This is a picture of me in front of my painting Starston Ploughing Swirl, currently on show (20 Oct – 9 Dec 2012) at Norwich Castle Museum. The exhibition is the Open for 2012, with a title of Vision and Reality, derived from Cedric Morris’ dictum
There must always be great understanding between the painter and the thing painted, otherwise there can be no conviction and truth… This might be called “vision” and “reality,” as opposed to realism. Reality is knowledge and realism only the appearance of knowledge.
There is something Hunpty-Dumptyish about this, but it presumably favours the imaginative over the imitative. Odd that some ‘realistic’ work got in, while some imaginative work was rejected. It would be nice to know what guide rules the selectors gave themselves.
There is the usual mad range of prices from prints as low as £20 unframed up to a very large painting by Breuer Tidman at £22,000 (sold). Nevertheless it seemed to me on my last visit that not many works had been bought. There is a major obstacle here: the high admission charge of £6.80 before concessions must greatly reduce footfall, and from an exhibition point of view compares unfavourably with the Norfolk Contemporary Art 2012 Open at the Forum, which admittedly only ran for a few days, but was entirely free. (Municipal museums and galleries ought not to charge for admittance in any case – another case of what a friend of mine calls ‘les economies sordides’)
My 60 x 120cm painting is priced at £2500, which seems to me reasonable, but I am afraid puts me in the high bracket for this show, partly because of a general shrinking back to lower prices. Artists. one might add, get no return from the people who graze on their works, unlike musicians or writers, who expect at least a small return for the exposure of their performance (even if, at the moment, musicians are ripped off because governments will do nothing to protect intellectual property consumed on the internet).