I was looking forward to seeing the collection of paintings by Alfred Wallis, but was appalled to find that his 'Against Longships Fog' was bathed in hot, strong sunlight from an unshaded roof skylight. I spoke to a member of staff and explained that the sunlight would (a) fade the picture and (b) crack and degrade the paint. She seemed totally unperturbed, and said 'we close the blinds at night' and 'we like the gallery to be nice and light'. When I pressed the issue, she phoned a colleague and explained my concerns. I stayed in the gallery for twenty minutes, but during that time nothing was done to alleviate the situation. Is this the way to treat one of our greatest naive artists? Of course it isn't, but the callous disregard that was heaped on Wallis during his life appears to be alive and well at the Pier Arts Centre, Stromness.
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