I always flinch when I am described as an art critic as all I do is write stories about art and artists and it's fantastic to be in that privileged position . I don't want to dumb myself down but when I read about art sometimes, I cringe. I've worked in many, many journalistic situations and my motto is: never assume, never presume.
Art is one of these arenas where people have funny notions. A lot of writing about art is designed to alienate, while obtusely, it should be all about connection. When I talk to artists, I find they are normal unpretentious people desperate to communicate their vision. You don't need to be an art historian to appreciate art or wear a black beret and Elvis Costello specs. Art is for everyone. Believe me!
I was talking to my friend, the artist Sue Biazotti the other night about this and we both agreed that we would be barking at the moon were it not for the power of art to move and transform. Art can help us to understand the world and therein lies its power.
So, a Saturday in the life of someone who loves to write about art:
7am: Take delivery of The Herald, which is giving away a free print of Munch's 'The Scream'.
'What's wrong with that lady?' says my five-year-old.
Make a mental note to see the Munch exhibition at Hunterian in Glasgow- last chance to see The Scream outside Norway.
Much of life spent making mental notes to see exhibitions and never getting there due to domestic committments. It's a glamorous life writing about art....
8.15am: Receive call from Exeter Hospital. It's a receiving doctor looking for my husband's telephone number. Apparently he 'cut his hand' at Glastonbury late last night.
9.15am: Speak to husband who slipped on mud in the gents toilet and severed a tendon after watching the last band of the night. Now off to hospital in Bristol to see if he needs immediate surgery.
10am: Arrange for under-the-weather son to go to my mother-in-laws while I take five-year-old to Singing Kettle (legendary Scottish childrens' entertainers).
12.15pm: Starlet-in-making dressed as dalmation shares a stage with Singing Kettle stars. Quick costume change into a penguin. Sister-in-law and I agree we'd recognise her on-stage stomp anywhere...
4.30pm: Drive past art market at Botanics in Glasgow. Kids poo-poo idea that we take a look.
5pm: Remember Sue Biazotti and I discussed seeing last day of Matt McCurdy exhibition at Joan Hughson's gallery in her house in west end of Glasgow. Too Late. Sigh.
6pm: Watch Andy Murray romp into next round of Wimbledon.
8.45pm: Soothe tired children to sleep. Read Topsy and Tim Start School for 10th time.
9.30pm: Get dead excited that 35 people have now joined Aspect Prize group I set up last week on Facebook.
10pm: Shake head at guitar-string snapping Neil Young finale at Glasto.
10.15pm: Send newly reacquainted old school friend Tom a facebook message. Tom lives in Joan Eardley's spiritual home of Catterline. Turns out wife Roz's family have close Joan Eardley connection. Almost faint with excitement.
10.30pm: Watch Lee Miller doc on BBC4 while blogging. There was a woman not scared to get in amongst it.
22.56pm: Watch Franz Ferdinand at Glasto. It's a long way from Glasgow School of Art for these boys... Momentarily wish I was there (tho not from a personal hygiene point of view...)
- The story so far
- I'm an arts journalist & PR consultant living and working in Scotland. I've been a journalist for more than 25 years. I write a regular column for Scottish quality newspaper, The Herald. I deliver a PR service with an arty bent and work on a consultancy basis with arts organisations, including Scotland's leading creative industries festival, XpoNorth & broadcast support body, ScreenHI. I am currently co-writing a book about the celebrated Scots artist, George Wyllie, with his daughter Louise. Instrumental in making a celebration of his life's work happen in 2012. For more information, see www.georgewyllie.com When I'm not being a mum/working, I talk to my dog. He laps it up. Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org (All work © Jan Patience)