As I sort through new works to show in Gallery UNO in Seaford, I ponder my past shows. I have lost count of the number of exhibitions I have had in galleries across England – yes all in England despite my Welsh heritage. Shows in London, Liverpool, Manchester, Lancaster, Burnley, Blackburn, Rochdale and other northern towns; in Brighton where I had my first one-man show over 50 years ago. My first show was in the foyer of a cinema in Stafford when still a student. This will be the 6th time I’ve shown in Seaford since coming to live here.
In ‘Such is Life’ I wrote about fate, and despite continuing engagement with health ‘care’ I continue to work. ’Why?’ you may ask, and to be honest I don’t really know. I am compelled by some inner drive to continue to celebrate life and the beauty of our world through my art – as a photographer, as designer and as a painter.
I have scaled the heights and plumbed the depths as I have lived through the decline of a great nation into the shambles of a society it has become. I have watched as well-meaning politicians and civils servants have gone from providing basic services to meddling and controlling (or trying to control) every aspect of our lives. Now they are turning a once proud Anglo Saxon nation into a polyglot prison where freedom of movement is being curtailed ‘for our own health and welfare’, where the spirit of adventure is being crushed by the ‘elf’, and where our history is denied, and our language and religion being corrupted for fear of giving offence to aliens.
My work in the Seaford show in April will continue my imaging the beauty that is there in this decay. Grids featured in my work for many of the past years. They were my view of the increasing number of rules and restrictions that were distorting the way in which we live, the degree of external control exercised that changed the pattern of our lives. Now we are past the point of limited external control, having been locked down and now bullied into believing global warming is our fault. Read Ian Plimer’s ‘Green Murder’, (available from bookshops) for a complete destruction of the myth that global warming is manmade. That the ‘Net Zero’ goose will lay golden eggs for our leaders has been a fairy tale swallowed by many.
I have watched as the authorities happily ceded control to protesters of all varieties whilst locking us all in our houses in case we got ill. Now they want to perpetuate these controls. Rather than spend our taxes to improve our lives they spend the to improve their own. Where do our taxes go? The Armed Forces are too small to defend UK (unbelievable that it takes 240,000 administrators to run an Army of 75,000). The police are nowhere near able to solve all the crimes that are being committed because they are busy chasing hurtful words on the web. Schools fail to teach children and young people the basics so that after leaving the classroom they can’t take care of themselves
Large parts of the university system have become left-wing agitation factories that write the conclusions first and curate data afterwards to suit (as with the global warming ‘science’). Our health system, with the tales of inability to see a doctor and day long waits in casualty (which some calculate may have caused 22,000 unnecessary deaths) all speak to a complete collapse of care. Many of our elderly are condemned to die in poverty. ‘Euthanasia’ at least is not practiced on any unwanted person, but fear not, it is being promoted in Parliament to relieve pain despite Canadian evidence that it is being widely applied to those mentally ill or very elderly. We used to drive on the left of our roads, now we drive on what’s left.
It has been said that to be born an Englishman is to win the lottery of life. I remember being taught English folk songs at school – does this even happen anymore? My grounding in that English identity may even have irritated my Welsh father, but as a farm boy he introduced me to a love of wildlife, showing me how to be quiet and watch, showing me young owls in their nest, fostering my love of nature now satiated in my daily garden images, enhancing my love of my country. I have worked hard to contribute to my country. In turn this has enabled me to grow, enabling travel to watch the wildlife of Europe, Africa and North America.
Mine is the fortunate generation born into a world struggling to recover from war, urged on to strive to make it better. Instead, we have bred generations of offspring who feel entitled. They enjoy the fruits of our labour with no gratitude, with no sense of being part of a flow of history, a ‘now’ generation who labour to undo our creation because they believe in the Net Zero global warming golden goose laying golden eggs for them, whilst instead its promoters create a prison of poverty.
In decline the Romans left a heritage of literature, civic building and art that built in turn on that left by the Greeks. As British society commits suicide under the weight of regulation and being told how to think, we leave a legacy of literature, music, theatre and the arts and of surrender to those in power. As the French did between 1890 and 1925, we decay in an outpouring of music and colour to which my work makes a small contribution. The baton of freedom is passing, is already in the hands of America, maybe Poland and central Europe will hold it next. I hope I leave a record of love of the beauty of my country that will outlive me and pass on to those who follow that the pursuit of beauty is the true meaning of life.
William Morris said have nothing in your home that is not beautiful. We should leave nothing in our passing that does not enhance our country and its beauty.
Come to Gallery UNO and see the show, and if you want to dispute about beauty I will be there as well.
Gallery UNO, Seaford’s High Street, April 1st -10th 2023. The fight continues…