Matisse Exhibition, Tate Liverpool

There is a wonderful Matisse exhibition on at the Tate Liverpool (free, till May). The centre piece is undoubtedly the surprisingly large ‘The Snail’, but there are 14 other fascinating pieces tracing his development from a figurative painter, through Impressionist and Fauvist phases, to the abstractions of colour and shape of the 1950s. ‘The Snail’ represents the development of this process to a pure experimentation with colour and shape. The orange frame contains cut-out blocks of hand-mixed colour which both contrast and balance each other, while at the same time suggesting the natural spiral of the snail’s shell.

The gallery is a wonderful day out on its own, but it is also surrounded by museums (Maritime, The Beatles and Liverpool), as well as great places to eat and shop. And, if you have the time, there’s always the ferry across the Mersey.