13 August 1980
In the seventies I decided against being an expert. My expertise in a wide range of subjects, economies, places to visit, raising children, hot house plants and so on was acquired by anxiously reading the Sunday papers and following up with recommended paperback books many of which I read entirely. The search was for the Underlying Structures and altogether for the General Plan leading Progressively to the Inevitable Utopia, which was nice to think about. However, I was confused as authorities reversed one another's theories and often their own. I could not find the Plan, the Structures seemed to be fictions of varying persuasiveness. Nothing was ineluctable in the seventies.
Being worldly was harming my self-confidence so I stopped trying to see which way the wind was blowing and instead to make some silence around myself in order to discover whether there was anything outside. This inside was also a fiction but my own.
Having decided that henceforth the sun should revolve around me without any astronomical or cosmological disaster resulting I settled into a cosy megalomania. This has advantages. Explanation becomes irrelevant, as do excuses and protestation. Desire would be for the wrong thing. Rage separates, floating in a balloon. Energy remains for better listening to the inside. Is there honesty without egoism? From my dais in the mud I shall reorganise everything.
Victor Willing, 10 The Pryors, East Heath Road, London NW3
Paula Rego – interview: ‘I’m interested in seeing things from the underdog’s perspective. Usually that’s a female perspective’
From criticism of dictatorship in her native Portugal in the 60s to the 90s abortion series and Dog Women, Paula Rego’s subjects are as relevant today as ever. As Obedience and Defiance, her first UK retrospective in two decades, opens, she talks about her work and what inspires her
Ron Mueck: Sculptures at the National Galleries of Scotland
The National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh, in the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA), has mounted a superb exhibition which, for the most part of the festival period, has adjoined the fine exhibition on the work of the late 16th-century miniature painter Adam Elsheimer
Pallant House Gallery, Chichester
Pallant House Gallery, which opened on 1 July 2006 in the centre of Chichester, is a dramatic conjunction of old and new - dramatic, that is, internally. From the exterior, as approached from the town, a seamless joining has been achieved by the architects with great dexterity and carefully calculated understatement.