Archive | 10:13

Untitled Re-Told

26 Oct


Life on Mars Exhibition - Saturday 4th October

Image by Gene Hunt via Flickr

There is NOTHING going on in my life at the moment, and I have struggled all week to find something of interest to write about.  Today, I’ve had to resort to re-blogging an old post.  Like on the telly, however, this is not a repeat, but a re-telling, brushed up to look good and fresh and new.  Sadly, I don’t have any talking heads to pad out the dull bits; but feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

Spud and I visited Stockport Art Gallery. I don’t mind art. I’m not over-fussed about it, but I like to look at it occasionally. 

We have a fair bit of original art in the house because the Hub loves it. We had only been married a year or so when he bought our first two paintings at the Rand Show in Joburg. We got them on Hire Purchase: remember that? For those of you under a certain age, it was old-fashioned credit, long before plastic.  We also rented our video machine. Can you imagine it? It wasn’t that long ago, either; about 1986.  I guess those of you still under that certain age are now asking, What’s a video?

We even went into art galleries on our honeymoon in Cape Town, which reminds me of the biggest waste of money I have ever spent.  I know I have told this story before but I still feel enraged, twenty-six years on. 

Scene: a small gallery of modern art.  Entrance fee: 10 cents each.  Exhibits: everything was called Untitled.  Presumably because they defied description. Utter garbage – also what some of the exhibits were made of.  Twenty-six years, five months and three weeks later, I still begrudge that 20c.

An artist friend of mine explained to me that ‘modern’ or ‘conceptual’ artists will all have had formal training – the example she gave me was Picasso, which put my nose out a little – but they feel the need to experiment with form. That’s all very well, but don’t charge me an exorbitant 20c for it. To be fair (if I must), I like to play around with poetic form myself so I understand where they are coming from, but I really don’t get why an unmade bed with leftover food, yucky personal stains and other detritus counts as art. If that’s the case, tell Charles Saatchi to come round here and he can have My Bed for two hundred quid plus an entrance fee of 20c.

I do like a good sculpture.  Weirdly, however, I don’t like ornaments. Of course, I don’t have any sculptures in my house so I don’t have to dust them; I might change my mind if I did. I like those Liverpool Yellow Banana animals in particular.  Talking of Liverpool and art (don’t laugh), my favourite painting in all the world is in the Walker Art Gallery: When Did You Last See Your Father? I was about eleven and my Dad brought home some art prints, and WDYLSYF? was one of them. I was heavily into the Stuarts at the time, so I loved it. 

I didn’t know anything about the painting until the day I was in the Walker Gallery with Spud, killing time waiting for a train home after watching Joseph and His Amazing Technicoloured Dreamcoat at the Liverpool Empire Theatre (a Christmas present from the Hub, the most wonderful gift-giver in all the world); I turned a corner, and there it was, massive, beautiful, a real work of art. 

By the way, I know people claim to hate Andrew Lloyd Webber as much as I hate ‘modern’ art, but I don’t care: I love his musicals. While I’m at it, I might as well confess that I am an unashamed and unabashed Abba fan, being the one teenager in Runcorn to not only buy but also to display a poster of them on my bedroom wall. Those of you recoiling in disgust may leave the room.

Another of my favourite paintings is one we have of Tory Boy as a three-year old.

The Hub commissioned it for my Mum’s fiftieth birthday. He also commissioned the same artist (Theo Coetzee) to paint a portrait of his parents on their wedding day, from a photograph, for their Golden Wedding anniversary. 

The Hub commissioned this one from Theo (by this time we were on first name terms) as a Christmas present for me (told you, didn’t I?), because cosmos is my favourite flower:

As I said, the Hub likes art. He enjoys painting, but he feels he has no talent. I am a philistine so I can’t judge, but I like his stuff. He doesn’t paint now, though, as we live in a small house and things not in use have to be packed away. Because of the ME/CFS, by the time he gets his stuff out, he’s too exhausted to do anything with it, so he doesn’t bother anymore. Hope is in sight, however: we have three bedrooms and as soon as we offload the boys onto a couple of unsuspecting girls, we will have a room each to do our own thing: he can paint and do his aeroplane geek stuff and I can write scurrilous experimental poems on why Tracey Emin should be dusting ornaments for a living.

Joke 216

26 Oct

Thanks to Michelle in South Africa for this one.

My mate’s wife left him last Thursday; she said she was going out for a pint of milk and never came back.

I asked him how he was coping and he said, “Not bad, I’ve been using that powdered stuff.”


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