Well, we have the ebbing of the waves about older people being visible and owning art spaces near them. It was a blast, you know, seniors being talked to as though they had never had a life-force in them, as though they never had experiences before meeting sympathetic gushy interns and being cajoled to join in. (Mmm. Nice lemons, writer?)
A flowing in on another stream is the airing of older people in conference to learn about further or advanced education. That is white aspiring middle-class maybe as there’s a big promotion for U3A. Most seniors I know haven’t a clue what U3A is. I’ve dipped into it and quickly withdrew my toes. It has a literary bent about it and most seniors I know operate with spoken words and don’t read books. Seniors I know are mainly working class too emerging like queens from the roughest dirtiest parts of London, not interested in wall-art or community splashing as they make their way to the diabetic clinic or the pharmacist for their indoors’ people’s failing health.
The next funded interest, manufactured by the anonymous powers, will be how to change how the working class isn’t drawn into art appreciation or being artists. It starts publicly with Tate, that place where art is definitely full of class and money. Youth 18-25 are now entitled to see exhibitions for a fiver and attend workshops. Now all well and good as the aim is to get BAME and working class youth into the hallowed halls. Great stuff. Up Your Street Community Group already encourages seniors to take advantage of free tickets for major exhibitions in West End galleries and museums. After six years of this magic then it is a truth that the same seniors who can actually and do afford the exhibition tickets sign up again and again for the freebies. Those same seniors often forget to go to the exhibition. The cohort is of one ethnicity and it ain’t BAME and has an air of upwardly mobile.
I know about art galleries because back in the day I went to a posh progressive school and we were continually out and about getting doses of culture. My friends on the estate went to a different unposh school where factory fodder didn’t need culture. I was fortunate in that respect in the opinion that art is for all and so I should be getting some.
But it’s not yet for all, is it?
I was chatting to an entrepreneur only the other day and we touched on the world of art. She advised me that like every sphere there is the official and the unofficial meaning it’s a cliquey old world. Some workshops are featured at Eventbrite where the issue of working class artists being invisible on the scene is discussed and in another town a major working class artist has an amazing exhibition. See forgotten his name already.
And then I watched Getty the richest art lot in the world. J. Paul Getty even said that those who do not appreciate art are “culture barbarians”.