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The Art of Priorities

Now then, Art. I have to be honest, Art doesn't figure too highly on my personal list of things to be concerned about. That is not just because I do not like Art, I just don't personally get it. I have wandered around the gallery in the fine city of Liverpool, and one in London. During which I was truly stunned by the skills involved to create such wonderful paintings all those decades ago. It is sad that such things are not done today.

Modern Art does my head in, I just cannot even pretend to understand that whole concept. However, who am I to run such things down?, I will leave it to those who understand it and get something from it. On our local news- Yorkshire- we often hear about things concerning a local place which displays sculptures and such like. During those reports, which are usually set to pieces of classical music, large numbers are tossed around. Very large numbers indeed, numbers of amounts of money. This concerns me greatly, and in fairness I have to ask, where does that money come from?

Before I start being accused of being too thick to understand Art, or, being anti Art, just for balance I will put forward an alternative to all this at the end of this piece.

Money for Art

So, recently the Glasgow School of Art burned down, again. This is the second time in recent years that this has happened. A massive tragedy for everyone connected with that establishment, and almost unbelievable luck. One which really does leave a huge hole in the cultural attractions within that fine old city. However, there are a few other things which detract from any views of Glasgow as a fine city, sadly they are the same sorts of things which detract from any views of many other UK cities in the 21st century.


The GSA is touted as a "university level" school. It has a reputation among the Art community of being top class at what it does. It is even said that it is the leading such place in Europe. Here is the thing, given all of that, who took the decision not to fit it with sprinklers after the first fire, and why? I do not know how much sprinklers would have cost or even if they would have drastically altered the outcome. What I do know is that if that building can be restored, it will likely be at a cost approaching £100M. That is a truly staggering number, a huge mountain of cash that could make a huge difference in certain other areas of Glasgow. All of this would be spent to rescue the GSA for the second time, for Art. Is it just me?


Seemingly there is a very detailed "digital map" that could be used to build a very detailed replica of the place. Now, here are a couple of questions regarding that, how much did it cost? Can anyone tell me that and also how much the sprinkler system would have cost? Lots of claims are often made about Art in cities, claims that would have you believe that without Art those cities would be plunged into the stone age due to not attracting cash form tourists. This I reject utterly. Sheffield has The Crucible Theatre which puts on plays and the like, where does the money to run that come from? how much are the actors paid? where does that money come from? How much are the waiting staff paid? where does that money come from? I could go on, I will not do that. The point I am driving at being, do these places all around the UK make a profit? Why is this the accepted situation?. Again, I do not actually have a problem with Art, in whatever form it takes, if people want to see it, that is fine. I have a problem with why it takes money away form other certain things.

Not much Art here

Those other "certain things" are quite obvious. When I wander around the Steel City centre I see homeless people wasting away on the streets. Trying to sleep at night outside stores which will sell you a telly for £3K. I don't suppose many of them will see the benefits of the Crucible Theatre. Again, is it just me?


I said at the top of this piece that I would put forward an alternative way to resolve this ghastly imbalance of priorities. I would actually feel quite pleased if the UK was in a position of being able to afford Art AND take care of those less well off. Sponsorship. All these Arty places could be funded privately, where is the problem with that? Seems quite simple to simple me. Surely all these blue collar, blue chip, blue voting companies who adore our current Govt could reach into their very deep pockets and take great pleasure from providing us with all this brilliant Art? Other things which provide entertainment to the masses have to live by the great God profit, what is the difference here? All seems very unfair to me. I do have another suggestion, one which would, if managed correctly solve it all.

Peace and love. Not bombs

Cancel Trident. Let's be honest, we will never use it anyway. Use that vast amount of resource wisely to alleviate the horrendous social problems which are steadily becoming the norm. Does that make any sense to you? or am I showing sings of being some sort of "left wing militant commie upstart" AGAIN ?????



Thankyou for looking.


Bill@bikerbill.co.uk

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© 2020 Bill Stewardson