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Art Editorial

fairgala19.jpg Scream if you wanna go faster!

You can almost taste the Brylcreem of the Waltzer operators at ‘Fairground Reminiscence’, an exhibition all about – well, the clue’s kind of in the name. See it at Durham’s Gala Gallery.

It doesn’t matter how old I get, my love of fairgrounds never wains. I don’t even have to be hurtling through the air upside down to appreciate their appeal. I love the noise (fairgrounds are to pop music, what clubs are to house); the smells (caramelised onions and candy floss – that unbeatable combo); and the general giddiness (check out that child winning a key-ring on hook the duck). All of that – and more – is captured in ‘Fairground Reminiscence’, which celebrates the history of fairgrounds and tells the stories of the extraordinary lives of the people who travelled and worked on them. Visitors can explore original fairground objects, posters, photographs and video footage. And – get this! – there are even fun fairground games to play. The installation is complemented by a specially created soundtrack of traditional funfair music and interviews with showmen and their families, who share their memories of working on and growing up with the fair. There is also a live dance performance accompanying the installation on Saturday 28 December (12 noon), and families are invited to take part in drop-in workshops in the gallery on Saturday 4 and 18 January. Adam Russell of Adam Russell Dance: “The project has been three years in development to get to this stage. I have worked closely with showman families collecting their memories, photographs and objects.” 

Fairground Reminiscence, until 25 January, Gala Gallery, Gala Theatre, Durham. galadurham.co.uk/gala-gallery