Photo: Gavin Weber. Copyright Simon Faithfull. As a writer, activist, mystic and summer sea dipper, I was very pleased this week to begin a fascinating new job: Artist-in-Residence for Fabrica Gallery, responding to the Simon Faithfull exhibition REEF. In a work that combines sculpture, video, eco-art, and installation, Faithfull salvaged and rebuilt an old boat, then deliberately sank the vessel in order to record it gradually becoming an ocean reef. My role is to engage audiences with the themes of the exhibition, ‘working with ideas of the sea as a metaphor for emotion, the imagination and psychological space.’  Concerned as I am with the complex relationship between psychology, politics and spirituality, I have taken the concept of ‘sea change’ as my central creative current; and the tempestuous blue planet Neptune as my guiding star. I will be blogging for the gallery – in a meta-hyper-blog moment, I direct you…

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                In an age when a football commentator can – quite rightly – be fired for making racist remarks, I wonder why Brian Sewell is still allowed to publish art criticism. Sewell believes that ‘only men are capable of aesthetic greatness’, and argues that women can’t paint because they can’t drive . . . I first heard that quote when I was taking driving lessons from a woman who could parallel park with one hand. (She had two arms, she just didn’t need both of them to swerve neatly backwards into the shortest possible curb space.) Sewell’s comments discredit only his own abilities, his reasoning as faulty and archaic as Aristotle’s, who relegated women to second-class citizenship on the basis of a confused assortment of falsehoods, including the claim that we have fewer teeth than men. That Sewell’s ignorant misogyny is allowed to…

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