Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Sunday, 2 September 2012
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Ok, I know it's not a competition, but I am trying to coax Mise out of her summer-long indolence on the blogging front by being the first in the Northern Hemisphere to murder Shakespeare in the traditional, seasonal way.
We actually did get some mists yesterday morning, and there was even a frost in some parts of this Green and Pleasant Land the morning before, but the mellow fruitfulness has been literally nipped in the bud by the six months of rain that landed on us over three months, just as the fruit trees were supposed to be providing nectar for the drowning bees. My friend who has a massive Victoria plum tree in his garden has been forced to buy some this year, because not one single fruit has formed on it.
My only hope is that this year will provide a better crop of wild mushrooms than the previous three, but fungi are a fickle and perfidious organism, and who knows what goes on inside their little heads? They cannot even decide if they are vegetable, animal or some sort of lichen, so it would be easier to commune with a goldfish rather than get a Penny Bun to give you a clue as to wether or not it is going to show itself above ground this Autumn.
This has been the wettest August for 100 years, and the coldest August night since records began was the night of the 31st. Can there really be that many records left to be broken? Maybe, in the long run-up to a second ice-age or the second tropical age up here. I wish they would make up their minds which.
The British, wistful melancholia attached to Autumn was brought home to me very graphically one misty morning in the countryside, when my Israeli girlfriend (she who ultimately ambushed me to break three of my ribs) looked out of the cottage window at the spectres of trees looming through silent and monotone swathes of grey vapour, and said, "No wonder you have so many ghost stories in this country".
I am feeling somewhat melancholy today, but not in the wistful way that Autumn inspires. I'm just feeling sad about lost opportunities, even though I have always told myself that it is virtually impossible to waste time. That, and the tightening stranglehold that the global financial situation has on any projects which are not absolutely necessary. Art is always the first thing to be axed, on the grounds that we can all do very well without it, but this is just another mass lie to be added to the thousands of others which fall from the lips of financiers on a daily basis.
The only 'art' we can do without is the 'conceptual' variety, thank you very much, and the irony is that it is the only 'art' which is purchased by financiers these days. Think Damien Hirst. Think 'investment'. Think 'corporate' art.
If you think about anything, absolutely everything that you see or handle in your everyday lives has - at some time or another - been handled by an artist - of one form or another. Good housing has always been created by artists, and usually without the help of architects who - by their own admission - are failed or frustrated artists.
Every year at the end of term, thousands of fine-art students leave college vowing to each other that they will continue to paint, sculpt, draw, etc. but only about 2% actually do, because of personal or national financial restraints which effectively devalues the activity as a luxury which only the elite can afford.
H.I. is one of those 2% and, as is so often the case, has been primarily supported by teaching generations of the other 98%. I have come back to sculpture via the back door, but what I do has nothing to do with 'fine art', even though the stuff I make is not what you would call a necessity of life. You have to have a reasonable amount of disposable income to be tempted by my wares, but I like to think that once installed, they enrich the client's life on a different level.
Oh, anyway, this melancholia is making me ramble. I'm going off to cook a good roast dinner.