Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Columnist Tom Gutteridge

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Columnist Tom Gutteridge

Article excerpt

IZZY'S bedroom is a mound of waste paper. ere are pieces of photographs, bodies with their faces removed, dismembered newspaper adverts, scraps of coloured card, bits of magazines, and half a dozen empty rolls of sellotape. It looks like an earthquake has hit an art studio. I blame Matisse.

Last week Jo and I decided we should all visit the exhibition at Tate Modern. at's the best thing about London: you wake up one morning, fancy a bit of culture, and o you go. No planning, no advance purchase tickets, no East Coast Trains - you just hop on the 46 bus.

We were worried about taking our ve-year-old to a big exhibition. What if she were bored and made a scene? So we prepared her.

"We're going to a big important art gallery, Izzy. We're going to see some lovely colourful paintings by a very famous man. When he was old, he couldn't really paint anymore so he got a pair of scissors and he started to make pictures by cutting out shapes" "You mean Matisse, Daddy?" " she asked, eyes brightening. " ey're not paintings, they're cutouts."

"How on earth?" " And then I twigged why, for the" last month, her magazines and photos had been shredded and reassembled into posters, books and cards. I just thought I had a particularly creative daughter. But her school had taught her about Matisse. "Will we see e Snail?" she asked. " at's my favourite, though I like the dancers too."

ey'd projected a lm abo." him on an interactive blackboard. It wasn't like that in my day at Cullercoats Infants School.

She loved the exhibition, telling me exactly what I was looking from her perch on my shoulders.

"Look, Daddy, that's under the sea, there's sh and seaweed and grass skirts."

"Grass skirts?" I queried. Isn't that more seaweed? en I saw the caption: Hawaii. OK - it could be grass skirts, I guess.

Later, as we ate scallops and quail's eggs in the art gallery's rooftop restaurant, we looked across St Paul's Cathedral towards the changing landscape of London, massive cranes constructing yet more skyscrapers for Chinese and Russian billionaires. And I thought of the huge disparity between North and South. …

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