What a cultural moment can mean to a city

Thirty years ago, at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, two young ice skaters from Nottingham won the Ice Dance Gold Medal with a routine created to Ravel's Bolero. Torvill and Dean won a perfect 6 from every judge. It's a moment the city has never forgotten, as this video shows. Community, art –  it's all here. … Continue reading What a cultural moment can mean to a city

On the value of not putting things into words

It’s uncomfortable for a writer to admit, but sometimes words fail us. They seem to have done so both before and since the 2014 European Parliamentary elections – or perhaps it’s we who have failed our words. Words, like hands, can be used to construct, to caress and to strike. Whatever the truth of it, … Continue reading On the value of not putting things into words

Public art and cultural democracy

Splendours and miseries of public art It’s hard to think of any public art in Britain before 1945. There is public sculpture, some of it very fine, but its public purpose is overtly symbolic, like Grey’s Monument in Newcastle or, more often commemorative. Its purpose is to mark a shared triumph or tragedy and art … Continue reading Public art and cultural democracy

What life entails

‘The next generation don’t want old books – they don’t seem to want books at all. This is very painful to me.’ Linda Grant Great expectations Miss Havisham and Magwitch each have great expectations. From opposite ends of the social spectrum, they set out to control the lives of children but succeed only in wrecking … Continue reading What life entails