Derek Guthrie once told me that people like to think of the art world as nature, free and open, but actually it is a Game Reserve where the animals are controlled and regularly culled. And where the money is in the hands of the hunters.
In his younger years Derek had three sell-out shows in London, UK and he is in two public collections. But like many another artist he knew his personality and way of working would never do well in the game hunting art world.
We will talk about personality traits another time but here I think we should reflect on what other artists have done in the face of this controlled art world.
It is one of the facts of Cornwall that it is home to the largest number of self-employed artists and craftsmen / women in the United Kingdom. Drawn to Cornwall for the magic of the landscape, inspiration, healing, and its own history. Manifested amongst the villages and towns scattered on the landscape. The maturing of this process does not happen overnight. It is quite possible in Cornwall to finally meet somebody you have heard of for 20 years who lives but ten miles distant.
This is made possible because these artists and artisans have retrenched into finding their own fan bases. These fan bases are initially supported by community and extended by digital publishing.
In effect they have gone off the established art world’s grid.
You can go off-grid in a city. It is not so much the place as character that determines what and how you do it. You will be closer to Community than the art market and for the most part, happily so. Following your star and those inner energies that drive so many artists is harder to do when you begin to think you have not had your chance to be in the Tate or shown in a major museum. Once off-grid achieving the ideal of independence other certainties change their shape and the lure of wealth can diminish.
The Art World elite call this Community Art.
Daniel Nanavati, UK Editor
Volume 30 number 4 March / April 2016 p 4
11 thoughts on “Editorial”
Thanks to Star Oakley’s comment on the Natalia Hamon review, I was able to locate this very insightful and relevant editorial. Moreover, I also discovered that there are 22 pages of past articles published here that are a very precious source of information for cross referencing. Thank you New Art Examiner for this valuable service that you give for free to the public.
I loved what the publisher said to Daniel Nanavati, “Derek Guthrie once told me that people like to think of the art world as nature, free and open, but actually it is a Game Reserve where the animals are controlled and regularly culled. And where the money is in the hands of the hunters.” I wish that the New Art Examiner could explore this argument more.
I am also curious to see Derek Guthrie’s paintings. Could not someone review his work? Would that too be considered a conflict of interest?
This could be one of Derek Guthrie’s paintings, though I am not 100% sure. I found it online with a little search. If it is his, it is indeed very beautiful in its simplicity.
Why doesn’t the New Art Examiner magazine cover more the phenomenon of artists in Cornwall? I was amazed when I read, “It is one of the facts of Cornwall that it is home to the largest number of self-employed artists and craftsmen / women in the United Kingdom. Drawn to Cornwall for the magic of the landscape, inspiration, healing, and its own history. Manifested amongst the villages and towns scattered on the landscape. The maturing of this process does not happen overnight. It is quite possible in Cornwall to finally meet somebody you have heard of for 20 years who lives but ten miles distant.”
Who are these artists and what are they doing? Why Cornwall?
Which public collections is Derek Guthrie in? Also, I’ve been searching for the website of his paintings and can’t find it; can anyone help me?
Could someone give me a definition of what community art is?
a quick definition though incomplete. Community artists tend to believe that intuition or instinct is enough to make .signifcant art.
Where are the 2 public collections that Derek Guthrie is in? Are they in London? I would very much like to see these works.
Thank you and kind regards,
One of Derek Guthrie’s paintings, ICI TAnker, is in the Southampton City Art Gallery and another entitled St Just is in the Portsmouth Museums. It doesn’t seem possible to see these paintings online, I think you will have to go to Southampton and Portsmouth if you want to see them.
It all depends on which side of the fence you are on in the “game reserve”. I think that artists underestimate the risks that art dealers take in investing in an artist and the effort it takes to help an artist become successful. It’s hard work and often not appreciated, as can be seen by this article.
I have heard artists complain about the commission that galleries take on sales and wonder if they ever stop and think about what it costs to run a show (promotion, invitations, opening, running the show, heating, electricity, sales staff, taxes, insurance, shipping, etc.). It’s quite rare to have sold out exhibitions like the 3 you report that Derek Guthrie had when he was young. These events are extraordinary for a gallery, but almost never happen. Why in the world did he stop exhibiting if he was so successful?
I just received the September/October issue of the New Art Examiner and found something quite interesting on page 14. “Derek Guthrie will have an exhibition in Cornwall’s Lost Meadow Gallery in May”.
How does one get an invitation to the opening?
I would very much like to hear more about the fan bases which you write about that are “supported by community and extended by digital publishing”. Could you perhaps tell us more about this?