As a group of illustrators, we seldom eat any real food but survive solely on gossip.
As I assist Georgina in sticking her badges down on her much agonized over acrylic, we send Martyn out on a fact-finding mission to dig up juice on what’s going on around the gallery. Martyn being an inveterate gossip himself is only too happy to oblige.
I am happy to report that as per Martyn’s fact-finding, I am not the only clutz in our class.
Foz rushes along down a newly constructed corridor, kicks Athier’s bespoke cut, acrylic sheet and cracks it instantly. I haven’t heard any reports of tears or a nervous breakdown from Athier but what was really ironic is that:
It’s the day before the big show, someone’s final art work gets smashed, you might imagine that sympathy would abound for the poor bastard, right?
I get called every abusive name, twat, stupid idiot, general hatred for spilling coffee (and well deserved no doubt).
“Oh my god!”
Not poor Athier as you might expect but,
“Poor Foz he must feel so guilty. I feel really bad for him”
“Oh shit! Poor Foz that’s terrible”
and so on.
When I first heard this brilliant piece of information for 30 secs I thought maybe Foz kicked it out of pure rage. Maybe Athier pissed him off who can say?
Fernanda wages her wall space war, manages to win it and then cordoned off the entire area with masking tape. Athier returns from his hunt for last-minute replacement acrylic and is told he can’t get to his 2 meter space because the Pink Princess has decreed that it will and must be so.
He is reasonably cranky and annoyed. Accuses her of being inconsiderate, uncaring, not giving a fuck.
She responds in true Firecracker fashion by telling him;
– Yes she is inconsiderate so what? Fuck off
– And no she doesn’t fucking care
– Why should I fucking care about you, twat
– And lastly fuck off again (for good measure and a parting shot)
Do you remember that time when you and your sibling were perhaps on a long and tedious road trip that your parents insanely thought would be both educational and fun? (that’s what happens when you do too many drugs when you’re young: you grow up, shit out some babies and are deluded into thinking road trips are hilarious with children)
You & your sibling make invisible boundaries across the car seat. You stick one finger across the imaginary border line and shriek loudly
“Nyeh nyeh loooooo-ook what I’m doooo-ing! I’m on your siii-iiide”.
Your sibling maturely responds with
“Stay on your side or I’m telling! Moooo-ooom tell her she’s crossing my line. Stop it!! MOOOOO-OOOM!! DAAAAD! Tell her!!”
That’s pretty much what ensued in Athier and the Mexican’s little ‘show-down’. Athier started to remove Fernanda’s masking tape border purely to piss her off (and it worked like Viagra). The words in the previous paragraph only need to be marginally altered for it to sound exactly like what happened (chuck in a few swear words for absolute authenticity).
“What the fuck do you think your doing?? Don’t fucking touch my tape! I’m telling!! Stop it!! Foooooo-oooooooz! He’s removing my tape!! FOOOOOOOOOZ!! GAAAARRRRY Tell Athier!! He’s moving my tape! YOU TWAT!! I’M TELLING FOZ”
Shortly after, Gary is running along the corridor and managed to kick Athier’s new acrylic in exactly the same place as where Foz cracked the old one. Gary is luckier than Foz and this time nothing happens. (I forget to say lucky Athier too).
Gary orders Camille’s plinth to be whittled down by 7 inches without informing her. She finds out and is livid but I can’t really tell because she was mostly swearing in French (tres sexie).
Anna and I finish touching up our 3 meters and then having nothing to do run around looking for things to paint at random. Onnalin enlists us to help paint her plinths, commands us to do so-and-so, paint here paint there and then shrewdly disappears leaving us to do all of it.
Lisa brings over a buddy from Camberwell (who I vaguely recall heckling a lecturer), to assist her. Lisa and her assistant smash another one of her frames and have to go replace it (for the 3rd time).
The ghost of Alex’s portfolio is still lying around but is largely forgotten by all.
Over lunch we sit outside, the designers on one section of the pavement, the illustrators on another. There is no breaching the great divide between design and illustration.
Dan on the right, who in the two years I’ve been at college has only said to me:
“You can’t cut your frame backing with a scalpel towards you!! You’ll slice off your fingers!! Use a ruler!! I though Foz was joking when he told me about the illustrators DIY skills!!”
The gallery is massively cramped with the 87 students the course admitted. What with the endless corridors of frames and design & type cubicles it becomes a gigantic convention hall. I’m expecting at any moment someone to jump out from behind one of the walls and offer me a brochure on a cut price holiday to Tenerife.
Roderick, ever the diplomat suggests that although Anna and my sketch books are overlapping on the over crowded table there’s no need to make a fuss, it doesn’t matter we can just keep the books closed for the show.
Georgina is clutching her head in a sudden panic attack. Anna and I wisely ignore all of Roderick’s unhelpful suggestions, placate Georgina while Gary restores the peace by moving Mike and co. up onto the next table.
Some of the designers with truly anal precision had printed out accurate, half inch scale models of their space size and pictures as a pre-layout layout.
The illustrators at the other end of the spectrum, just got Roderick, Gary, Foz and Dave to hold up 4 heavy frames and yell out
“Slightly too much to the left…. more to the left now, ok to the right, less right, little more to the left, no too much too much!! Ok hold it there…….hmmmm we don’t think that works lets switch the frames around again…”
Simeon runs off to view the Queen walking down the street (or whatever) and simultaneously has a nose bleed from all the patriotic emotion.
Martyn sympathetically documents it all by taking a picture of toilet paper up Simeon’s nose instead of assisting staunching it.
Martyn and I go around checking out the rest of the course’s work and get depressed (at least I do while Martyn giggles like a loon) we (I) point at stuff we (I) like and moan
“That’s fucking depressing I hate them.”
At the end of the day we all head off to the pub (it’s an art school tradition).
We seem to be the only group that goes out drinking quite as much. As we stand outside The Mall bantering, we loudly invite the designers to join us. They stand there and just look at us, not deigning to accept our kind offer. See? this is why we sit on separate pavements at lunchtime.
After a few rounds the exhausted tutors dragged themselves off home to their wives and babies leaving us to talk about the usual filth that we always get around to after 11pm, or before 11pm or before 11am even.
Fernanda and Amalia crucify me and my bad taste in declaring the girl in the beautiful frock and allegedly fake tan, who mostly seems to stand around looking lovely, is actually very pretty. She is a fucking broomstick they say, fucking fake yellow tan broom stick (What vicious women. She is damn pretty anyway I say).
Ed has a nice little dig at me about Simeon and my coffee. He claims it a case of karmic retribution that Athier’s work was fucked by Foz since he had split emulsion over Alex’s work in the studio (Ed is oh so subtly hinting that karmic revenge on Simeon’s behalf is heading my way).
Compelling as his argument was, I argue (to defend myself more than Athier) that if you really were concerned about what happened to your work, you wouldn’t dump it on the floor to be trampled on for over a week.
Amalia and Fernanda have a heated debate with us over amateur verses regular porn. Amateur porn is an absolute outrage they say. They want professionals they say no fucking amateurs for them! They want good camera angles not a shot of some fucking flower vase or a fridge in the background. No out of focus nipple they say!! We are idiots to even suggest it!
Martyn disagrees entirely saying he loves nothing more than seeing a naked German woman in a forest with a big hat on her head pissing into a handbag (this is no amateur porn I’ve ever seen)
The pub staff start turning off the lights, then moving the chairs, then lastly sweeping up. When all hint dropping fails we are finally told to leg it and part amicably (mostly) in various directions heading for home.