Daily Archives: January 18, 2010

Mondays’ Observer Column – For Arts Sake 18.01.10

This week I edited out 200 words from a column I had sent in a few weeks ago.  I was pretty happy with the result, and may have to look at my novels to see how much ‘fluff’ could be trimmed out of them!  The Subs’ still managed to trim a few words from this weeks offering (have inserted them in italics).  Enjoy.  Gb! 

One of my favourite places in Gladstone is our Art Gallery, and a few times a year I drag our kids through it, in a long, whining procession, in the hope that they’ll pick up a bit of culture.  I’m a father, it’s my job. 

Gladstone has many outstanding artists who deserve our fullest support and encouragement, and the gallery staff do a wonderful job of promoting their work.  And never have any staff members uttered a cross word in my presence, threatened me with violence, or tossed me from the building. 

Let me explain.  Several years ago I took Long Suffering Wife to the State Gallery and gazing at an ancient marble bust, I wondered how someone could look at a block of rock, then chisel away the shaded bits to reveal a perfect human figure.   

“Don’t touch the statue please sir,” said a security guard. 

“No worries,” I replied, quickly removing my hand.  Five minutes later, I clambered down off a huge metal structure which I had been closely inspecting, and was met by three guards.  One of them was my old mate, “Sir, I asked you not to touch the exhibits!” he bellowed. 

“No,” I countered, “you said don’t touch the statues, and… Hey!  Get your hands off me!” 

As I was bustled to the door, the guard muttered in my ear, “It’s the acid in your hands sir,” he grunted, giving my arm a further twist, “it wrecks the finish.”  Long Suffering Wife joined me in the car park, eventually.   

I returned months later to see a travelling exhibition from the National Gallery, and things were going well until I took a photo of a huge portrait.  A guard appeared, “Hand me the camera, please sir,” he said. 

“Why?” I asked. 

“You’re not allowed to take photos of the exhibits.”

“Listen,” I started, “I’m a taxpayer, so I’ve contributed to the cost of… Aargh!”

Tossing me out a side door, he smiled and said, “Your taxes also pay my wages, sir.”    

Whipping back to the front entrance I was confronted by a posse of heavy set, and grinning security guards.  I’ve heard of suffering for your art, but I wasn’t prepared to suffer that much. 

“I’ll be back!” I cried shaking a defiant fist. 

“And we look forward to seeing you again sir,” came the merry reply. 

In our art gallery they actually mean that when they say it.  So, I heartily encourage all of you to pay a visit.  And best of all, you won’t have to wear a disguise like a certain individual does when he visits the State Gallery.  Oh, and don’t forget to take the kids.

2 Comments

Filed under Columns, Writing