…Evening of Swing Has Been Cancelled

The gallery launch I blogged about for Feb 7th is cancelled. I am not a member of the ABC Collective. Half the group have left. I’m really in a position not to say why. I don’t even know if it’s still together.

Something of a pity.

I consider the local gallery art scene, like most, sewn up by cliques. Don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends are part of these. Some of the best artists too, afforded promotion by the established and protection against the elements.

So when a gallery opens up that doesn’t select only from a fine art degree background, of their own people, it was something of a challenge to this artist to pull his weight. I was thinking about how I was looking forward to being in a clique and knowing of the problems of that, getting through it.

Inclusivity, as it turned out, need not have been a problem.

Half the galleries in the city are run entirely by volunteers. I first noticed this back in 2010 when I ran into a director of a major gallery, waiting at the Jobcentre to sign on, same as me. If they’re not threatened with getting their dole cut, there are many gallery directors who are self-employed, lucky to see an allowance equivalent. Only thread-bare funding is available for essential running costs, which elitist lizards seem intent on vacuuming into their bulbous mouths.

Just because those creatures can’t be artists, doesn’t mean we can’t try to practice the lifestyle anywhere.

Bubble Shore - MDG Boston

Above: Bubble Shore, by MDG Boston



Seeking aspects of my exclamation mark, heyhey, lets-go, sugar-boy schtick? Up-front El of Textfilms has commissioned a comic from me, to hang in Patsy’s Parlour bar, Ormeau Road from….oooh, 20th February. My comics work made BleedingCool twice this month, once for To End All Wars (top graphic novel list), and for Baillie’s Colchester Tapestry. And there’s a new short story published by Jay Faulkner’s withpaintedwords.com ‘Sea Legs’ is a bit of a departure from my usual style and I’ve gotten some great feedback so far. It’s based on that photo up above, by MDG Boston. Go and read that; it’s free.

It’s art.

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