I know I’ve mentioned being a tourist in your own city before, but there really is no better time to do it in York than as part of Resident’s Weekend, although you do have to be prepared to put up with the queues! Anyone with a valid York Card or York Student Card can gain free entry to a large range of sites, or can get discounts from a range of shops and restaurants.
This year my boyfriend and I decided to visit the De Grey rooms as I was eager to visit the ballroom, and we were both keen to see some of the costumes from the shows put on by York Theatre Royal. I’m glad we went, as we can now say that we’ve been, however it wasn’t quite as exciting as I would have hoped. There were only pantomime costumes on display from the most recent pantomime, and whilst these were outrageous, it would have been nice to see something else as well.
We also decided to visit the newly refurbished York Art Gallery. With it having been closed for refurbishment for most of the time that I have been in York, neither of us had ever been inside. Whilst neither of us are huge art enthusiasts, we are quite nosey and were happy to wait a while in the cold in the ever growing queue in order to look around inside. It certainly exceeded my expectations, and whilst I am not an art lover I could appreciate the different exhibitions and would encourage you to visit.
A Picture of York was my favourite exhibition, and I believe part of that was because I could recognise and appreciate the subject matter of the pictures on display. We were particularly impressed by the William Etty pictures. We also enjoyed the Burton and Beyond: British Art from Victorian to Contemporary exhibition due to the range of different works available to see, although it didn’t take long for us to decide that we found the earlier works much more appealing!
The Lumber Room was very random, and we agreed on the fact that it would be very creepy at night in the dark. The Centre of Ceramic Arts for some is the piece de resistance, although I have to admit that it wasn’t for me. However, I was very impressed by Claire Twomey’s installation 10,000 hours which makes great use of the space and is very impressive. Each bowl takes an hour to make and represents one of the 10,000 hours it is said to take to become a master craftsman, which is a great concept to represent visually.
All in all, it was a great Resident’s Weekend and I’d like to thank all involved in making the weekend possible every year!