I have been getting increasingly disappointed with ‘The Listener’. Its been so patchy and good columns and columnists have been changing every 2 minutes it seems. I do like Martin Bosley’s food column but miss Lois Daish, For the most part the books section has stood up well, but the poetry selection has been mystifying to me. Sometimes the rest seems like reading a series of blogs. I mean its nice to have an opinion piece or two (isn’t that what editorials are for?) but Jon Bridges adds no value to my weekly read. Bill Ralston was really annoying as well until he redeemed himself with the Ropati piece last week. Before then he was just irritating me with his financial worries while admitting to being mortgage free on Franklin Road and surely we couldn’t ban plastic shopping bags because how would he pick up his dog’s poo? I do appreciate him providing the mental image of Hamish Keith dressed as Santa though. The last straw almost came for me when 2 weeks ago my subscription arrived with 11 (!) BMW advertising leaflets inside it. Overkill surely and even if it was on renewable resource paper, it was printed with shiny un-recyclable ink.
However this week there was a glimmer of hope, Ralston again made sense, there was a visual arts review and the cover was slightly different as well! I do wonder if the arts reviewer Susette Goldsmith will be a regular. Art reviews get me because basically no one seems to criticise. I wonder if some reviewers are afraid to in case they are they are labelled ignorant or ill-educated or something. No one seems to pull punches in book reviews.
I have also read a critique of the Black page recently. I did prefer Steve Braunias and Joanne Blacks descriptions of her home renovations have been somewhat tedious, but as I am also a mother with an infestation of “My Little Ponies” for the most part I like the blend of the domestic and the political. This week she talks about the go-ahead for the scheme to introduce resale royalties for artists. She makes the good point of why just artists? It made me wonder too of how they will define “art work” and “artist”. Makes me come back to the art/craft division. Black used the non-artist example of “those who knit baby clothes”. So maybe not baby clothes but what of Ani O’Neill for example? Ok not such a good example because she is in a gallery so maybe that makes it 100% art. I’d like to know how the hell the scheme is going to be administered and by whom? I know that there is a bit of collector/dealer/artist/owner backroom trading going on so…?
Lastly I was going to save this for a “stuff I like” entry but I can’t resist
Field – Antony Gormley . I think this is the 1991 version (at the Liverpool Tate)
Question time: can anyone tell me what happened to the stone dog that used to be outside the Dowse?