David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

17 May 2012

NGV vs The Public Blot

Harder than pulling teeth is trying to get the NGV overseers to do the obvious thing. 

Once again, it is only after increasingly loud public complaint that they act. 

Hence yesterday's front page article of The Age :
NGV scrambles to amend and defend its no-paint,
no-sketch rules
A groundswell of anger about its restrictions on visitors sketching, painting or even taking notes has the gallery scrambling to amend and defend its guidelines. And a group of eminent local artists has joined a campaign to persuade those in charge to throw open its doors freely to those who want to paint before its great works...
The gallery also revised several similar prohibitions on its Fred Williams retrospective yesterday in response to a public backlash. Several recent letters to The Age have detailed visitors being advised that sketching or writing notes was forbidden.
Gina McColl, Arts Editor
16 May 2012
Read full article here
Even when they do accede to the obvious, they still manage to wimp out:
Dr Vaughan said while no such prohibition existed for the permanent collection, with temporary exhibitions such restrictions were often loan conditions. These have been renegotiated for the Williams exhibition and sketching and writing would be allowed - pencils only, and crowds permitting.

C  suggests :
Ancient painters used to practice putting dots on paper in artistic disorder. This is rather difficult. Even though you try to do it, usually what you do is arranged in some order. You think you can control it, but you cannot; it is almost impossible to arrange your dots out of order. It is the same with taking care of your everyday life. Even though you try to put people under some control, it is impossible. You cannot do it. The best way to control people is to encourage them to be mischievous. Then they will be in control in its wider sense. To give your sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow is the way to control him. So it is with people: first let them do what they want, and watch them. This is the best policy. To ignore them is not good; that is the worst policy. The second worst is trying to control them. The best one is to watch them, just to watch them, without trying to control them.
Shunryu Suzuki

This buvard ancien arrived today from a French scribbler, a friend who supports free pencil movement efforts to end the National Gallery of Victoria prohibition of pens, pencils and photography at the Fred Williams: Infinite Horizons exhibition. Vive la France! 
Vive la Résistance!

 click image to enlarge

after Henri Neuzeret
... and behind the scenes : Fear of a Blot Planet
click image to enlarge
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...


P. S.

bLOGOS/HA HA  staff are a bunch of doddery old devotees of Jerry Van Amerongen's Ballard Street.

P. P. S.    Pencil Post Script

Was it just a coincidence that yesterday, when The Age had the front page headline NGV scrambles to amend and defend its no-paint, no-sketch rules, that Low-level provocateur Gary Giddings was Ballard Street's leading man?

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

someone looks at something ...