Last Bank Holiday Monday, we decided that we would have a day off, so of course, it rained in supposed Biblical amounts. And even though it was very tempting to just sit in and read, we thought we would venture out to do a typical rainy day activity in Brighton – we went to Brighton Museum.
Now, as a Brightonian, I can honestly say that I go to Brighton Museum at least three times a year, which is not too bad. It is an excellent museum that is also free, and has a good mix of both permanent collections and temporary collections too. Some design, some art, some local interest pieces and a very interesting collection of Ancient Egypt artefacts too. But when you visit a museum, it is not just the stuff on show that can provide a visual feast – you need to remember to look up and down as well.
The main entranceway to the Brighton Museum is quite marvellous – a cavernous double height vaulted space with a set of Artichoke lights providing sculptural illumination. The architectural detailing is quite wonderful and the grey colours are soft and delicate.
Most visitors miss this view from the ground floor, but (hopefully) notice when they go across the cafe balcony, or between the galleries at the opposite end. From this level the space looks very different, but I prefer the view from the ground floor – appreciating the height of the building and the shadows cast by the lights.
This is not just true of Brighton Museum, but of many buildings – instead of just looking down, or at eye level, take time to look upwards as well. This is also the view advocated by studio friend and inspirational arts and culture consultant Cara Courage, who started the LookUp project in 2013 – a photo journal of permanent architectural details across Brighton and further afield that are at least one storey up…
So when you are out and about – do not forget to look up.
(photo by claire potter)