After spending an evening with the dilettante society, I’ve realised that I’m probably more of a fop (I was going to say dandy but I don’t think that I’m well-dressed enough to qualify) On Saturday at The Lofthouse, the society held their third “Stop Pretending Art Is Hard” event – since I’m not great at drawing, I never thought that I was pretending.
The whole thing was a night of performance poetry, cross-dressing singers and arts and crafts, with all of the materials provided. What could easily have become pretentious and avant garde was saved by a sense of fun. There was face-painting, dressing up boxes, complete your own magazine (including space for a “blind” self-portrait and for writing your own manifesto) and a random alter-ego generator.
There were a ride range of poems from ones about Stan Bowles to ones about Morrisey’s haircut. Each of the half dozen poets were really good. As a singer, I’m always impressed by anyone who will get up and perform in front of a room full of strangers without any backing. Finishing the evening was the very good Stacy McMullen with her acoustic guitar.
If I had one slight complaint, it was the structure of the evening felt a little off balance – there was one poet performing just one poem followed by a 30 minute break. Then four more poets straight after each other, then another break, then the last poet and the singer. Plus, I would have liked to have heard Stacy do more than three songs.
But these are minor quibbles. While I do still think that drawin’ and paintin’ are hard, there is more to art than that and the dilettantes are right – it isn’t hard. For information on future dilettante society events, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thedilettantesociety/
By Gav Squires