Thursday, 15 April 2010


Dear Amy Saia has sparked me off again, by talking about whether or not it is important if people look at your writing, poems, drawings, etc. and I responded by querying how success is measured when you put stuff out into the world, or if it is important that you are recognised for your contributions. Of course, there is no real reason to put stuff out that nobody will look at, but sometimes, people are just forced to look at it.

Of course again, it is very important for everyone to feel as though their contributions are recognised, nomatter what their role in life or society is, which is why he have such problems identifying with the people who clean up our shit, even though we could not function without them - unless we cleaned up our own shit.

For the past 35 years or so, I have been operating as a true sculptor in the 18th century sense of the word. This means that I have been responsible for the restoration, creation and conservation of many 3 dimensional works on public view.

A churchwarden asked me recently to tell him what I thought were amongst my most successful works, and I (yawn) responded in my usual fashion. I absolutely love it when I complete a restoration job and the client has absolutely NO idea what has been done to the article, after I have spent many months and many thousands of pounds working on it with his money. Most clients have extremely short memories. This - by definition - is a mark of true success. If the original creator died 300 years ago, why then I just have to wake him up and ask for his advice. This is much easier than you might imagine - see Dennis Potter's 'Cold Lazarus'.

What have I not done, and what has he paid me for? Well. what I have not done is leave my mark, and what I have been paid for is not destroying the article placed in my trust.

These BLOGS are where we leave our mark! Be happy with that. Anything else is inappropriate. If you write a GOOD piece of music, all you are doing is tapping into something which has bugger all to do with you, other than that you had the good sense to recognise a melody. If your writing means anything to anyone else, it is successful for that reason alone, and is therefore a shared experience, albeit with a different voice - fuck the agents and the publishers, they have their own agendas.

It is impossible to be unique, which is how I got into so much trouble when talking about God, so try to sweep up after you as you leave.

Fame is when someone says, "I know the person who did that!", and success (sometimes) is when they ask, "Who did that?"


  1. I can see how, in your profession, not leaving your mark is literally leaving your mark. But I do think people are unique, even in the most miniscule way. Like I know that I am different, and I thrive on it, but I don't cultivate it.

  2. And in what way? Sorry, but it's night here now, and I'm off to bed so I may not respond for a while if you do. (off he goes, fumbling for the switch...)

  3. This reminds me of a debate my friend and I had in art class. She said nothing we do is original, that it's all been influenced by someone or something else. I agree with her now. Nothing any of us do is original, but I do think people can be unique. How? Just by little things. The way someone combs their hair or chews their food. Or maybe it is the way an artist slathers on a streak of blue; the slight bend in their wrist.

  4. I absolutely hate showing my work (even to Lady M). Perhaps the partial anonymity of the laptop 'page' compensates.

  5. Fear transcends anonymity Cro....

  6. I thought it was the other way round! Anonymity transcends fear! Have I been getting wrong all these years? Maybe I'm a total extrovert.

  7. You could be right. I was confused when I started thinking about it, and it hasn't changed.