Letters Volume 33 no 4 March / April 2019
Peculiar Cosmetics Hiding Beauty
Hi Rosanna, what a great review! People are finally beginning to fight back, as can be seen with the protest against Avon cosmetics for body shaming women’s bodies about cellulite with their advertising. As the actor Jameela Jamil said, “Every body is beautiful, unless they have any ‘flaws’ I guess. What a gross abuse of the body positive movement. I want you all to look out for this constant manipulation. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. It’s everywhere. You are constantly being manipulated to self hate,” said Jamil, who is behind the “I Weigh” movement to promote body positivity. Avon apologizes anti-cellulite ad accused shaming women
Bonnie Garcia 22/01/2019
Your review was very well written and also very incisive. It unearths many issues on the beauty train that women and men accept in order to feel accepted and admired by others. I have no desire to be considered an image or a visual object and I hope that we can take on the beauty industry so that people can be proud of their bodies the way they are, without fillers, surgery or hormones to keep them looking young, or help them think they look young, when ageing is a natural process. Ageing, too, can be beautiful, if just the beauty industry would leave people alone and stop their brain washing of the promise of eternal youth.
Adrian Connard 06/01/2019
As a teenager I was convinced by fashion magazines that I was fat and ugly. I slept on metal spiked hair rollers every night that hurt when I rolled my head or changed position. Having puffed up hair was an important part of my beauty routine, even if I had naturally straight hair. Though I was slim, I wore an uncomfortable tummy flattener girdle all day that convinced me I had a bulging stomach and big hips, when I really had neither. It all started with my first training bra when I was 12, so that others could see from the back of my blouse that I too needed a bra for support, when obviously I didn’t. On it went to the thick eyelashes, heavy makeup, lots of perfume, breath refresher spray at every possible moment and artificially sweetened drinks to keep me thin. I realize how much I was manipulated by television and fashion magazines to have a poor image of myself as a woman so that I would try to fit into the mold expected of women of my time.
On as I got older, I slowly let go of these constrictions and became a nearly makeup free woman who has refused all beauty treatments because I finally feel beautiful for myself. However, it sure took a long time for me to get to this point. In the end we will all get decrepit and full of wrinkles and crinkles. I find there are more important things to worry about.
The situation today appears far worse than it was in the past. I think the recent use of babies’ circumcised foreskins for a beauty cream that apparently has a two-year waiting list, says it all. We still have a long way to go to free ourselves of the imposition society puts on us to feel beautiful and accepted.
Juliette Jacquème 02/01/2019
The System Corrupts Absolutely
I hope you are well.
I have been in DC for a month now and, as I have heard nothing from you re-James Green and the Exchange , I decided today to invite James to write a Speakeasy for the magazine.
I am not entirely sure he will take this in the spirit it was offered but there are very few avenues open to me to try to break the log-jam between us. I know you have a heavy schedule and last time we talked you had not been able to meet with James but the longer the situation continues the more harm is done to the cultural integrity of both organisations.
Should you find yourself in DC before the end of January please invite yourself here,…
I have been travelling for much of the past month and, indeed, I am now in Sydney
I have now spoken with both James Green and Anne Barlow. Both say that they have no special view about New Art Examiner, but that for a number of reasons, including poor sales, they are no longer stocking magazines in their shops. They believe that sales have fallen because so many people now read magazines online
I am glad to hear that you have made an approach to James. When I spoke to him, he said that he appreciated the right of New Art Examiner to have a view about exhibitions at The Exchange and that his focus was on looking forward, rather than back. He wants to show the present and occasionally to make exhibitions, like the Robyn Denny show, that look at artists working in parallel with St Ives, rather than constantly covering further aspects of the St Ives history. Nevertheless, exhibitions and events touching on St Ives will continue to be part of the programme from time to time, as will projects involving artists from the region.
I have also spoken with Anne and although she has no current context in which it would be appropriate to invite Derek to speak, she will bear the possibility in mind on some future occasion
I don’t have any plans to be in Washington in the early part of next year, but I hope you have a productive stay
With best wishes,
Dear Sir Nicholas,
We are grateful that you have attempted to resolve the “log-jam”. Naturally we are disappointed that an accommodation has not been reached. The remark from James Green is not good enough. We are very aware of the changing times and magazines do not sell easily.
More to the point, is the remark James Green made to a volunteer at the Newlyn Orion who suggested to him. (She was not aware of the previous situation of his refusal) that it would be of benefit to artists and the art community in West Penwith if the NAE was stocked. His response was ‘they are not on the same page as us.” I do not know what this means but I suggest it means James Green expects uncritical praise for his efforts.. James Green in my opinion, also violated normal professional practice when he warned a trustee not to talk with us. There are other unpleasant incidents which we shared with you.
I think the NAE has achieved a status in the now globalized art world, exemplified by our success on the web site www.newartexaminer.net which is receiving over 600 unique visitors a day, increasing month on month, with a present grand total of 206,495. Our credibility is not in question, We have made a significant contribution. More to the point is we are generating writers from Cornwall who are gaining confidence to evolve their own voices.
As you may know we do not claim to have the last word as all letters to the editor are printed as received. We do not believe in censorship. We are forced to the conclusion that James Green does, a professional who is well supported by the Arts Council,
I do not enjoy having to write this letter, I approached James Green with the idea that it would be helpful to artists so an unnecessary power struggle has developed.
