Tag: story

The parliament of invisible people

You see them sometimes, late at night, cleaning offices for people they never meet; or unloading vans from empty bus lanes in the small hours. Mostly, though, we don’t see them, even on the other side of a counter, or a phone… Read More

‘When will I be loved?’

I’ve been made blue, I’ve been lied to When will I be loved? I’ve been turned down, I’ve been pushed round When will I be loved? Phil Everly (1960) For three decades, at least, the subsidised arts world has been sending love… Read More

Art across borders

Migranland It is in the nature of artistic work to reach beyond the boundaries of language, culture and context. You don’t need to know anything about Japan in the Edo era to be captivated by the prints of Hokusai or Kuniyoshi. You… Read More

Cui bloody bono?

The speech of women There is a paradox, acknowledged by the speaker herself, in a woman giving a lecture about how the female voice has been excluded from public discourse since the origins of Western culture. Mary Beard’s lecture, given at the… Read More

Friendly Interest

For much of the British media, 2014 began with a panic about the opening of the UK’s borders to people from Romania and Bulgaria. It remains to be seen whether more of them will come here than the  Britons who have used… Read More

Truth, lies and drawing ink

Documentary filmmakers have an obvious problem with everything that happened before the invention of photography. How do you make a film about the French Revolution without any footage of the events? There is only so much one can do with paintings, engravings… Read More

An artist out of time

I was driving home through the Scottish Borders—like Debatable Lands everywhere, this lovely region is used to strangers—when I passed a sign to Abbotsford. I’d seen images of Sir Walter Scott‘s home that had given me the impression of a vast faux-baronial… Read More

A culture of received ideas

Last night was the opening of Bill Ming’s exhibition at New Art Exchange in Nottingham, his first substantial solo show in Britain for almost 10 years, though his work has been celebrated in his native Bermuda. I’ve known Bill since 1982, and… Read More

Art’s liberating deniability

Monk: An intellectual ventriloquist: that’s an oxymoron. Nina: What’s an oxymoron? Monk: Well if you don’t know, why did I say it? Nina Conti, BBC Radio 4, 3 June 2013 The puppet must be one of humanity’s oldest and most joyful inventions. The… Read More

A child’s view of the Miners’ Strike

Yesterday morning, Margaret Thatcher died. Her death has been followed by an explosion of polemic, encomium and vitriol, about what happened under her premiership and how it has shaped Britain in the years since she resigned in 1990. Hearing former miners speaking… Read More