Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Art at work

Art hard at work in the foyers of the world.

You be the Captain

While the Auckland Art Gallery and Te Papa hunt for middle management, the City Gallery in Wellington is after a director. You can check out the job details and apply if you have a mind to here. It’s fair to say the importance of who takes over from previous director Paula Savage is underpinned by some serious challenges to the City Gallery that have been building over some time. 

The first is a growing distance from its audience. There are various ways to assess this but the simplest is the body count through the door. Two half-year closures to build an extension have disguised a sharp drop in attendances and a recent trend to charge exhibitions like Oceania hasn't done much to help the Gallery climb out of this hole. Last year for instance average monthly attendances at the City Gallery were down by 35% and have dropped by 69,000 from 2008, the last full year reported before the extensions. 

Charging for entry can rip the heart out of attendances as the City Gallery has found to its cost. Works ok when you get it right as with Kusama in 2009 (although even then you can still struggle to break even on budget), but when it goes wrong it can be a real kick in the head. Roundabout in 2010 and Oceania in 2011 are examples. So the new director’s first task will be to rally support and convince the Wellington Museums Trust to get the idea of a permanent door charge right out of its head. It has already proved the best way to kill attendances to publicly funded museums and galleries wherever it has been tried. Best of Three gave a good outline of the issues late last year. For a small local gallery like Wellington’s City Gallery without a classy permanent collection that can attract loads of tourists it will be fatal. 

Another challenge is how to re-energise the programme. Currently there is a lack of focus. Witness the presentation of two full-gallery contemporary NZ exhibitions dominated by sculpture right after one another (Prospect - NZ Art Now and The Obstinate Object - Contemporary NZ Sculpture). For a non-collecting institution programming and the quality of the exhibitions is what it's all about.

Staffing too is an issue. Under Paula Savage there has been a lot of churn some of it extremely unsettling like the loss of Kate Montgomery as senior curator. The timing of her departure has also probably meant goodbye to Robert Leonard as a potential replacement as well. Leonard certainly would have provided a strong much-needed point of view to the curatorial programme and added stability to the mix. It would also be a good thing if the new director could bring some energy and fresh ideas to the table. How about someone in their 30s or 40s?

Finally there is the sponsorship struggle and in this the City Gallery is certainly not alone. Since the 1990s the speed with which cultural institutions have expanded has increased their dependence on sponsorship. In the increasingly harsh economic environment it’s not looking like such a smart move. The City Gallery has been very fortunate to have the Wellington City Council as its major funder but as the Council itself comes under pressure it will need solid reassurance that the City Gallery is indispensable to the cultural mix of Wellington.

The selection of the new director for the City Gallery is critical. It will need someone with energy, determination and a compelling idea about the City Gallery’s role and potential. Business as usual won't do it.

Monday, January 30, 2012

We're in Auckland...

...and it's Anniversary Day so up and running again tomorrow.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Dotcom boom

“It is not very significant, appealing to unsophisticated nerdy types."

Art critic John Daly Peoples in the NBR responding to the following confiscated art works in Dotcom’s art collection: a fiberglass sculpture, imported from the United Kingdom, In High Spirits, Olaf Mueller photos from The Cat Street Gallery, a Predator Statue, sculptures by Christian Colin and an anonymous Hooded Sculpture. (Thanks H)

Friday, January 27, 2012

They're at it again. This time it's Ralph Hotere like product for the Auckland motorways.

When art goes to the movies: Jackson Pollock

No big surprise to regular OTN readers that much of the art you see in the movies is made for the occasion, whatever the signature. Usually this task is taken on by the movie's art department but in the case of Pollock, enter Method actor (so Method he collapsed on set with the strain of playing the part) Ed Harris. Determined to make a uniquely accurate account of Pollock’s life, Harris spent a couple of years working in the artist's style making it plain that the only person who was going to paint the paintings in the movie was Ed Harris. “I'd been painting and drawing off and on since I became committed to making this film. I had a little studio built so I'd have enough floor space to work on larger canvases.” You can see Harris painting a tribute Pollock-like product (although on a canvas leaning against the wall rather than on the floor) and compare it with the real Pollock painting.
Image: Ed doing a Jackson

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nearly curtains for Campbell

For six years now, once a year, the artist Campbell Patterson has been lifting his mother off the ground for as long as he can and videoing the result. The six resulting videos (the seventh is due to be made soon) were all shot in front of the curtains that hang in the home of Patterson’s parents. Trouble loomed when the parents got on the move and the house was put on the market. When Patterson asked them to save the floral curtains, they made it a condition of sale. The curtains were taken off the list of chattels and are leaving with them.
Image: Campbell Patterson lifting his mother in 2007 in front of the signature floral curtains.

