Kirsteen Thomson Exhibition Launch @ Knight & Garter | Leicester

Last Thursday, I attended the Knight & Garter's re-launch, accompanied by the launch of an art exhibition in the pub's basement bar. Whilst not a permanent exhibition, the idea of an art exhibition in a bar intrigued me and I thought I'd head along.
As you're probably aware, I'm no expert on art. But by placing an art exhibition in a bar, I feel that the Knight & Garter are trying to break down the idea that you have to be an art critic to enjoy art when really it shouldn't be so exclusive.

I particularly enjoyed the Battle of Towton piece. Rather than the often-done busy battle scene, the painting depicts a lone archer standing in front of a row of dead trees and behind a river of blood. Although it was depicting a battle from the fifteenth century, it also reminded me somewhat of the pals battalions of the First World War, where men were encouraged to enlist in the British Army by the promise of being able to serve alongside their friends, colleagues and neighbours. Of course this ultimately turned out to be a less than brilliant idea as the bloodiness of trench warfare meant watching your lifelong companions die on the battlefield before you. Thus, the lone archer in a fifteenth-century battle and the few survivors in a twentieth-century battalion have similar experiences in one regard. The poignant message I took from the painting was that the loneliness of a war's aftermath is not exclusive to one time or place.

Love in London
I really like that Thomson uses elements from the past and present in her artwork as, according to an information pack on the centre table, "she feels people from all periods of time give life and atmosphere to beautiful surroundings". It's a sentiment that really does resonate with me, as I feel history absolutely cannot be separated from the events of today. The painting Love in London fits in with this as no matter how much I looked at it, I couldn't really figure out what time period it was supposed to be set in. But of course, that's the point. People of all ages could look at it and feel a sense of nostalgia or connection with it, for things such as love aren't exclusive to one time.

Although I did have to dash off before I'd had the chance to sample much of Knight & Garter's food, I certainly enjoyed the few tidbits I did try (after I'd recovered from the mild embarrassment of the artist coming over and introducing herself to me when I had a gob full of free canapé). This certainly seems to be a place that pays attention to flavour, a refreshing break from the generic pub food I've cynically come to expect. The prices reflect this, costing more than chain pubs, but for such a fine quality of food and venue, I doubt many would grumble at it.

As ever thank you for reading!

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