A Little Snow

I was at Tim Shaw’s exhibition in the Exchange Gallery last Thursday. A vision of oppression and abuse with a huge recreation of the restaurant where he was sitting with his mother when he was 7 years old in Belfast when a bomb exploded beneath them. It is atmospheric as the lights are blue, shadows run in panic all around the walls and the trays are hovering in the air slowly moving as you look at the possessions left behind, chairs upturned, life fractured.

And then I looked at the people who were there to see him. Tim is deeply feeling, I am sure many of those there were too, with their wine glasses full, talking about the show and other things, being seen, doing the ‘art’ bit.

And on Friday every one of them went on with their lives, their daily routine probably unchanged. Their investment in the art, just that, for each evening of the year they go to private views and listen to the artists. The world outside, where the events happen and the nature exists that art reflects, is dying. Routine is everything.

Today

The sun is shining. It was a cold night and the frost is all over the garden, The birds are fed, my dog is walked and I am preparing to drive to Penzance.

And I think of past generations who did not have peace, did not have the expectation of living through the day, did not know what it is to eat every day, have warm clothes unless they made them, were hardened to a life of ‘drudgery and distress’.

We are spoiled in our manicured society where we think everything is done for our benefit when actually, nothing is. We are sleep walkers who do not see the precarious nature of the liberties and scientific achievements we have all come to rely upon.

One order and an army turns upon the people it is there to protect. One switch and entire communities would be without electricity.  One vote and a whole country loses itself.

The Vagaries of Rehearsals

We have one week before we put on an Art Extravaganza in Penzance using satire to publicise, if they need to be, the profound failings of public art and recent readings of art history. And we were doing quite well considering the art world in Cornwall is stagnant.

We have a good group and were doing very well, but have had to change the format this weekend as one of our cast is ill in France. Huddle. Looks at parts. drop one. Tell audience what is going on, make it part of the joke.

These are the crises of middle class people putting on a show. Nothing too much to worry about then.

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