The importance of art

July 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

Reblogging this…

Richard Crookes - Creative Professional

I was very kindly asked a couple of weeks ago to contribute a guest posting to Anne Fallas’ blogspot on the importance of art:-

The Importance of Art?…. Hmm

A friend posted something on facebook about art this week:-

‘When times are hard, art is a luxury’…discuss….I found out later that this was in the context of art lessons being cut from the school curriculum due to financial constraints .

I replied that art is indeed a luxury and added that it is one available to us all. That ruffled a few feathers at first, I think, from one or two who considered it essential. Personally I don’t put it up there with being healthy, having clean water and a safe environment. I’ve had a life in art and I might add a very lucky one, but I don’t think anybody is going to die without art. Let’s not be…

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June 20, 2015 § 2 Comments

I set out this morning with a bit of a headache. The cistern in the bathroom has started to leak and a wet trail is snaking across the bathroom floor to the drain. The little rubber washer that until now has held its own and done its work is starting to give up the ghost. Another little job to do that turns my mind to entropy. I live in a tropical climate where the jungle is only over the wall and always trying to get in. The tamarind tree is resisting our attempts to domesticate it and is lifting the decking boards I only readjusted a few months ago around it. The screws are rusting, the paint is peeling, and my skin is losing its elasticity.
A tide of bad news washed around my feet this morning, the water dark and dirty.

When you have a headache these things can get to you. I’m driving into the city on the freeway, taking the goods to market, contemplating these things and wondering how we all cope with it. A few of us don’t. Some of us do terrible things because we don’t,  but the vast and overwhelming majority of us do cope. If we didnt, we would have disappeared as a species long ago. I look across the cityscape as I sit in the jam and see countless construction sites stretching into the murky morning haze of Bangkok. A guy in a crane lifting steel, raising the city out of the mud. I wonder what time he got up this morning and climbed into his tower?
My thoughts drift out a million miles away to a tiny damaged lump of metal sitting on a comet waiting for the sun, and to the men and women who put it there, listening for its ‘good morning’; who put it there in the hope of fathoming out where all this is going and where it all came from.
I dont know… just go home and fix the washer.

In the time it takes

June 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

I found this little fragment in an old notebook – who knows what was going through my mind at the time. It does amuse me though and it could easily fit into the Muesli Slush material – I must get round to stitching all that together sometime and wear it.


In the time it takes to scorch two slices of bread beyond redemption, Muesli Slush had bitten off all the nails on his left hand. He would never now make a guitarist. Nothing sinister about that – he was left handed.

A punch-drunk fly with cauliflower eyes ricocheted around the inside of a chinese lantern. An hour previously it had lost all ability to think longitudinally and in a last visionary blaze of a million suns passed into another life. As it dropped out of the bottom of its world, the bottom dropped out of Muesli’s. In his trembling right hand he held the letter…



May 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

‘Contemplating your navel’ – it seems to me that that’s seen as a pretty much negative phrase, implying a mindless and meaningless self absorption. I was contemplating mine this morning and I invite you to do the same. Go on, stick your finger in it. You can probably get away with doing it wherever you are – on a bus, in a business meeting, painting the Forth bridge etc. Whatever you are doing you can probably surreptitiously find it and touch it.
We rarely think about it, but it’s the biggest most powerful symbol of our independence in the world, created in the moment we left the mothership and floated out into vast dark empty space to start to be whatever we were and are going to be, carrying all the hopes and dreams of our antecedents with us. What a wonderful thing it is.

Oh and while you’re in there, get that little but of fluff out of it.

Sic transit gloria mundi

January 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 12.04.58As I sit in the Bangkok sunshine sipping my iced latte, I turn my mind back wistfully to my last visit to England over the summer. I had occasion to visit the concourse of Preston Bus Station – now a sad relic of its former glory. There it stands, virtually deserted and mouldering into dust. No more the hubbub of the citizens’ daily lives, no more the trysting place of young lovers, no more the icon of Preston’s bright future. Even the sputum of countless tramps is a distant memory.

The cafe, however, does in fact seem to be thriving, paradoxically, as the last repository for the dwindling ‘care in the community’ patients long since evicted from the sanctuary of Whittingham Hospital. There but for the grace of god go I.
Stand 28 is still there of course. I wandered past and ran my fingers lovingly along the wooden rails and stood a moment in silence, hoping against hope that the P5 would pull in and take me home. They say all roads lead to home, but tragically no longer by way of the happy rumblings of the dear P5.
Sic transit gloria mundi.
A tear in my eye, I left and went to buy some Dettol.

Latter Day Lancelot

January 13, 2014 § 1 Comment

It’s such a charming sight , though perhaps a little dangerous, both from the risk of accident and from pollution, to see a young Thai woman in a soft evening gown, her unhelmeted, long dark hair flowing in the slipstream, her bare feet in jeweled sandals only centimetres from the hurtling Tarmac, riding side saddle on the back of a greasy motorbike taxi as it threads its labyrinthine way through the immobilized traffic of Bangkok. The driver a latter day Lancelot carrying his fair lady on his white charger, jousting with the forces of darkness and laughing in the face of risk assessment. Rose tinted? – I think not

Birdsong and Betjeman

January 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

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