Art in Action


Mmmm. Day off.

Mr. Bsag and I went to visit Art in Action at Waterperry — a visual arts event and show which has been running for 26 years. In a total contrast to the Summer Exhibition last weekend, Art in Action is a vibrant, exciting event. All kinds of artists and craftspeople attend, many of them demonstrating their art (hence the title), and there are workshops where you can have a go at something yourself.

Some of the artists are fascinating people in their own right. Ed Iglehart (a glass blower) has apparently become a bit of an institution there, and delivers an almost continuous monologue on Life, the Universe and Glass Blowing, taking in such diverse and interesting topics as the concept of the 'paperless office', the Tau of sailing and the nature of skill.

I've always loved watching other people work, but it really is a treat to see skilled artists and craftspeople — relaxed but focused — doing what they do best. Every single movement is smoothed and polished by years of experience into an efficient and fluent motion. It's almost like watching a dance. As Ed put it:

"The easiest way to do something is almost always the best way to do it."

This reminded me of something an artist in another field said: Larry Wall (creator of the programming language Perl) claims that laziness is a virtue, because it encourages creativity. I think that there's something in that.