Graven Images

It was the kind of thing that was bound to get them crawling out of the woodwork. There is a certain type of Christian that just cannot resist embarking on a Crusade when anything that vaguely resembles a “just” cause presents itself. When Comino Carvallo intended to display his sculpture – a life-sized, anatomically correct [...]

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A Farewell to Jane Austen: Let’s Be Sensible

I know that Jane Austen’s novels have much literary merit. She confronts social injustice with a sensitivity and occasionally very subtle and sardonic humour that few can match. She is justifiably considered to be one of the pre-eminent minds of her time. Even 200 years later, in countries and cultures far removed from Victorian England, [...]

It’s Always Ourselves We Find In The Sea

maggie and milly and molly and may went down to the beach (to play one day)   and maggie discovered a shell that sang so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles, and   milly befriended a stranded star whose rays five languid fingers were;   and molly was chased by a horrible thing which raced [...]

Reveling in Transience: Thoughts Inspired by Cheese

Everything you need to know about installation art would have been evident to you had you ever had the (probably quite surreal) opportunity of seeing (and certainly smelling) Dieter Roth’s Staple Cheese (A Race), which was part of his exhibition in Los Angeles’  Eugenia Butler Gallery in 1970. The work consisted of 37 suitcases of [...]

Reflections on Love

I was explaining to a friend recently why Turner’s landscapes are among my favourite paintings. I love the savage beauty of nature, as he depicts it. Something about his wild impartial skies and wild, alien landscapes resonates with my soul. Whenever we look at a piece of art, we only tangentially see the artist. What [...]

Avoiding The Void

I am suspicious of hedonism: somehow it is a lie. Now I do not believe myself to be any more incapable of lying than the next person, but I do hold integrity as one of my core values: I do not believe that one can live a fulfilled life when one is consciously living a [...]

Choosing to Live by Choosing Hope

I am wary of attempts to reduce life’s complexities into trite truisms, but if I were pressed to summarise life’s journey into one succinct statement of sugar-packety goodness, it would be this: fulfilment in life is dependent on one simple choice: will you walk the path of hope or the path of despair? Make no [...]

Seeing the Human Face Correctly

… suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature: for any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; [...]

Confessions of a Cultural Snob

I confess to being a bit of a cultural snob. I can be quite disdainful about the mindless drivel that is being fed to the all-too-willing masses over the radio and on television. It is completely beyond me that thinly-veiled sexual innuendo and exhortations to live recklessly are considered good art. Although I do find [...]

What Are You Looking For The Devil For?

When I was younger, many in the church were fearful of a process called backmasking. There was much concern that certain (usually metal) bands were leaving subliminal Satanic messages on their albums, which you could hear if you played songs backwards.  One of my favourite gospel bands at the time, Petra, decided to do some [...]