Creative process

Tiffany Jenkins’ excellent piece ‘Art knows no boundaries, only influences’ (Comment, 8 August) is a strongly purposeful and relevant treatise. She speaks clearly on the complex theme of mobility of perception across periods of time. It can be too easily or lightly presumed from this that the actual act of creation is a simple matter when rationalised as such.

At a good distance for instance, after 100 years as in some of her references, we are the comfortably distant consumers of what may have been uncomfortable, de-stabilising, thought: in a very short period (and even much shorter than that) we are already outsiders to the process and contemporary context of the full theatre of the original. This, as Tiffany Jenkins points out is the stuff of cultural progress. Her stance, whether as a historian, curator or conservator makes her necessarily a presenter and commentator.

More rarely do artists speak on their own behalf. The process of unique invention goes on individually and quietly and is a very special thing. Presentation is quite a distinct process.

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The new board of Creative Scotland was announced last week as the Scottish Government’s first politically correct quango in that it comprises an equal balance of the sexes. Ironically, the very body who propose to represent, defend and even understand, the work of “free-thinking” artists and writers, ie those individuals whose work is perhaps necessarily non-compliant and non-institutionally orientated, who may well berate (eloquently) the status quo, has already itself conformed supinely. Your composite picture of the twelve new board members (Your report, 3 August) does not integrate them as they should be. Instead, the males take precedence on the left of the picture,

This past week I saw the film The Legend of Barney Thomson, written and directed by Robert Carlyle. It was brilliant entertainment and an involving story and rightly had assistance from Creative Scotland amongst other investors.

However, I propose that Creative Scotland should disband and reform consisting of two strategic strands. One would take the title of “Entertainment Scotland” dealing with rolling out and inviting large commercial projects, ie the whole of the so called “creative industries”. This would leave an artist-led initiative/ interested in invention and new ideas, where “market mechanism” would blissfully not exist.

Douglas Hogg


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