High Kicks & Low Life

Posted on Mar 10, 2011 by


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The 5th of March was one of those rare days out. A very pleasant experience with nothing for me – an inveterate moaner who could pick a fight in an empty house – to moan about. It much pleases me to report that the Staff at the Cecil Higgins Gallery in Bedford have not yet caught up with 2011. They are all quite, quite wonderful. You know, like in the olden days when beautifully turned out staff greeted you with a welcome and a smile, when folk took pride in what they did. First pleasant experience. Persuading Himself to try the tiny Museum Car Park before tracking down the multi-storey we managed to find a space. How cool is that? Hope once more triumphing over experience Himself swings The Brute (camera) over his shoulder and in we go to see the Toulouse-Lautrec Exhibition (closes 10 April – get your skates on) with loins girded ready for the No Photographs Notice. We’ve left the motor in your car park, we tell the member of staff at Reception, is that alright? Of course she says. Would you like the Reg No in case someone needs to move it we ask? No, no need. It’ll be fine. Is it far to walk into town? we ask? No. Just along the river. You can leave your car here if you like although we do close at five. Cool or what! Eyeing The Brute she says please feel free to take photographs as long as you don’t use flash. Wonders will never cease. The Gallery is wonderful. Inside, another pleasant member of staff explains that this is a British Museum Touring exhibition. Just as well – few museums could afford the insurance on these wonderful, original, works of art. Turns out that Bedford is one of only four venues given the honour. Next to some exhibits is a funny bar code thingy which Himself explained connects your mobile to a commentary about Lautrec and his work. Not that it could tell me, a life long fan of the little man, much. I even made the pilgrimage to Albi in France where he was born. His parents were first cousins. In breeding was the cause of his disability. His body grew to normal size, his legs didn’t. His father was the Count of Toulouse hence his name. Thank you Bedford. You restored my faith in human nature.

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Photography copyright Mark Playle

Posted in: Art, Article, Review