Honky Tonk?

With the coming exhibition in Manchester coming up next week, I make no excuses for putting myself about as they say. I’ll be exhibiting with a number of friends who I spent my time with at Mancheste in the 60s. Sadly two of them have died in the meantime, but their work will be there, and many happy memories of them.

I had a brilliant time in Manchester after first completing the Foundation year, which was in Openshaw and surrounded by heavy manufacturing factories and there were times there in our lunch breaks when we would play football on a piece of waste ground against the lads from the factory. They thought we were easy meat of course, how could they possibly lose to a bunch of poncy long haired art students, especially as they were armed with steel toe capped boots and we were unsuitable clad in desert boots.

They were right. We always lost.

I think that year, after being cooped up in boarding school, was possibly one of the most exciting years of my life. We had a go at everything but the basis for everything was drawing. I thought I was pretty good and was possibly a little arrogant about my skills. I’d always been top in art at school. Looking around at the rest of the class which also included a fair collection of girls of my age, a novelty of massive proportions for me, I was soon dispelled of my beliefs. They had also been top in art! And they were much more top than I was. In addition a tutor described my work as ‘bloody awful’ and then set to, making me aware of my failings and how I could get better.

One or two of the students in that foundation year will be exhibiting with me from next Friday, the others were on the Degree Course that followed. We’ve kept in touch over all these years, I can’t wait to catch up with them again at the scene where it all started.

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