Sunday, January 13, 2008

In the last blog, I told you how we met Alastair and Caroline artists of repute if not always liquidity. Hard-working, talented English fine artists living in Brittany they may be but, lacking celebrity status, their income is more like that of a church mouse rather than Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. Over a glass of English beer (Adnams bitter, a favourite of mine and I mean a glass each, not just one with three straws) we discussed all this and Caroline mused that Art was a luxury item—i.e., not essential to life—and so that they should not be surprised that they didn’t sell more work. I baulked at this and was sure some philosopher must have said something like “man cannot live by bread alone.” It seems that this phrase is a nineteenth century proverb with it’s roots in the Old and New Testaments and is now taken to mean that people need things such as art, music and poetry as well as food (and beer!) in order to live a full and happy life.

Pursuing this thought later, I came across this quote by Seneca the Younger (Roman philosopher, c. 4BC – AD 65) “As the soil, however rich it may be, cannot be productive without cultivation, so the mind without culture can never produce good fruit”, which I thought an excellent quote to link Permaculture with Culture. What provoked me to get all culturally philosophical is that I’m listening to Gabrielle practise her violin with Maryline and her accordion whilst warmed internally by another pint of Adnams (see video clip above).

My thought for this Sunday afternoon is therefore (if you have the money) to go out and support your local artists by buying art. And think on how many hours they’ve worked to produce the piece before you look at the price tag. Enjoy the music!