Today during a pow wow at Camelot, Farukh Akbar and myself were discussing politics and Art. I wondered if there had ever been a member of parliament who was a successful practicing artist before they became an MP? We all know that Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill were both artists, but neither of them made a living from Art before they went into politics I believe. A fact that was much to Hilter’s annoyance! Winston Churchill took solace in his painting of landscapes in quite the manner becoming of an aristocratic gentleman whilst leading the nation. What if Bob and Roberta Smith had actually succeeded in running against Michael Gove? Did he fail to win because when push came to shove people didn’t believe he was a serious prospect. Was the act of running just a performance to raise an interest in the decline of art education and not a serious effort to run for office? I can understand that the prospect of listening to hundreds of constituents moaning about pot holes and public services probably isn’t anywhere near as much fun as writing slogans in gloss paint but this doesn’t mean that artists aren’t intellectually able or capable of putting in the work involved. We all know how hard it is to make a living in the arts. Is the making of Art as opposed to Art dealing or History of Art seen as an inferior profession not worthy of serious consideration in the corridors of power or by the electorate? Arts have a lot to say about politics but can’t influence it directly it seems. I could be very wrong in this assumption please comment…….

 

Kate Mieczkowska