082: The Eyelid Collection


Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum is considered one of the best museums in Scotland, not least of which because of its varied and evocative exhibits. From rooms themed on natural history to Ancient Egypt, and galleries featuring Dutch painters to the Glasgow Boys, there’s something for anyone to enjoy inside – even acolytes.

Go to the café and order a bottle of water at the counter – do not take a bottle of water from the fridge, as they have not been prepared or treated with the appropriate ritual. One of the staff will give you a bottle from behind the counter, seemingly identical to those in the fridge, for £1.50. Take the bottle, and go to a secluded part of the museum, such as a cubicle in the toilets, to prepare your solution.

Drink (or pour out) some of the liquid in the bottle, and then add allspice to the remainder – the more allspice is used, the stronger the solution will become. Mix the allspice in, then apply the liquid to your eyes. A fierce burning sensation will result, the intensity of which depends on how strong the solution is – but as a result, whenever you close your eyes for the next hour or so, you will be able to see dim, glowing auras behind your eyelids that seem to emanate from certain objects inside the museum. (As an addendum: preparing a solution that is more than nine parts allspice to one part “water” from the café will likely render you blind, but the ability to see auras will be permanent).

Tour the museum, and every so often, close your eyes and observe the colours that radiate behind your eyelids, like emotionally-charged afterimages of the museum’s artifacts: objects that are infused with a high degree of occult significance will seem to cause the colours behind your eyelids to twist and swirl in iridescent whirpools. These artifacts should be studied and understood where possible. In many cases, the reasons why these objects bear such intense energy is not understood – why do the sketches for Dali’s “Christ of Saint John of the Cross” all glow with immaterial chromatics, yet the full painting itself does not? Why do some of the rooms of the dollhouse-like art objects from the World War II exhibit seem to resonate with the fell radiance? Why does the Spitfire in the museum seem to be dripping and bleeding colour onto all the objects below?

Not all of the objects in the Kelvingrove Museum are simply static artifacts to be studied – some are dynamic, and allow a certain “rapport” to build between yourself and the thing being observed. If you would prefer not to invite the gaze of certain entities that would otherwise turn a blind eye to you, do not open your eyes in front of the paintings that seem to drink and devour the colours behind your eyelids – looking at their canvases through your stained eyes will result in something turning its own to stare into yours.

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