Roadside Serra

If American sculptor Richard Serra were to visit Auckland and take a ride along the Upper Harbour Highway, he might be forgiven for thinking he had been either ripped off or weirdly honoured by Auckland Transport. Alan Gibbs might be less amused. It was Gibbs who commissioned Serra’s great work Te Tuhirangi Contour on his Kaipara farm. No way the noise control walls alongside the winding Harbour Highwaycould have been designed like this without the precedent of Richard Serra’s work. To add insult to injury they have been painted orange, a clear reference to the rust coloured original. Still these Serra copycats are a major step-up from the gecko and the pohutakawa, no one is likely to raise a hand to say their work had been copied in those two cases. But with everyone getting so snotty about Mr Dotcom ripping off creative content on the internet, spare a thought for Richard Serra.
Images: Top and bottom left Auckland Transport's effort. Bottom right Richard Serra's Te Tuhirangi Contour

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Branded: Garth Tapper

The moment when artists become brands


More on the Damien Hirst spotathon. There’s been a winner in his global spot the spots chase and it is 27-year-old Valentine Uhovski, a former Russian child star, socialite and Hirst groupie. In one week he travelled the required 30,000 plus miles to check in on each of the Damien Hirst Gagosian exhibitions dotted around the world. 

Uhovski’s reward is a Damien Hirst print (yes, a spotted one) and the latter day Phileas Fogg has predictably told the media that ‘no way’ would he sell it. Hirst himself has famously said he only ever painted five of the spot paintings himself because he found the process more boring than bat shit (or something like that). Not the experience of the 760 registered spot seekers three of whom have already completed the task.
Image: Dot Boots created by Spanish designer Manolo Blahnik and Damien Hirst in 2002.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

That was then

Andy Warhol puts out his experience to the editor of Harpers Magazine in 1949 soon after he arrives in New York fresh from arts school. In our day of finely crafted pages (and pages) of cvs and personal profiles it’s hard to imagine AW getting anywhere with this kind of self-deprecating note. As you can probably guess, he nailed it.
Thanks again to Letters of note

One day at the advertising agency

Ad guy: … and so these robots which are actually Daleks - “exterminate, exterminate” - and they are huuuuge with robot arms that can fire out death and destruction only instead they will be firing out Jeff Koons' Balloon Puppies because it’s all about power and your power company and how Jeff Koons is one of the most powerful artists in the world and the Balloon Dog is one of his most powerful images so it’s a power, power combo. And that’s why the small little people are waving at the Dalek because they are so amazed to see these giant stainless steel puppies coming out of the Dalek arms instead of a hail of bullets or laser beams … Power.
Client: Whatever.
Image: Poster for Powershop.co.nz

Monday, January 23, 2012

On the road

Another examples of the Ministry of Transport celebrating the lives of artists young and old, living and dead, throughout the land.


First up, let’s be clear that although we're grateful to all those who put us up for New Year's honours, we’ve heard via the back door that OTNOBE sounds too much like a Star Wars character to be acceptable. In any case OTN has a no-knighthoods-for-us policy meaning we can look at art honours with some sort of weird dispassion. 

In so far as knights and dames are a measure of the country’s love and respect, the arts ain’t getting much and the artists even less. As Hamish Keith mentioned in a recent Listener column there have been very few NZ artists recognised. Ever. Woollaston was one (which meant that Peter McIntyre missed out as it was beyond a Muldoon Government to acknowledge two artists at a time) and so too were Peter Siddell, Louise Henderson, Robin White and Eileen Mayo. Then there are Ralph Hotere and Cliff Whiting who were awarded the ONZ. 

We like to think that Colin McCahon told them to stick it (a nice thought, but it might not be true) and that most of the deserving rest (you know who they are) refused to have her majesty’s sword anywhere near them.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


However often we say we'll never do it again, the fact remains that OTN is the go-to place for animal art. Of course with over four and a half years experience we have developed a rigorous selection process to chop out random animals doing things that needy readers want us to believe is art. This squirrel just squeaked in (stand by for the mean-spirited to say it's only chewing on the end of the paint brush). Hope you enjoy this rare look inside an animal artist's studio.

