According to Aristotle ….

"....the aim of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."

When words fail

It used to be said that at a polite dinner party one should avoid mentioning either religion or politics. This was to minimise the danger of a disturbance to the smooth surface of genteel conversation by the introduction of controversy. Nobody ever told me that this rule applies to writing a blog, so today’s entry touches on both of these…

Signals of transcendence

Recently I have had reason to look again at Peter Berger’s A Rumour of Angels. The chain of ideas that led me back to a book I have not read for many years is not relevant in the present context. At one time, however, I did find it a very influential voice in the development of my own thought. In…

The anthropology of cake

In an earlier life, as a university teacher, I was fond of using the work of the Polish/British anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski in my classes. In case you are not familiar with his work, he became famous for a celebrated field study of a group of South Pacific Islands, and in particular for his work on their ritual life. He noted…

A model human-being

In yesterday’s post I wrote about the experience of drawing from life, as seen from the point of view of the artist. This very valuable experience is contributed, however, by models and would be impossible without them. Just as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that there are misunderstandings about what it means to attend a life-drawing session, so there are…

The secrets of the life room

Several things over the last few days have set me thinking about the ways in which the life-drawing class is misperceived and misunderstood. In the next post I will say something about models and their experience, but on this occasion I want to concentrate on the situation of the artist/participant. I suppose that the most common misperception of life-drawing has…

Stereotypes

In this day and age when we are all very alert to the need to avoid stereotyping various groups of people I have become accustomed to monitoring my speech and actions. There are occasions, however, when one’s spontaneous responses to situations just cannot be helped. Tonight my wife and I were playing Scrabble after dinner in the kitchen when, suddenly,…