Art and Music      
Chianciano Biennale


Cafes, Art and Hair

RACHEL CATTLE: I have come to the Barbican to write. I was trying to think of where I wanted to be and realised that I wanted somewhere soulless, somewhere spacious. Fit for anyone. Not Shoreditch for example. So I am here and there is an old woman knitting at a furious pace at a table near me…and people on laptops. I don’t have a laptop. I have a sketchbook and a pen. I feel comfortable here. Anonymous. I also came here partly because I felt melancholy and wanted somewhere that matched my mood. I read an Alain de Botton piece once about going to motorway service stations when you feel lonely, and today, for my mood, this is kind of equivalent. I can be anybody here. I can breathe.

As I walked in I saw that there was a show on in the Curve Gallery so wandered in. It was Peter Coffin, (a name I knew, but I couldn’t think of what of his I’d seen before). There was film and sound and sculptures of objects. There was something about the sculptures that made them look drawn…and that got me all happy, thinking about how the world can be made to be so different if you just tweak it a bit. And this seemed to resonate with what I’ve been thinking about for my latest film project, and suddenly it all seems good and art seems redemptive. And maybe that’s why I do it, because even though I spend hours in my studio drawing and sometimes it all feels aimless, there are other times when it all seems possible and all the bleak uncertainty in the world and the future and the drabness of everyday life is overcome and there is something shiny and new and exciting waiting to happen and I am the person who can create it and its all in my grasp in front of me.

And while I’ve been writing I have looked out of the window in front of me and a man has walked by with really long hair and a woolly hat on. I am sure I recognise him as someone I used to see all the time when I lived in south London. He always looked slightly odd and a bit depressed and his hair was always long and greasy and I used to see him at art openings. You just knew he was having a bad time but even though you knew this you didn’t want to go and talk to him because it would be difficult and you could tell there wasn’t much hope of helping him, and besides this his face was a bit mean, so it didn’t encourage you. And so now it strikes me that his hair has just grown and grown. It is ridiculously long, more as if he had a phobia of cutting it than through pride and somehow his hair seems to be physically reflecting his mental state: it’s like the hair IS his depression. He is wearing his depression. And my feeling is that if I could just give him a haircut it would change his whole life…which gets me to thinking that I once wanted to give a gallery director I know a haircut to say thanks for being encouraging through a bit of a rough time. I can cut hair and he needed a haircut and I would have felt like Julie Walters in “Educating Rita”. But then he got his haircut anyway and then he got all smart and the gallery got all smart. Which just goes to show that haircuts can change things. But I guess you need to change first and then you get the haircut, which reflects the change. Which leads me to thinking. I need a trim.
Image credit: Rachel Cattle, Glitterball, 2010



2010-09-29 14:31:45
It is so cool ogasucolinkone

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