Finally, I wanted to lecture in The St Ives Tate on the history of the NAE which would include my art awareness that developed in St Ives when I was a young man.
I do hope this letter will convince action is needed by the head of the Arts Council. Censorship is in process.
I look forward to interviewing you to explore the problems of government patronage as manifested by the Arts Council.
Derek Guthrie 27/12/2018
Dressing to Go Down
When my final days arrive, as dark clouds hover overhead, I will request that once I’m dead, I be stuffed with raw popcorn kernels, and burnt in public on a funeral pyre.
Miklos Legrady 10/02/2019
Now that sounds like an original and explosive way to go, or rather, the ultimate performance. Thank you for your pyrotechnic contribution.
Pendery Weekes 14/02/2019
I fear that with the ongoing movement of comfort care we will all lose the right to decide anything. Death once was a very beautiful and artistic way to celebrate the end of life with a funeral – now is only a celebration of joy?
Takeru Nakamura 29/01/2019
I think I get the gist of what you’re trying to say, moreover that the value of life has been cheapened. Just look at the rights of unborn children who can be aborted in the state of New York, Washington DC, Colorado and California up until the day they would have been born full term babies; they have no rights.
I’m not sure that Pendery’s article makes sense in a society where people hardly ever have funerals anymore; often months after a person’s death a party is held to celebrate the life of the “dearly beloved”. In my opinion comfort care is just an easy, but slower, form of euthanasia. Maybe Pendery could have written about how to dress for one’s comfort care?
Sheila Ratcliff 30/01/2019
Rose Daniel 9/01/2019
This fits in perfectly with Paa Joe’s work, the coffin artist from Ghana (no pun intended on “fits in”). He’s a sculptor and makes coffins in all sorts of forms, animals, a chili pepper, a coca cola bottle, and so on.
Pippa Barister 18/01/2019
Civilian Weapons Editor Looking at the Don McCullin photography exhibition at the Tate Britain in London which is opening today, I can’t help but be profoundly disturbed by the 3-course dinner and wine tasting event, “Wine Tasting and Dinner: Don McCullin”, they are organizing later on in February, with important emphasis on the Tate’s well stocked wine cellar. In the promotion of the event they wrote, “We Invite guests for a special evening in celebration of our cellar.” Not surprising the event is already sold out. The focus on wine is fundamental, lest McCullin’s war photographs of Vietnam, Northern Ireland and Syria be forgotten. His work has made a tremendous impact on bringing the images of the horrors of war and its ensuing poverty and destruction to us for decades. Here was an opportunity to celebrate this great man, but instead we are invited to drown the “sorrows” these war images inflict on us by imbibing alcohol with a group of surely very caring people. https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/don-mccullin/wine-tasting-dinner-don-mccullin Oliver Townson Williams 05/02/2019
I feel that it’s necessary to give at least a date for the start of rehearsals at Falmouth, which is 4th February, from there we will need to raise funds to continue, and continue we will regardless of success in raising funds.
The Cod expects us to squarely face the issues I, and he raised on questions that are so important to art’s survival in the public realm: if not it will remain as an underground, undercurrent of activity until it breaks through the stupidity of so called intelligent human beings.
Thank you all for such interest, I am heartened and good cheer for the future.
Ken Turner 17/01/2019
Don’t Forget the Artist
Who wouldn’t be unhappy if they were poor, in particular in the US, the supposed land of opportunities? It must be the pits to be poor, a poor woman in particular, belong to a minority, and also be an artist. What could be worse? Of course there is worse, but we are focusing on the visual arts and what is taking place with artists today. There must be an awful lot of anger out there, rightly so. It would be nice if the New Art Examiner could cover these artists more, and not only the well established ones
Henry Thompson 03/02/2019.
Hi Ken, have you seen what Nan Goldin is doing with her protest of the Sackler funding at the National Portrait Gallery in London? She is rightly protesting the “networks of control where values have no meaning except in whirling systems of profit and loss, greed, and exploitation.” It’s time we stood up to these institutions, though I think the gallery will probably find a way to unload her and take the £1m, even if it is dirty money earned off the profits of OxyContin. Besides, her boycott will only give them more press coverage than perhaps her exhibition would give. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/feb/16/nan-goldin-sackler-gift-oxycontin-national-portrait-galleryArticle first published in Newscabal: https://www.newscabal.co.uk/nan-goldin-threatens-london-gallery-boycott-over-1m-gift-from-sackler-fund/ Pierre Totnes 17/02/2019
Editor, I agree with Pendery. Why is Ken Turner not recognized in Cornwall St Ives.? A good question that needs an answer. Ken is known to all in the Cultural community. He is dismissed as being too old. The Tate Gallery St Ives is consumed with trendy. That is what can be sold as fashionable. Culture is stuck. The Media is useless as it works on the lowest common denominator of a provincial populism. Ken Turner is a very intelligent and informed man. In my opinion, he is too idealistic for the St Ives crowd who are hell-bent in their commitment to keeping alive a tradition of abstraction that died on the vine many years ago. Codswallop has struck a cord in the International Art Community, through a small cord it is a significant achievement. I suggest to any readers they read Ken Turner’s words a penetrating opinion on the sad state of our decayed Art World. Now St Ives and Cornwall have access through www.newartgazette.com to an informed International Community. Unfortunately, there is a power struggle in place, Simply called Art Politics.