Derek Guthrie once told me that people like to think of the art world as nature, free and open, but actually it is a Game Reserve where the animals are controlled and regularly culled. And where the money is in the hands of the hunters.
In his younger years Derek had three sell-out shows in London, UK and he is in two public collections. But like many another artist he knew his personality and way of working would never do well in the game hunting art world.
We will talk about personality traits another time but here I think we should reflect on what other artists have done in the face of this controlled art world.
It is one of the facts of Cornwall that it is home to the largest number of self-employed artists and craftsmen / women in the United Kingdom. Drawn to Cornwall for the magic of the landscape, inspiration, healing, and its own history. Manifested amongst the villages and towns scattered on the landscape. The maturing of this process does not happen overnight. It is quite possible in Cornwall to finally meet somebody you have heard of for 20 years who lives but ten miles distant.
This is made possible because these artists and artisans have retrenched into finding their own fan bases. These fan bases are initially supported by community and extended by digital publishing.
In effect they have gone off the established art world’s grid.
You can go off-grid in a city. It is not so much the place as character that determines what and how you do it. You will be closer to Community than the art market and for the most part, happily so. Following your star and those inner energies that drive so many artists is harder to do when you begin to think you have not had your chance to be in the Tate or shown in a major museum. Once off-grid achieving the ideal of independence other certainties change their shape and the lure of wealth can diminish.
The Art World elite call this Community Art.
Daniel Nanavati, UK Editor
Volume 30 number 4 March / April 2016 p 4