I hadn’t realised quite how timely and topical my rant, Painting a sobering picture. What does the future hold for art education, art schools, and artists in the UK?, was until I read this article in The Guardian by Sean O’Hagan yesterday,
A working-class hero is something to be … but not in Britain’s posh culture.
“British culture was once open to ‘messy kids’ from secondary moderns. But if you want to make it in 21st century Britain, you’d best have a cut-glass accent and public school pedigree.”
Difficult to feel optimistic. Just hope and pray (not entirely sure who to) that there are politicians out there ready to reform before it’s too late, and the arts are, once again, the exclusive, unbalanced, elitist (and skewed with it), domain of the signet ring brigade. Let’s not allow the hard work of the last few generations to be unpicked. Let’s aspire to equal opportunities, that’s what makes Britain rich in the long run. The arts must be accessible to all, on every level. Just look to the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic games to see why – the arts are an intrinsic part of our make-up in the UK, and they’re such an enormous part of what makes Britain Great.