William Turner at TATE Liverpool | Day 224 of my 2023 Journal


Uber chauffeurs can be such a blessing. Besides, they drive you to your destination for a fair price, some of them will share the most interesting information about their city - and when it is Liverpool, some will even do it in the Scouse dialect.

On our last day in Liverpool, our primary goal was to see the William Turner exhibition at TATE. The driver shared with us good information about what else to go and see. As our initial plan was to stroll along the dock, we had time to see the Museum of Liverpool, which he highly recommended (among ten other things - we will have to return to Liverpool sometime, as it has a lot to offer).

The wonderful driver called Tate “posh” and told us to spend 15 minutes there, and then go out and see the maritime museum, the Liverpool museum, the cathedrals, and the radio tower. But we don’t listen. Not to that extent. Because it was Turner.

William Turner is epic. And the exhibition was special. A good handful of sketchbooks were on display, some gouache paintings, some sketchy aquarelle paintings, and maybe ten oil paintings. He is overwhelming. I think we spend two or maybe 3 hours staring at how he describes the ocean, the clouds, the sky, the boats, the brutality and the beauty, the light. The light especially. 

I had to go out for coffee halfway. Brain overworking. Wuau.

The museum had had music created for the exhibition, so the sound background was perfect for the situation, another artist's work, and we enjoyed it immensely, all five of us.

When we came out, it was as if the world was new. That is what art can do to you. Like deep meditation, a vacation, or epic insights, spending some hours in the company of a great artist's work will leave you open in the present moment, ready to take in all the nuances, will blow you out of habits, and off the tracks so you are back on your feet.

We watched the firefighter competition, the double-decker food stall, the cathedral, the party city (it was Friday), and all the people and places until we sat down tired at our new favorite cafe, the Vibe, to rest before returning.

Love and light


Cecilie Conrad

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