In the Venn diagram of football supporters and art lovers the intersection might be relatively slender. If you are not a fan of the beautiful game, the Football Art Prize at Millennium Gallery could be the exhibition to persuade you to dip a metaphorical metatarsal in its water. And if you are wary of contemporary art, there will almost certainly be something here you will enjoy, the range of artwork being so diverse.
At the gallery entrance stands a Story Dispenser, a device providing random, rip-and-read snippets of football-related trivia, poems and stories at the press of a button.
The strains of Nessun Dorma fill the gallery air. For some, a sublime aria by Puccini; for others, Italia 90, Gazza’s tears and the birth of BBC slo-mo vignettes revealing the agony and ecstasy of the world’s most popular sport. It is Theo Ellison’s remarkable work Skills Video (Adriano) from which the music emanates. It takes the form of scenes from a computer game in which Adriano, the highly-skilled but erratic Brazilian striker for Inter Milan, demonstrates his dazzling technical ability. It invites us to contrast computer-generated reliability with the human fallibility of a player who rarely reached the heights of his avatar.