Friday, January 20, 2012

"When I go to the roof top of a high-rise building, I feel an urge to die by jumping from it. My passion for art is what has prevented me from doing that."
Yayoi Kusama

Soldier on

Might as well start the year as we mean to go on with a sculpture made of something weird. This time it's little soldier figures (come on, at least it isn’t made by a horse or an ant or a dog). In fact this is made by human being Mr Joe Black (his website claims “If it’s small enough I’ll stick it down”). Black amassed 5,500 toy soldiers and created a 3D version of Robert Capa’s famous March 1938 Life magazine cover photograph Boy soldier, Hankou, China. The photo spread was part of the magazine's coverage of the Nanking Massacre that started in December 1937. You can still buy a copy of the magazine with the Capra cover.
Image: Left Joe Black’s sculpture Big China, Right top, detail of the Black work and Right below, the Life cover with Capra’s photograph

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Art in the workplace

Art hard at work in the foyers of the world

Art and the movies: Ron plays ludo

Last week the Christchurch Art Gallery blog Bunker Notes wistfully featured a photograph of the long queues waiting to get into the Ron Mueck exhibition at the Christchurch Art Gallery in January last year. The post, written by Director Jenny Harper, was of course hoping for a quick return to the Galley’s opening after the February quake, but sadly this seams increasingly unlikely.

The image reminded us of Ron Mueck’s early career in the movie business, first as a member of Jim Henson’s team of puppeteers and then as a star in the 1986 hit Labyrinth. It was Mueck inside the oversized fur and fang get-up as the big-hearted monster Ludo who he also voiced. In fact Mueck needed some help and an actor named Rob Mills did some of the work inside the cossie. You can see a short clip of Mueck (or is it Mills?) suited up and starring as Ludo here.

Image: Ron Muek (left) inside Ludo, as it were

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Container theft

"When things do go, they go high up the food chain and you don't often get them back."

Masterworks Gallery director Eloise Kitson in the NZH attributing recent lookalike thefts (container division) to drug users.

By the numbers: international edition

2          the number of women artists included in the 202 works donated to the Art Gallery of New South Wales by the Kaldor Family Collection 

8.8      the number in millions of visitors to the Louvre last year

13        the number of hedge fund operators in the 2011 ArtNews Top 100 collectors list

24       the height in meters of the Richard Serra sculpture recently installed in Qatar

50       the percentage of the 700 acknowledged Rembrandt paintings that have been reattributed over the last 100 years

70       the number in degrees which when coupled with 50% relative humidity provides the climate required by international museums lending major art works to other institutions 

94       total number in millions of dollars paid for eight Gerhard Richter paintings in the last Sotheby’s auction

122     number in hundreds of thousands of dollars exchanged as ransom for René Magritte’s painting Olympia stolen in 2009

18,000   the number of spots Damien Hirst plans to apply to a 16 x 41 cm canvas for the opening of his spot painting exhibition 

50,000  the estimated number of art works made by Pablo Picasso in his lifetime

89,000  the number of dollars paid by the Warsaw Museum of Modern Art for a concentration camp LEGO construction set made by Polish artist Zbigniew Libera

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


“I don’t design. I don’t paint. I don’t sculpt. I absolutely never touch my works.” 
Maurizto Cattelan

“I don’t think art gets made with your hands.” 
Jorge Pardo

From Michael Petry’s book, The art of not making: the new artist / artisan relationship as quoted in Art News

The 96 percent

If you've ever been on the New Zealand art review site EyeContact (the place everyone says they never visit to but go there anyway), you will know that its editor John Hurrell rules with an iron hand. One of his bugbears is people who want to comment on reviews but prefer to remain anonymous or use internet sigs. Given the size of the New Zealand art scene you can get their point but JH has been firm: sign in or stay out. Still, he might like to consider new research courtesy of Disqus that shows that maybe the option of anonymity encourages participation and that people who use pseudonyms or social media IDs make the best comments. Disqus is a global comments system used by the likes of CNN, Time, Blogger and tumblr and their findings about how their system is used surprised us. Apparently 61 percent of commenters use pseudonyms, 35 percent choose to be anonymous and 4 percent use their real identity. They also found “those with pseudonyms post the best comments” and that commenters using pseudonyms are most likely to post 'positive' quality comments that get likes and replies”. As to the likelihood of John Hurrell changing his policy? No comment.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Chairman

OTN is not going to let a good art tat pass it by and that’s why you're seeing this guy who went into a parlour looked straight into the needle man’s eyes and said, “What I’m after is a line of modernist furniture going down my right leg." And got it.

