The Gerrard Chronicles 1999

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Avis' Art Scene

The fabulously well-equipped Edinburgh Printmakers' Workshop


Avis took part in the Edinburgh Printmakers Show of lithographs at their splendid, Council & Scottish Arts Council-funded gallery & workshop in Union Street. Her print, The Park was in a very good position.

We visited it on January 16th (having driven up the day before) & stayed at the Osbourne Hotel nearby - good hotel, mega-dour staff! Then, we did a little tour, stopping at Inverary (Argyle Hotel - recommended) after a rainy tour of the Trossachs & Onich (Hotel Allt-nan-Ros - pretentious & overpriced - in the Scottish good food guide but would not last five minutes in Islington), getting snowed on at sea level in between. Otherwise, good views of the West Coast & Rannoch Moor, with a pleasant drive past Loch Lomond but desperate weather through the Southern Uplands. We stopped in Clitheroe (Station Hotel - clean but primitive, very) to visit Pendleton, an enchanting Pennine village where we thought that Avis' German great-grandfather lived. Later, it transpired that there is a suburb of Salford also called Pendleton & we were in the wrong Pendleton.

Above: The Pass of Glencoe
Below: The Wrong Pendleton


For a fortnight during May, Avis hired Clive Jennings' 'modern gallery' in Goodge Place in the West End for her first West End Show, called 'Andalucia & Sleeping Birds'.




Jason's Art Scene

Jason, the over-worked actor, has had another busy year. At the Piccadilly Theatre, he was in Eduardo Di Filippo's 'Filomena' with Judi Dench & also had a leading rôle in Alan Bennett's 'Kafka's Dick' there where he played Max Brod. He was in the hilarious TV drama 'Bostock's Cup' shown on Cup Final Day & spent time in Spain filming 'Sabotage', a skit on the Battle of Waterloo. As we go to press, he is rehearsing the lead rôle in Goldoni's 'The Servant of Two Masters' with the Royal Shakespeare Company for The Other Place at Stratford. This moves to the 'Young Vic' in February.The film he made with Ralph Fiennes (an old RADA colleague), 'Onegin' after Pushkin, eventually came out in November.

Caroline is in a new TV series called 'Fish' to go out next Spring, which involves her in a trip to Morocco. The kids have otherwise limited her career. It was ever thus...

Ken's Art Scene

Not much completed this year. A Symphony Opus 21 was finished in April. This is a four movement affair, with a moderato first movement, a scherzo, slow movement & rondo finale. Any other resemblance to a classical symphony is illusory.

Work in progress is a set of 9 pieces, to be called ' 9 Pieces'.

Examples of Ken's music can be found on the web.


Avis (& Ken) has been increasingly disturbed by the amount of trash put out as 'art' by the unskilled posers of Brit Art & was delighted by Professor Deanna Petherbridge's stand last year. More have joined the fray & Avis sent this letter to the Guardian:-
"Dear Editor, We are approaching another Turner Prize and once again those causing the greatest 'sensation' have been given the attention, yet there are increasing signs that responsible visual arts thinkers, practitioners and politicians are beginning to wake from the grip of Saatchi-induced hypnosis. Even before Mayor Giuliani's action over the New York exhibition and Camille Paglia's excellent article in your paper, in Britain RCA professor Deanna Petherbridge gave an erudite plea in 1998 for education and training for skill and Steve Mumberson of Middlesex University's paper to the recent Impact printmaking conference in Bristol illustrated the effect on students of seeing international attention given to a crumpled bed.
The Culture Minister acknowledged in opening the Printmakers Council exhibition at Whiteley's, Bayswater that visual arts were the most neglected area of the arts and that they consisted of more than installations. Maybe the reason for the disappearance of so many galleries is because the curators and dealers find it difficult to sell used sanitary towels even if you could prove who used them."
There are more ways to defraud the public than by selling rubbish at high prices. Avis wrote this to the Guardian, who published it:-
"Dear Editor, Now that the national archive of contemporary art has been disastrously altered by an ingenious con-man (Fakes leave art world in chaos 13/2/99), the only recourse for those in the 'well-heeled corridors' of Christies and keepers in the Tate, V&A and the ICA is to seek out those of us who are still alive, unrecorded and using skill and originality without turning attention-seeking tricks.
Printmakers pay to enter group exhibitions and abide by the judgement of their skilled peers. They then pay a hanging fee or pay for rent, framing and publicity. In their studios are the plates, inks and materials they have used and parts of editions they haven't sold. A print is difficult to fake as it indents the surface of the hand-made, water-marked paper at slightly different levels. We're waiting for you! Sincerely, Avis Saltsman Printmaker"

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Contact: Ken Baldry or Avis Saltsman, 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY Home:+44(0)207 359 6294 Studios:+44 (0)207 689 3028 or e-mail him or her
This page's URL: Last revised 30/11/1999 Copyright: Art & Science Ltd 1999 All rights reserved but print it off if you want to.