Museums at Night 2012: An evening with Alfred Wallis at Kettle's Yard in Cambridge

By Mark Sheerin | 18 May 2012 | Updated: 18 May 2102
a man looks at a text panel about Alfred Wallis at Kettle's Yard
© Culture24 Photo Mark Sheerin

Culture24 on the road for Museums at Night 2012: Mark Sheerin visits Kettle's Yard in Cambridge

As night falls outside Kettle's Yard, the walls induce motion sickness. Works by Alfred Wallis show boats that climb waves, boats that rock in the backwash, boats sailing forward at full tilt. And if the primitive art doesn't get to you, this being Museums at Night, the white wine may well instead.

Nevertheless it is anyone's guess what the deeply religious fisherman Wallis would have made of this jovial soiree in one of Britain's most landlocked galleries. Though one could guess he would approve of the Cambridge premiere of a nearby film by Jeremy Millar.

Millar's film pairs a haunting chanted soundtrack with a kaleidoscopic vision of crystals from the Natural History Museum in Oxford (“the other place”) to produce a hypnotic five minute loop, receiving its Cambridge premiere tonight.

The artist is a fan of Museums at Night. “This kind of drone music is used in other cultures to induce trance states,” he also tells me over a glass of the vino. “I think it was important that it felt possibly overwhelming and very large.” Indeed it did.

Extensive building work means this Cambridge gallery is sailing at half mast for the time being. So the 50-odd visitors are fairly well rammed into a fraction of the exhibition space and generously scattered throughout the adjacent house.

Here they wander, contemplate and wonder at the extraordinary art collection of former resident Jim Ede. And as dusk falls outside, visitors have the chance to note the effects of fading natural light Miró, Brancusi, Nicholson and Wood.

There is art at every turn in the gloaming recesses of Kettle's Yard house. That too is overwhelming, and an opportunity as rare as any crystal or self taught fishermen artist. What a way to start the weekend.

  • Culture24's Museums at Night 2012 continues through Saturday and Sunday May 19 and 20. See the full listings and refine your search by place, subject or theme.
More pictures:

a photo of a man with a beard
Jeremy Millar enjoys the evening at Kettle's Yard.
© Culture24 Photo Mark Sheerin
a photo of people sat on a large sofa in a gallery
© Culture24 Photo Mark Sheerin
a photo of books on a table
© Culture24 Photo Mark Sheerin
a photo of plants in a window at Kettle's Yard
© Culture24 Photo Mark Sheerin
a photo of people in a gallery
© Culture24 Photo Mark Sheerin
a couple looking at art in a gallery
© Culture24 Photo Mark Sheerin
  • Culture24's Museums at Night 2012 continues through Saturday and Sunday May 19 and 20. See the full listings and refine your search by place, subject or theme.
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:

Events

  • 1 mile
  • 2 miles
  • 3 miles
  • 4 miles
  • 5 miles
  • 10 miles
  • 20 miles
  • 50 miles
  • Any time
  • Today
  • This week
  • This month
  • This year

Museums at Night newsletter sign up
Culture24 editor's newsletter sign up
advertisement
Festival of Museums
The Late Shows
Light Night Liverpool 2014