A critical reader may well find it odd that I should chose only two ‘momentous moments’ last week, and/or that I should choose the two I did. So I’ll just indicate that I am well aware at least two other such events occurred last week too. Perhaps the most significant of all was the taking of the Capitol in Washington, DC, by a rioting mob of Presidential supporters, egged on by the President himself. That one could sit here in England and watch this taking place live on TV gave the event an immediacy similar to such as the air attack on the World Trade Centre in New York on 9/11 and several terrorist incidents in France in recent years.
Though Test match cricket is of a rather different order of activity, a similar buzz of authenticity has been provided for the keenest of followers by streaming on BT of live action of not one but two overlapping Test matches from the other side of the world: New Zealand v Pakistan and Australia v India. I have spent far too many hours watching both, though not quite simultaneously, over the last week. I think it just fantastic that I can do this.
The other event was over several days rather than just a moment; and it will continue. I refer to the first practical consequences on the ground of Brexit: lorries having difficulties in passing through Dover in both directions as new regulations and much more paperwork came into play. That lorry drivers should have their sandwiches confiscated at the Hook of Holland by the Dutch customs because meat and animal products from the UK are not easily allowed into the EU makes its own quite sad commentary on a situation which should never have been allowed to develop.
But where is the art commentary in all this? Where is the artist? Good questions. In the first place, there is (almost) no art on exhibition, though of course galleries and art institutions like the RA provide a stream of material on-line – interesting in its own way but not really a satisfactory substitute for actual paintings. Secondly, I’m not painting or arting in any other way at the moment. I’m not sure whether I’ll restart any time soon because, following the destruction of most of my ‘exhibition paintings’ 2 months ago, there seems little point in spending time painting more. I am indeed de-motivated big-time!
Here are four works that are no more:
Perhaps it’s just as well.
I came to realise how poor many of my paintings were as I took several hundred quick decisions as to whether or not to throw a picture in the back of the lorry. Most went in the lorry. The world has certainly not lost a significant part of its artistic heritage, even if my psyche is a bit dented and my paint brush still.