This was the day I visited the Brighton Museum, and I have to admit it was pretty cool and pretty much worth paying a visit to. And I also visited the fashion gallery.
It features an array of outfits ranging from many George IV era clothes – many dresses – to more modern, alternative ones. I remember very well two white dresses: a modern, strapless one which reminded me of prom dresses, and a Regency era woman’s dress which probably belonged to a woman who was neither a noblewoman nor a poor one. There was mostly women’s clothing, including some biker-esque outfits that looked like they had a 70s vibe to it. I actually spent like, two or three minutes in that gallery. Probably less than three minutes… It was nice, tough.
While visiting another section, I saw the Big Mouth Fish sculpture, though I really didn’t process what it was all about until after I took some time to take a look at the pictures on my phone before writing this because I was in such a rush that day at the museum, courtesy of my tour guide. I really wish I remembered more. Still, the animal symbolism-filled sculpture actually has a pretty interesting meaning: it’s a symbol of death in Malagan culture as when someone dies people say “Big mouth got him”. Afterwards, I spent quite some time in the Art Deco section. It was really not bad.
The exposed art can be very well defined by the word “pretty”. I loved those paintings. God, aren’t those paintings pretty? And that head, and the Mae West Lips sofa… And that little lamp sculptures… Can it actually be called a sculpture? And isn’t it pretty? Everything was really pretty, and lovely, and elegant, and refined, and cool. Very nice. And it also had quite a French vibe in look and style, I thought. Pretty.
Then there’s the Ancient Egypt section. Second time I got to see sarcophagi. First time was at the history museum in Dublin, which was in August. So, I saw ancient coffins twice in the span of six months. That should say something about my relationship with death. At my young age. Still, as far as the Ancient Egypt part goes, I remember that besides sarcophagi, there was a computer that explained how to mummify a body. Just so that people can learn how to go all Norman Bates on anyone they want to. Lovely! There were also little statues, including a tiny little Child God statue with a fairly detailed explanation of why you could see the statue represented a child – his sucking his thumb, his clothing, etc… – and his coming-of-age story, which involved a big, epic battle he fought along his father.
The museum also has a definitely interesting, really beautiful collection of pictures of Brighton – which was one of the most bombed towns in England during the Blitz – during WWII. It does a really good, compelling job representing its town’s history. There is an entire section dedicated to Brighton’s history as a fishing town, too. Most people made a living out of fishing for a long time, with many living near the beach, but that ended once the town became a fashionable vacation destination for rich aristocrats from London. Over time, the fishing business started to show signs of life again.
Brighton’s popularity with Londoners remains to this day, and is emphasized by one of its nicknames, “London-by-Sea”. Honestly, I can’t find the two places to be any more different. I mean, there’s really no way to compare the two. Not that Brighton isn’t nice, but London wins anytime. Hands down. Somewhere in a sort of steampunk-esque part of the museum – a celebration of technological innovation, if I don’t mistake – there’s also a thing that really reminded of this thing from Doctor Who:
I spent that evening bowling at the Brighton Marina. And hell, I was so bad. So bad. I had never bowled before. I took every chance to sit down and even skipped a round. While I started to get better in the end, my scores were the worst. Really. At least in my team. But in the end, who cares? However, one of the girls from my group and I bonded over our mutual love for musicals such as Wicked and Into the Woods. I actually started singing “Defying Gravity” in the middle of the street. I thought she would’ve joined me… She didn’t… We did agree that there’s only one Idina Menzel, though, and she’s obviously the definitive Elphaba. Like that’s debatable.
I also came across a little boy who looked just like Haley Joel Osment circa The Sixth Sense (1999) and met a Ukranian teenaged boy that evening. He was definitely one of the nicest boys I’ve ever met, if not the nicest. His haircut gave him a little bit – just a little bit – of a Mr. Spock (note: RIP Leonard Nimoy) air, and strangely enough, I had the movie Everything is Illuminated (2005) in my head throughout most of our conversation and couldn’t shake it off. He also had no idea of who Steve McQueen – the actor – was – Seriously?! Seriously?! – and described Kim Kardashian as an “expensive prostitute”. I’m sure she’d be glad to hear that. Anyways, he told me he initially planned to attend the “best university in Ukraine”, but once things started to become messier there, he was shipped off to England to finish his high school education and is unsure about the future. We actually spoke quite a bit about the scary political situation there and how it is very important for everyone to know the names of the President and the Prime Minister in Ukraine while in tranquil Western countries younger people might as well have the luxury to be a little carefree about that sort of stuff. He also stated that in spite of everything, he likes Ukraine given it’s his home country. That “obligatory home country love” philosophy’s not one everyone shares.