I got a chance to hang out in town the other day for the first time in ages, and while we were on our way up the hill Kathryn dragged me into the Side Gallery. Being (relatively) new to the area, I'd not been in there before, but I'll definitely be a regular visitor in the future — it's a magnificent gallery with a great layout for small, characterful exhibitions, and with a great stock of well-picked (and equally well priced) photo prints.
A Woman's Eye, the downstairs exhibition, was decent enough and had a couple of real gems in there, but the real treat was to be found at the top of the (precarious) staircase. Robert Doisneau's impossibly intimate shots of Paris life span sixty years, yet show no real progression in either style or subject — each is a moment as perfectly preserved as the last. A lovely, warm sense of humour runs through all of these images — it's never at the expense of the subject, and the theme almost entirely celebrates life's small victories. I obviously wasn't the only one who thought so — while we were there, three other couples made their way around the exhibition — each pair starting off in quiet discussion and gradually building up to an excited, giggling chatter.
The short short version? I left the gallery several units more happy than when I entered — I'm not sure I can give a better review (of anything) than that. The exhibition runs until Saturday 27th of June — if you're in Newcastle in the meantime, I can't recommend it thoroughly enough.