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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Art for design's sake?


Some of the paintings are up on the walls!

Apart, of course, from books, there is nothing that contributes so much to making a house a home than paintings. And, of course, they are just as revealing as anything you might possess. Interpretation of possessions is always a tricky process because most homes are amalgams of accident and intent.

I still have the remnants of the furniture from my grandmother that furnished my first flat in the days when the rates of interest were in double figures! Some furniture is pure compromise when what you wanted was at some absurd price and what you could afford was nothing like what you wanted. I would hardly like to be judged on the number of IKEA Billy bookcases – and in some cases not by the volumes inside either!

My collection of paintings (some of which unaccountably do not seem to have survived the trip to Spain) are an eclectic bunch of works. Few are actual purchases from galleries while some that I value the most were bought directly from the artists. One took months to buy while the artist decided whether or not to sell it. The decision to buy another was taken during a drunken evening with the artist: the artist’s wife clarified the intention the next day when sobriety had returned. One was bought while an exhibition was being taken down. One was bought during a spending frenzy when SQB and I went berserk in town one Saturday. One was a birthday gift which wittily exploits my admiration of the penguin. They all have histories, but not everyone shares my pleasure in their appearance.

One of my favourite art objects is a bamboo pen Chinese ink drawing of an old stone archway in Merthyr by John Uzzell Edwards. I bought it while I was in University for a price which I am ashamed to admit. No one who has seen this drawing is neutral about it. Some share my liking, but most find it disturbing or sinister. This may be because of the severe linear depiction of the ground which some say has the appearance of a weeping woman. Who knows; but it remains a minority taste.

It will be interesting to see how the dynamics of the house are affected by the display of art.

It will also depend on what else turns up in the continuing excavations in Bluespace. As far as I can see the only art work remaining in storage is Ceri’s large charcoal drawing which I was unable to fit into the car today. We have decided where it has to go, though I do have some misgivings that it might be too large. Never mind we can always trim a few inches from the top or bottom to ensure that it fits.

Only joking, Ceri! We will rebuild the house to accommodate your work.
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