt throughout the building, no matter which piece of art you may be looking at.

‘Looking Beyond: Conversations between John Berger and John Christie’, is on until the 27th November, so you have plenty of time, but I would encourage you to go when it is sunny so you can truly appreciate both the UEA campus and the Sainsbury Centre’s fantastic setting and views of the broads.

More info may be found here (x)

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