Opened a ceramics exhibition at the excellent Kasino Gallery the other day - all v. serious stuff and some fairly big names, a couple of whom I know quite well (and like a lot).
"Don't expect any arty-farty stuff" I said "You know me better than to expect that"
"No, no" chimed the girls (Sandra Nitz, Petra Bittl et al)in chorus "It'll be REFRESHING not to have any arty-farty stuff"
So I talked (to a seriously arty-farty audience) about finding your own wavelength when it comes to ceramics.
Frequently, there's an instant empathy between the viewer and the object, but it mostly takes time (years, even) to tune your aesthetic antennas to recognise the superb from the merely excellent.
(There's a nice story that Karl Scheid, 80 years old and one of the true greats of German ceramics, told me last year. He was at an exhibition many years ago with his friend and gallery owner, Henry Rothschild, and was surprised that Henry didn't buy a pot he was admiring.
Henry said "Yes, it's a fine pot, but it didn't say "Henry" to me...")
I said that it's like tuning an old-fashioned radio - you spin the dial and hear snippets of programs and then stop on a station that sounds interesting and listen a bit more.
"Pink Floyd" I said "The introduction to "Wish you were here" illustrates it perfectly"
They all - EVERYONE (and it was a sizeable audience) - looked at me as if I was trying to explain quantum mechanics through yodeling.
So I had to EXPLAIN it to them - fragments of music and talk, a BBC Radio 4 discussion, a snippet from Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony (they woke up at that...) and then the distant and distorted first notes of the acoustic guitar as it leads into the song.
Now, I KNOW that I'm not your average geriatric, but I thought that EVERYONE knows that song.
Or that they'd at least HEARD of Pink Floyd.
I was in fact tempted to take along my vinyl and get the soundboard man to play a cut at the appropriate time.
Good thing I didn't.
I'm convinced they would have fled the room, screaming.
Which would have been guaranteed if he'd spun the Kinks' "Around the dial"......
(Did you see me on the TV by any chance? Talk about a media star.....)