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Museum Tales 4: The Angel

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The Angel

Sent out to browse in the museum, I wandered into the Arctic Room. Not one I was familiar with. The print by Shuvinai Ashoona called ‘Angel in Town’ fascinated me. It shows an angel in a typical white robe, bare feet, I can’t remember if her wings were showing, I think they were.

She is hovering above a modern town, not all the houses have orange tiled roofs. It could be Portslade. The information next to the print says that this is a contemporary Inuit settlement. The buildings stand on blocks to keep them out of the snow and to prevent them sinking into the soil when the snow thaws. I look carefully but there is no igloo in sight.

What would the angel say if she landed in my town? Would she knock on doors to introduce herself or would she wait and see if anyone noticed her hovering. I hope she wasn’t cold, there wasn’t any snow in the picture but it gave no indication what the weather was like and she wasn’t very warmly dressed, not even wearing sandals.

I don’t know why I was assuming she was a female angel, not being very familiar with angels I just took a guess. Then I wondered how she would address us. Supposing it was me she found, would she say “Hallo Darling? Hallo Madam? Hallo Maxine?”

The only angels I could remember didn’t address the people they were visiting; they usually came straight out with their message “I come to bring you tidings of great joy”, that sort of thing.

Perhaps she would ask if there was anything she could do for me? I’m not sure what I would say. Would she be like a fairy and offer me a wish? Two wishes? Three wishes?

Would I be altruistic and ask for world peace or something more important that is preying on my mind? Could she arrange an accident to kill off Trump but in such a way his supporters would not keep a good memory of him and realise what a perfect idiot he was? That might tax her skills; but I think there would be general cheering all round.

I have just started a collection of cartoons about Trump which I display on a cork board in the lavatory. I have labelled it ROGUES GALLERY. There is only one cartoon there at the moment but I feel confident there will be many more. It gives me a tiny bit of satisfaction to have him in my own lavatory. It is the privileged power of the observer, a phrase used by another member of our group which seems apt.

Maxine Toff


Inspiration: Shuvinai Ashoona’s ‘Angel in Town’