What we think

Openings in Cambridgeshire

February 2018

I think we all enjoy being asked questions. It immediately creates an impulse to respond. My Saturday afternoon started with this question, printed on the Kettle’s Yard programme circulating at their reopening:

What can art do?

Kettle’s Yard has a special formative place in my memory of visual arts as, decades ago, I volunteered there and learned that even without sight – they did workshops for the blind – you can enjoy and stretch your visual imagination. On the weekend I visited the old workshop space, which has been completely transformed and together with the addition of new galleries, really extending their ability to reach and engage more people.

Then it was onto Wysing Arts Centre for the opening of ‘More of an Avalanche’, an exhibition looking at the marginalised in society. Among the many works in this show that packs a punch was a compelling performance by Liv Wynter, one that questions the apathy of familiarity.

So what can art do? It can challenge our assumptions, enable us to remember and make us look again and be part of a diverse community. What’s so exciting is to see two different organisations share that motivation to ask questions and engage so many people in their response.