Pencil power

Tracey Emin has written an interesting piece in this weeks Radio Times.  I knew she had been made Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy in 2011 and at the time I thought it was a rather strange appointment as she isn’t primarily known for her drawings is she.  I was interested therefore to read that when she left the Royal College of Arts in 1989 she was as she put it “hanging around the National Gallery looking at early Renaissance paintings and doing my sketches of altarpieces”.  In the 90’s she also says there was the idea that you shouldn’t be held back by tradition and that you shouldn’t be afraid of what other people think of your work so most of her contemporaries were making installations, film etc.

I agree with her statement that “We need to revive drawing as a discipline”, and that “art should be taken really seriously, not just in art schools but in every school”.

Last month the Culture Secretary Maria Miller  said that the Art world must make “the case for public funding by focusing on its economic, not artistic, value”, and I know there are difficult economic choices to be made but as this article  says “should culture really be valued in pounds and pence”.

Tracey points out that “Art is the soul of our nation.  And if the soul isn’t looked after then everything will go to pieces.  Morality, everything just breaks up and explodes”.

Our ancient ancestors were producing art long before the written word so it is obviously something that is inherent to the human psyche.

“Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable”.

George Bernard Shaw


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