Going bananas

This unsettlingly apposite visual combo came through on our RSS feed with a story about the 60s performance band The Velvet Underground sticking it to the Andy Warhol Foundation. The squabble is over the famous ‘pealable’ banana ("peal slowly and see" it said, though all you got to see was a banana) graphic designed by Andy Warhol that features on the cover of their 1967 album The Velvet Underground and Nico. Lou Reed and John Cale of The Velvet U claim the AW Foundation slipped the banana to iPhone and iPad accessorises to use as a decorative motif. They've asked the judge to rule that the Foundation hands over any revenue from these banana deals. And the reason you got to hear about all of this was because Google popped a 'themed' banana diet ad under the story.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday's fun page

For your Saturday entertainment a mash up of three OTN interests art, tattooing and polka dots. More here.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Artist Wayne Chisnall's life-sized model kit When I’m a Man 2010 channels Michael Parekowhai's 1994 exhibition Kiss the baby goodbye

Mr Fowler

Over the years we have taken photos of artists we have met and known so we thought that form time to time we'd put one up here for the record. This image is of Mr Fowler a self-taught painter who lived in Motueka. We met him in the late 1970s via the artist Toss Woollaston who encouraged him to paint local sights like the beach at Kaiteriteri and other parts of the Nelson coast. Mr Fowler was chain smoking every time we met him and we never saw him leave the couch. Responding to Woollaston’s enthusiasm, Mr Fowler was given a small exhibition at the Dowse Art Gallery in the early eighties. At that time the Dowse sold work from its shows and a few paintings were purchased including one by Tony Fomison who was also a big Fowler fan.
Image: Mr Fowler photographed at his home in 1980

COMMENT: 13:01:12 Ross wrote: "I still have 2 lovely Lindsay Fowler paintings and my son Felix also has 2. The joy of his work is that whilst he was painting in the late 80's early 90's, he solely painted from memory and created a beautiful uncluttered vision of the Kaiteri -Riwaka area. Interestingly the buildings and sheds that dotted the landscape were often painted on cardboard first and moved around his compositions until he was happy with their placements."

Thursday, January 12, 2012


There is still some light peeking through the Art Museum/Marketing PR divide. When three trench-coated models stripped off in the Louvre to be filmed promoting lingerie the museum was not impressed. Louvre staffer Amélie Hardivillier told the media that "I'm responsible for filming and such a shoot would never have been accepted. It's unthinkable." Sure, but you have to wonder for how long? You can see the three cavorting on the Louvre's parquet here


Boy did we get things wrong. There we were thinking that Creative New Zealand had turned down the Depots cultural interview programme because of content issues. The Depot is involved in creating an invaluable series of interviews with people who have impacted on the New Zealand culture. The only problem is that the culture they investigate is achingly conservative, primarily white and male. Did this impact on CNZ? Doesn’t sound like it. They wrote back to the Depot telling them that the questions raised by the application (and one presumes the reason for its demise) were the “ownership and copyright of the recorded material”, the process involved in “the recorded material deemed appropriate for uploading” and “marketing”. Hey couldn’t all of that bureaucratic box ticking been sorted out with a quick phone call?

The Depot’s release of the CNZ follow up also sheds an interesting light on their rather stern go-away approach to customer service. “Notwithstanding the value of your project, and the more than 50 interviews which you have already conducted, other applications were assessed as being a better fit with Creative New Zealand’s strategic outcomes.” Not much you can say in reply to that, which presumably was the point.

The CNZ strategic outcomes are: New Zealanders participate in the arts; high-quality New Zealand art is developed; New Zealanders experience high-quality arts and New Zealand arts gain international success.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Robbed No. 2

The moment when artists get robbed of their dignity. (Thanks S)
More in this ongoing series here

What’s in that crate?

