Monday, 7 December 2009

Great Kaleidoscopes! Look at the Golden Wonders

A couple of golden wonders have caught my eye this December, the first being this year's Turner Prize-winning piece by Richard Wright. It is a delicious whirl of gold-leaf, like a heavenly kaleidoscope composed of delicate swirls, painstakingly painted directly onto a huge white expanse of Tate Britain's gallery space. Not so golden was a BBC interviewer's question to Wright, "You can't get rich out of this, can you?" I suppose the query is meant to be tongue in cheek, but it really just exposes the extreme shallowness of expectations about the art market. Which can't have been helped by phenomenally inflated million-pound price tags for pieces of art. If we want the art world to change, attitudes towards it must change as well, or the spenders will think, "Oh, we're being criticised, we might as well live up to our charges!"

Another golden wonder of the last week or so is the exciting debate provoked by Mark Lawson's article for The Guardian, "Is this a new golden age for theatre?" which was swiftly followed by Lyn Gardner's own piece, "A golden age for theatre? Yes and no" after numerous calls for a response in comments posted below Lawson's original article. Nice to see that there's a vibrant buzz about all things theatre.

Finally in this speculation of golden wonders, and somewhat at a tangent to those previous (as it's late and I need to get to sleep), involves a parrot with forks for feet, that shrieks "Pieces of Eight! Pieces of Eight!" in Northern Broadsides' production of Treasure Island, which I recently saw at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre. With a brilliant lack of actual gold throughout the show, the real treasure trove lay in the wealth of characterisation and innovative puppetry that was niftily deployed by the talented cast. (Incidentally, the puppetmaster's name? Lee Threadgold.)

Needless to say, I've shimmied up to my virtual crow's nest, eagerly scanning the cultural horizon for more seasonal golden wonders. I'll keep you posted.

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