To Hull and Back - The Turner Prize

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Last week was a slow week for art news. Sure there were some huge sellers at Christie's in New York, and no doubt some bizarre buying activity from the worlds wealthiest collectors globally, but generally nothing apart from the prices really stood out this week. Maybe I wasn't looking for the right stories, but from what I could see, at least the beginning of this week was a little barren of news worthy of a major mention. I think the press call it a slow news week.


Things started to pick up on Wednesday, and a little more on Thursday. Finally it seems, some news is starting to trickle on to the interweb, and some of it actually caught my eye. Talking of catching my eye, I took a week off work this week, I had lots of places to be, lots of jobs to do, and it's the half term school holidays in the UK. Some of my week has thus far been spent sorting out Lego into individual colours and sizes, going out for lunch, and finally snuggling up to my pillow with a hot chocolate and some Netflix.


Pretty sure I mentioned that my pillow starts having trust issues if my head doesn't reach it by 9:30pm. It gets lonely, and I'm clearly not getting any younger. Seems five minutes ago when I could get by on 4-hours of sleep and be bright eyed the next morning. Not any more it seems. Now I'm aiming to get a solid 8-hours a night, but usually my pillow wakes me after exactly 6 hours and 34 minutes every morning. I'm assuming it has had enough of my by then, or its communicating with my body clock. 6 hours and exactly 34 minutes. It's almost freaky. I even timed my sleep with an app. Exactly 6 hours and 34 minutes. Night, after night, after night.


I also managed to spend some time on Pinterest this week. I went on each time for just five minutes, and over an hour later I'm still looking at the millions of ways a mason jar can be used. I had no idea that you could turn them into a mini indoor greenhouse, or that some people have a larger variant and pop in a couple of Goldfish.


I post all of my work on this platform, and I probably have more than enough followers to start a small cult. But what do I find? I find that I get the most repins from funny cat pictures, memes, and anything that has a pink background with a sarcastic remark nearly typed. Last week I had almost 2000 repins. 35 were of my works, the rest it seems featured a motivational penguin, a grumpy cat, or a snail on the back of a tortoise asking him to slow down because he's going to get us killed. Clearly my new strategy should be to produce an artistic version of a Meme. Talking of which...


A gentleman by the name of Richard Prince has allegedly mined that other social platform, Instagram for photos and then went on to sell the prints. Prince’s image of Doe Deere, for example, sold for $90,000 during the Frieze New York V.I.P. preview. Now if someone wants to make $90,000 from my prints, that's fine. Just so long as I get the bigger cut.


Also I need some additional exposure at the moment, I have a vacation on board a cruise ship coming up so I need to save up for some excursions, probably to churches. I think I mentioned this before. Every shore excursion I've ever been on when vacationing on a cruise ship has always involved a visit to a church, followed by a wine tasting session. Awesome, because I don't drink and other than shore excursions, I'm not a regular churchgoer, although I do go sometimes which is better than never right?


The other news this week was that Hull, a place in Yorkshire famous for the Humber Bridge and I'm sure a lot of other things is to host the Turner Prize in 2017. If you've never heard of the Turner Prize, it's one of the biggest events in British art.


The contemporary art award and corresponding exhibition will be staged at the city's Ferens art gallery. It is the first event to be announced for Hull's City of Culture year. The gallery will get a £4.5m facelift to bring it up to the required standards. The prize is held outside London biennially, with Glasgow playing host this year. I will be planning a trip to London next year to visit the event, and if all goes to plan, I will try to get to Hull in 2017 as it is only a couple of hours away by car from where I live.


In other news, a priceless collection of ancient Roman and other artefacts, once stolen, was returned to Italy this week after a trans-Atlantic investigation into stolen or looted treasures which were being sold to universities, museums and private collectors in the United States. The hoard included three fragments of first century AD frescoes from Pompeii, the ancient Roman city which was buried by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in AD 79, as well as ancient Greek vases known as kraters, Etruscan pots, and bronze figurines.



So, despite a slow start to the week, some pretty interesting news all told. I have always had a fascination with art heists. Not that I would ever pull one off myself, but I always find it completely unfathomable how these things are pulled off, and pieces sold to museums. I have had the pleasure a couple of times to assist validating artworks prior to purchase, I can only imagine that similar processes are carried out by all museums of any worth.


I think I've said it before though, if a museum puts a piece on display to later find out it was stolen, it's probably much better for the museum to quietly handle things behind the scenes with the authorities than to openly admit something that could be hugely embarrassing.


So that's all for today, but I will be publishing two more blog posts this weekend. Let's hope that there's some great art news over the next 24-hours. If there is, I will find it and report it back here! If you have a story then please leave a comment below or get in touch using the contact form at the bottom of the page!


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