Why, it’s a Jackson Pollock-like product made for the movie Mona Lisa Smile. And who said you couldn’t make a movie about an art historian and make money? Had to be someone who never thought of having Julia Roberts as the art historian. As it was, Mona Lisa Smile went up against Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King on its opening weekend and ranked an inevitable, but surprising, number two. What we are saying here is that a movie based on the life of an art history teacher grossed $182 million worldwide from a measly $84 million budget. There’s gold in them art history hills.
Image: You can watch the crate opening here on YouTube

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Looking at the website Archinet and thinking about Don Driver

Google Reader sucks

Google reader cuts off OTN's Len Lye post a couple of words shy of the full sentence. Sorry Len.

The Len Lye problem

Anyone who visited the exhibition Len Lye: All Souls Carnival at the Govett-Brewster knowing nothing about the artist could be forgiven for imagining him a Mies van der Rohe figure - all dark suits, carefully poised cigar and sharp pocket handkerchief - rather than say the a restless comic genius like Spike Milligan. Although the exhibition was beautifully displayed and well executed, it sucked the antic spirit right out of the New Zealand-born, New York-based sculptor. 

If you want to know what a prankster and wild mind Lye was, just read some of his letters. They crackle with ideas careening against one another, some completed, others left to their own devices. Indeed you get the impression that Lye wasn’t after creating order out of chaos as most artists aspire to do, as much as giving chaos a chance to emerge in patterns of its own. This spirit is what is repressed by the tastefully modernist, black and silver world that Lye’s sculptures have come to inhabit under the auspices of the Len Lye Foundation. More solemn beauty than carnival.

Where did this darkened room thing come from anyway? Not the studio. Certainly Len Lye was tickled when black curtains were first used behind Fountain to throw its silver wands into relief but that's hardly ordering up a black box. Of course this melodramatic darkened display style is most often used (ok, almost exclusively used) to display ‘primitive’ cultural artefacts. Although this approach is slowly retreating from the museum repertoire, if the new Lye building plans are anything to go by (big windowless box and stainless steel exterior), it ain’t going to be leaving New Plymouth in a hurry.

These thoughts were prompted by reading letters Lye had sent to Hamish Keith in the seventies (Hamish Keith’s papers are in the Te Papa Archive). At the bottom of one of them was a quick sketch by Lye of the kind of room that might display some of his work. Like other Lye-imagined spaces, the walls are curved, no mention of black-out and, given the cacophony of sound and movement he anticipated, if you wanted to get out of there alive, you’d probably be happier with the lights on. 

If the Govett-Brewster is going to attract crowds of repeat visitors to the planned new Len Lye Centre (and that’s a big ask) how about leaving the lights on full beam to illuminate the joy of Lye in action rather than keeping him on the dark side.
Image: Detail of a letter from Len Lye to Hamish Keith, 26 February 1970. Te Papa Archives

Monday, January 09, 2012

Spot prize

Here’s a chance to pump up the international side of your art collection. British artist Damien Hirst has offered to give anyone who attends all the Gagosian gallery venues showing his spot paintings between 12 January and 18 February a free personalized print. The only problem is that Larry Gagosian has 11 galleries and they’re scattered all over the world. Still, if you’re up for it, here are the addresses: 980 Madison Avenue, New York; 555 West 24th Street New York; 522 West 21st Street New York; 456 North Camden Drive Beverly Hills; 6-24 Britannia Street London; 17-19 Davies Street London; Via Francesco Crispi 1600187 Rome; 4 rue de Ponthieu 75008 Paris; 19 place de Longemalle 1204 Geneva; 7/F Pedder Building 12 Pedder Street Central Hong Kong and 3 Merlin Street Athens.

Leg up

The current Government is hot on philanthropy as the way forward for arts funding. Remember the Cultural Philanthropy Taskforce of 2010? (well, maybe not). In all the talk of capability building and mentors, there was not a mention of what is turning out to be a low-investment, high community winner: crowdsourcing. There are now a few crowdsourcing platforms for fundraising but the basic idea is the same. Announce your project, ask for contributions (how much is up to the giver) and spread the word.

Does it work? Can do if Melbourne-based Leg of Lamb's efforts on behalf of Yvonne Todd are anything to go by. Using Pozible (Kickstarter is another crowdsourcer and it has raised over $74 million for 10,626 “creative projects” in only two years) Leg of Lamb put up a few pics from Todd’s next exhibition and asked for funding for a catalogue. As the pledges were made (one each of $A20 and $A40, six of $A60, three of $A80, eight of $A100 and three of $A200 and $A500 ) the Leg made sure participants got regular progress reports. LoL (sorry it just came out that way) also sweetened the deal with signed catalogues and the chance to win a print. A few days before the deadline the project reached the $A4500, plus a little more.

