You’d hopscotched your way along the cobbles of Museum Square and walked over the sandstone pavement towards the grand old gallery building.
You’d stood outside with your feet close together, clutching onto your umbrella with both hands as June drizzle cascaded down to the floor in eight directions around you.
The thick glass doors where tall wooden welcomers once stood were closed tightly shut and there was a small, hand-written sign in the centre saying “We are closed”.
The same thing had happened the day before.
“Was the exhibition over already?” you thought to yourself as you rolled your bottom lip out with sulking disappointment. After all, you’d only managed to see one of the installations so far and you’d rather quite enjoyed it.
You make a third attempt and hopscotch once again along the friendly inner city cobbles before turning up the sandstone path. And this time, the doors are open.
“Hooray!” you whisper excitedly, skipping through into the foyer to start your climb up the broad staircase that winds its way upwards around what could quite possibly be the world’s largest chandelier.
As your feet glide over the royal red carpet, you look around admiring the old masters’ paintings lined up along the rounded wall. Pale white dewy faces watch on with sinister stares as you race yourself towards the top.
When you reach the first floor, you take a left into the exhibition room and turn right to walk past We Are All Dots, the installation you’d admired only a few days before.
And once again you’re stood in front of another enormous white canvas. This one has the exact same silhouette outline of our seven continents and seven seas, except this time, it looks completely different.
Your eyes don’t know what to do with themselves. They’re dancing around fervently, waltzing to the left and foxtrotting to the right.
The canvas is covered in billions and billions of tiny handpainted dots in all the colours of the rainbow. There are reds and blues and yellows and greens, pretty pastel shades and everything in between.
They must have been painted on with the tiniest brush and the greatest of patience. And you stop still to admire its multifaceted madness from afar.
You notice to the left of the installation there is a pair of white wireless headphones hanging up on the wall beneath a sign that says “There’s only one of you” in beautiful cursive writing.
You take the headphones and place them on your head, walk over to the centre of the room, sit down cross-legged and press the big white button on the left ear piece.
Your hear a gramophone scratching and a few moments later, a song begins to play.
Now there’s 99 kinds of candy barsThe Four Lads
Heaven knows there must be a billion stars
Lots of candy bars ’bout a billion stars
But there’s only one of you
There’s an ample number of apple trees
Seven million fish in the seven seas
Lots of apple trees more than seven seas
But there’s only one of you
The song stops there at 43 seconds precisely. There are a few moments of silence before it begins again.
You listen to it over and over while playing the best game of pairs you’ve ever played. You search and search and search the canvas, desperately trying to find two dots that are exactly the same. But you can’t find a single pair.
Because there’s only one of you.