This exhibition mularky, which has taken up so much of my time over the last month, has reminded me of how the Art world attracts so many mentally unbalanced people. Some are born into eccentricity, some acquire it over a period of years, and some have eccentricity thrust upon them.
A very strange man had turned up one day last week, and the lady who I had left manning the desk whilst I went shopping whispered to me, "He's been downstairs for at least half an hour!" I thought I had better hang around until he left, and went downstairs to check him out.
He was a disturbed looking individual, with shoes that didn't match the rest of his attire, and a large domed forehead denoting a high level of intelligence of the sort which would be hard to put to a practical use. He was skinny and weak looking, but the muscles either side of his jaw were extremely well developed from a lifetime of teeth-grinding - possibly as a result of dealing with all the electrical disturbance going on quietly within that huge brain of his. He asked me if Her Indoors was in the house, and I replied that she was not. He asked if she would be coming back later in the day, and I reluctantly said she would be, but would be very busy with a group of students, so would not have the time to talk. I became a bit more concerned as to his motives.
I went outside to give H.I. a call, and described the man. She said, "Oh, that's just 'xxxx', he's harmless', so I went back in, placated the lady behind the desk, and left again. Apparently, he spent another hour there, staring at one painting upstairs.
Before he left, he wrote in the visitor's book, "I COULD SPEND ALL DAY HERE!!!" He almost did. I think the tranquility of the paintings and gallery acted as a sort of therapy for him.
My experience of Art Schools in the 60s made me think that they were a cross between monasteries and mental hospitals. I would imagine that most monasteries are a cross between mental hospitals and art schools.
Right - back to the gallery to set up the cheese and wine party, though I don't know how many people from out of town will make it, it's been snowing quite hard.