Thursday, 23 April 2009


A few of the visitors on the last day of the exhibition:
A man who came back three times (one of the neighbours who got an infusoria flyer through his door). His only comment was that the exhibition was strange, that I obviously liked strange things, but he kept coming back for more. A woman who said she had enjoyed the exhibition, to which I replied with my belief that if one person takes something away with them then the whole thing is worthwhile. A man from India who happened to be walking past about half an hour before the very end: he kept repeating that if he had walked the other way home, he would never have known. Many people walking by who look through the windows, sometimes for quite a while, but don't come in.

There are two particular things about infusoria that matter to me. One is providing a gathering place and an opportunity for communication between the participants. The other is offering visitors that butterfly-winged experience of seeing something beautiful when you are not really expecting it. I didn't think I'd be able to tell whether people "get anything" out of the exhibition or not: politeness and shyness can both get in the way. But with strangers I have found that I often can tell. Some clearly walk away unmoved, even irritated; others take the trouble to tell me they were glad they'd bothered to step off the footpath and come inside.

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