So how about the public institutions? Forever complaining about having no money to buy works for their collections, this feels like a perfect opportunity. Can they convince the public of the benefits of having great art on tap for the community? OTN will put up $200 for the first one to give it a go.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Cover version

Stuck in the house this Saturday? You could do worse than join the ‘cover-version’ craze. Grab things from around the house and make covers of architect designed buildings you like (or hate). Here to start you off is Luis Urculo.
Images: Top...um and bottom...er.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Friday's chart

(Thanks F)

Sculpture wars

The gloves are off in the wax sculpture business. LA wax museum Madame Tussauds has thrown the first punch with a we-are-better-than-they-are exhibition aimed at the Hollywood Wax Museum down the road. Its wax sculpture of the thin tattooed Jolie one has been set up against a full-sized image of the Hollywood Wax Museum’s effort. Neither really hit the spot, and they do show how good artists like Duane Hanson are at not only making believable likenesses but (possibly more importantly) at stance, gesture and context. 

While the Hollywood Wax Museum’s version does look a bit like Angelina Jolie it is obviously after a very hard day and lacks Tussauds' convincing super bra confidence. Back to the ring. In the first clinch Tussauds hissed that Hollywood’s efforts were kitsch but Hollywood hissed right back that kitsch was what they were selling numb nuts and at a better price ($25 entry to Tussauds, $12.95 for the Hollywood experience). We’ll keep you up with the fight as it continues.
Images: Tom Cruise via left, Madame Tussauds and right, the Hollywood Wax Museum.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

“I always thought you should never buy anything that cost more than your own work. I thought that was a good rule, but I broke it a few times, so I changed it.”
Damien Hirst talking about his art collection to Hans Ulrich Obrist

Reality check

Our man (if we can own Len Lye and Bill Culbert we can sure as hell put our dibs on Young Sun Han) has finally crashed out of the American reality TV show Work of Art. OK this is a spoiler but it is such a dog of a show you shouldn’t be thinking of watching it in the first place. 

In fact YSH was odds on favourite to be the ultimate winner and in the last round was one of three in the final art-off for the $US100,000 prize. Still, he has made a decent sum in part prizes and will be well pleased with his effort. Panel member, NY art critic Jerry Saltz had this to say, “Young should move to New York, find a dive in Bushwick, have his New York nervous breakdown, and join a promising next wave of talented people."
Image: Young Sun Han prepares his final exhibition

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Right then

If you thought the National Party had nothing to offer the arts how about the Republican front runners lining up against Obama?

"[Since 1965] there has been a calculated effort by cultural elites to discredit this civilization and replace it with a culture of irresponsibility that is incompatible with American freedoms as we have known them." - Newt Ginrich

“[As President I would] enact deep reductions in the subsidies for the National Endowment for the Arts.” - Mit Romney

The play’s the thing

It’s mid-October last year and a performing arts school down the road from where Billy Apple lives is working on a kids' holiday drama programme. The production is billed as The apple. How does Billy know this? A brochure has been pushed through his letterbox by one of the neighbour’s kids. Billy and Mary decide to go and at 3pm they are seated in an audience of parents waiting for the performance by a group of 12-year olds to begin. 

The set turns out to be an art gallery with paintings on the walls and centre stage an empty plinth. A janitor wanders on stage sweeping. When he reaches the plinth he props up his broom, pulls an apple out of his dustcoat pocket and rubs it absentmindedly on his lapel. Resting the apple on the plinth he picks up the broom again and continues sweeping (exit stage right). A group of art enthusiasts enter and seeing the apple on the plinth begin what to Billy is probably a familiar critique. Eventually the janitor returns, grabs his apple and munches into it as he departs. Cue general critical confusion and recanting.

After the play the tutor Mark Clare approaches Billy who he recognises. As they talk Billy becomes aware of something behind him. It's a line of kids each holding a copy of the poster for the play. They want Billy to sign them, which he does. The circle completed they all go home.
Image: A signed poster. (Thanks M, thanks B)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Another brick in the wall

Because we initially said we would start up again today, here's a quick LEGO moment with artist Lene Rønsholt Wille who took six weeks and 270,000 LEGO bricks to create this Richard Serra lookalike. You can watch the painfully slow process here.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Open and closed

Note the revised time for Gow Langsford, we should have known they would be up earlier in the day than we had it.