|[ Important Water Closet
The best thing about the art
gallery that I went to on the weekend was the building itself. It used
to be the town hall offices and, therefore (as these things always go),
is quite opulent in it's quietly audacious neo-Deco fashion.
Everywhere you look there are
varnished wooden doors, shiny wooden balustrades and polished wooden veneer.
It still contains most of the original rooms and a veritable hive of discreet
nooks and crannies. On the first floor there are two water fountains recessed
into the wall with bulbous sinks like ceramic udders, off-set by splash
panels of beautifull multi-coloured glass tiles. Near these, and at the
edge of one of the galleries, stands this large, ectomorphic, glass topped
wooden desk that looks like the bulging control panel of a rocket ship
from some 50’s sci-fi film. It’s weird to think that such a commanding
piece of furniture was originally the work space of some fawning functionary
(and a cursory browse through the open drawers shows that it may still
But the one thing that I found
most appealing was the toilets on the very top floor just off the oval
shaped council chambers. Their close proximity to a room of ‘power’ led
me to believe whole-heartedly that they would have been used exclusively
by the duly elected ‘members’. So, as is my want, I started to pretend
that I was a vastly overpaid local poo-bah in 1951, caught short just before
an important vote on giving myself a pay rise. The smell upon entering
was close, ancient and water-musty. Had it changed one iota since the place
was built? The mood of this reverberating little corner was calming indeed
– it’d need to be with all the important decisions I was going to make
in the near future.
I’d entered a tiny time warp
driven exclusively by smelly bodily functions!
However, I was jolted back to
reality by some ridiculous psuedo-hip-hop shouts of louts and layabouts
from the courtyard outside and I remembered that my friends awaited downstairs.
I reluctantly drew myself away from my glorious porcelain past and into
the hum-drum tawdry present.