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Ford Madox Brown, and Protests

This weekend I went up to Manchester for three reasons: to visit family, to see Manchester Art Gallery's exhibition on Ford Madox Brown, and to take part in the anti-Tory protests on what is, today, the first day of the Cons Party Conference.



Why on earth they saw it fit to hold a Tory conference in a city that has bore the brunt of their ideology over the years is best known to them. But first the Ford Madox Brown exhibition. It's always going to be somewhat problematic walking around a gallery to stare at pictures with a six and seven year old neice and nephew in tow; they get bored, despite both being appreciative of art. My nephew, on my last visit, said to me 'have you heard of that arter, Jack Pollock'. And Kya has been known to stand slack-jawed in front of a picture, as if in awe of the colours, the creation... Yesterday she even crouched down on the floor from which to study 'Work'.


Kya, 6, with my sis, Abby, in front of Ford Madox Brown's 'Work'.

But I have to say that the space wasn't great - it would have been better to have smaller corners instead of just what felt like long, monotonous rows lit by harsh everyday lighting.
The kids were further accommodated by the 'interactive' room:



Nephew, Keenan, aged 7.



Listening to an audio installation at Manchester Art Gallery.

All in all I came away feeling unmoved, and uninspired. Unlike today, which was the first day of the Tory party conference, which was enabled by various checkpoints, hundreds of police, and too many bollards that were meant to form a safe inner ring.



The march itself began from Liverpool Road, Deansgate. There was a great atmosphere of conviviality and determination to be heard.



From a series of posters along the road facing the hotel that is home to the Tories for the next couple of days.

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