Showing posts from May, 2016


‘Painting with Light’ Art and Photography from the Pre-Raphaelites to the modern age Tate Britain: Exhibition 11 May – 25 September 2016

I. Looking at paintings, sculpture, drawings, in short absorbing ‘art’ exhausts me. After about thirty minutes I need to sit down. And so I now sit on a bench in the Tate Britain and close my eyes. An image, a woman’s face, is planted there, a delicate pre-Raphaelite face, pursed lips, and intense unforgiving eyes.  I knew those eyes well, they were Z’s eyes cold as ice in the face of some real, or imagined, -much more frequently imagined, -infidelity on my part. In the gallery, strangers mingle and talk in lowered voices as if at a garden party thrown by the Queen. But in this filtered atmosphere ghosts flit silently amongst the crowd or stare down from canvases as they engage endless critics and admirers. I do not really fear these ghosts; indeed, it is these very ephemeral phantoms with whom I have come to talk; but I always feel a slight trepidatio…


Even when the Conservative Party was trying to get rid of Iain Duncan Smith, it gained seats in opposition. When the Labour party was on the cusp of splitting into two parties in 1981, it gained seats in opposition. Now Labour in Scotland has finished third behind a resurgent Conservative party, the party's worst result in Scotland since 1910. If Labour has lost Scotland it is unlikely we shall see another majority Labour government for a great many years, if ever. In the face of all this Jeremy Corbyn and the massed choir of deluded Corbynites sing of a Lourdes style Miracle of May, snatching mythical victory from the reality of defeat.* Whilst those in the exit camp of the EU referendum sing only of a new golden age if we just leave the EU. No pain, no consequences, only gain, the ex-Mayor of London Boris Johnson leading this charge against reason.
We are now living in a world scripted by Private Eye, in which outlandish scenarios are constantly played out before our eyes. Donal…