O Joy

4 July 2020 – 26 July 2020 (probably)
Opening hours here



Six pieces of installation art exploring the theme of ‘joy’.
Pieces by Becklespinax, Rachael Cole, Sarah Cole, and Siobhan Fitzgerald-Gibson.
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— Lobby Space —

“Processional Way” by Sarah Cole

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— West Gallery —

“Seeking Joy” by Sarah Cole

It can be hard to find joy in life at the moment. Since March I’ve been angry, worried, and depressed by turns. Some days it feels like there’s bleakness everywhere you look. Animal Crossing has been something of a refuge in this time; it’s a nice game, sure, but the real appeal has been the friends playing it with me. Although it’s sometimes hard to see the good things around me, my friends bring me joy and are always there when I remember to turn to them.

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— North Gallery —

“Hope” by Siobhan Fitzgerald-Gibson

In times of crisis, we are drawn to distraction. But there is joy to be found in attention, too; in working for something better, in dreaming of change.

“Joy doesn’t betray but sustains activism. And when you face a politics that aspires to make you fearful, alienated and isolated, joy is a fine act of insurrection.”
– Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark

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— East Gallery —

“My Idea of Fun” by Sarah Cole

A few weeks ago I should have been stood in one of Yayoi Kusama’s exquisite Infinity Rooms with a friend. It wasn’t to be. We may yet end up there, but in the meantime I felt inspired by Kusama’s polka dots to create this room. It is a tribute to the joy I find in chaotic bold colour and sound—particularly that of jaunty Wurlitzers and fairground organs.

It is recommended that you enlist other gallery visitors for the full effect of this room. The best fun is fun shared with others.

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— Upper Gallery —

“Inside Out” by Becklespinax

Living trapped in the city while pining for the country, this installation is a combination of fond rural memories. Walking down almost dry Lake District becks, seeing the Milky Way reflected in the lakes in northern Finland and being truly alone in a way you never are surrounded by traffic and the noise of other humans.

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— Lower Gallery —

“Just Happy” by Rachael Cole

Every item in this room brings back a happy memory, a nostalgic flashback or simply just makes me happy.

The Japanese toilet that bursts into song when you sit down on the warm seat (?!), the lawnmower moment where my sister and I (as a kid and toddler) ‘helped’ dad mow the lawn, the piano which makes me think of all those wonderful tunes I’ve played over the years. And that pink flamingo – he’s just so derpy!

Each little thing in this room is a part of me – yes, even the washing machine (^-^) – and sitting amongst them just makes me happy!

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