Medieval Artwork

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

A 14 mile run in Richmond Park yesterday confirmed that the pain in my lower back is still causing me significant problems. As I trotted round the park I tried to convince myself that what I was feeling wasn't actually pain but simply slight discomfort, but I've never been too good at kidding myself. Then I tried to apply that well worn adage, 'pain is just weakness leaving the body.'


How the fuck does that work then? By that reckoning Nazi Germany should have created an army of powerhouses within its ghettoes and it's concentration camps. Alas, no, the pain and suffering that was experienced by those tragic souls was not weakness leaving the body; it was pure evil and brutality being visited upon them.

Of course comparing a slightly painful run around Richmond Park with the Holocaust is something that might be regarded as ridiculous if not out and out offensive. But these were the thoughts that meandered through my mind as I plodded on. I considered how I might transfer these thoughts to the written form within the virtual pages of this blog. An attempt at humour maybe.....a video blog about something new? A cartoon drawn on A4 paper and recreated here?

I used to be pretty good at art at school so a cartoon ought to be something I could manage. However, I haven't practiced any drawing or painting since the third year of The Beaufoy School for Boys back in 1979.

You see my art career was cut short by two events. The first was when I was in an art class making something from clay....I can't remember exactly what it was we were making but you can bet your bottom dollar at least half the class were busy recreating their own sexual organs. While we rolled out sausage shaped cylinders and spherical balls our art teacher worked away diligently on a vase he was making on a potter's wheel. He appeared lost in the moment and if it wasn't 11 years too early I'd swear he was recreating the famous scene from Ghost.

I admired the way he applied gentle pressure to the accelerator pedal and expertly formed perfect curves on what had begun as a mound of watery clay. After 40 minutes or so of work the teacher, whose name is lost on me now, looked like he'd been engaged in a dirty protest in prison and rose from his labour to go to the toilet.

'Right boys,' he said. 'I need you to think about finishing your work. I'll be back in five.'

In his absence the potter's wheel was like a glowing, attractive flame and I was an utterly seduced moth. The vase sat motionless on the wheel like a ballet dancer waiting to spring into life. What she needed was a director and some music.

Before I could even consider the outcome I was on my feet and at the wheel. I stamped my Doctor Marten encased foot onto the pedal and the ballet dancer sprung into life. But instead of repeating the graceful moves induced by my art teacher the vase was doing some kind of punk rock dance. As the vase spun around it began to lose its perfect form. One side started to collapse and spat droplets of clay at my fellow pupils. Of course at this point I probably should have eased off the gas and gone back to my seat. But I was an engrossed 13 year old and was completely beguiled by the destruction that was unfolding in front of me.

A bit more pressure on the pedal and the once beautiful creation left the potter's wheel and travelled in an arc across the classroom and hit a nearby wall. It stuck there momentarily before sliding downward to the ground, leaving a slimy scar on the pale blue paintwork. My teacher re entered the room to witness a lump of formless clay in the corner, an empty potter's wheel where once a crafted vase stood, and 29 boys cheering Waterman who was sat at the wheel looking pretty fucking sheepish.

Needless to say I was subject to the discipline of the day which was two strokes of the cane across my open palm. I remember the apprehension as I stood there, arm out-stretched in front of me. I remember quivering as the art teacher salivated in exacting vengeance for his lost art work. I remember thinking 'ouch' and blinking as the first lashing struck my hand. I remember too being slightly emboldened when a look of dismay crossed the teacher's face when no cry of pain or tears emitted following that first strike of the cane.

I remember too feeling like Alan fucking Ladd in Shane after the second lash struck my palm and I smirked at the teacher.

Is that all you've got?

Now that, Dear Reader, is what might be regarded as weakness leaving the body. If my teacher had really wanted to exact some revenge, waiting until I was 46 years of age then bundling me into his car and making me run 14 miles in Richmond Park with a bad back would have been far more successful. Of course if he tried that now I'd either give him a dry slap or say sorry for wrecking his vase and offer to buy him a beer.

But I'll remind you that it was two events that brought my art career to an end and the one above merely set the ground for my expulsion from the art block. As I sit here on a train to the land of Jock I could quite easily spend the time detailing my final indiscretion but I think it deserves a post of its own.

Check in later for a tale of BDSM and how if I ever chance upon Mr Robinson again I'll get medieval on his ass.



Vybarr Cregan-Reid said...

I've always hated that 'pain is weakness leaving the body'. Enjoying the blog.