Went to the biscuit factory yesterday for the first time. On the whole, it was pretty good, and I enjoyed it. Most of the stuff in there was wildly too expensive; they had a lovely mirror, for instance, with a carved wooden frame, but 700 quid is just too much for something that has a reasonable chance of getting broken.

One of the things that amused me, though, was the artists’ statements. They seem to be required these days; people appear to judge art by what the artist is thinking rather than what they can see. I guess that they are teaching the writing of these personal statements in the art colleges nowadays; one thing that it is clear they are not teaching is grammar—in some cases it was terrible (okay, I hear you saying, maybe the pot is calling the kettle here, but blogs are quick written not studied).

These statements varied from the pretentious to the prosaic—with more of the former. A selection of my favourites (or paraphrases from memory) with my translations were:

  • the individual instintively views the piece from many different angles and viewpoints (translation: it’s a shiny mirror and looks pretty in the lights).
  • the latest series explorers the artists emotional response to the weather on the bleak moorlands of Northumberia (translation: hell, it’s windy up here).
  • "I dislike personal statements as they force the artist to move from the abstract and ambiguous realm of the medium, to the concrete realm of writing" (translation: I’m a painter! I like painting; I hate writing).

My favourite statement, though, was short and simple. It went

"Emma (I think this was her name) generally paints from the local environment. She paints from what she sees. She likes to work on location wherever possible as she enjoys the interaction with passers-by".

Wonderful; if she had replaced "enjoys the interaction" with "likes to natter" it would have been perfect; frank and to the point. The paintings were good as well.

Originally published on my old blog site.