john davies
notes from a small curate

    February 2005

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    Philip Absolon: Job Club
    from The Stuckists: Punk Victorian exhibition

    Of all the striking paintings in The Stuckists: Punk Victorian exhibition (blogged about here) Philip Absolon's hit me hardest. I get the impression a lot of Stuckists are well used to life on society's fringes, on the receiving end of welfare-to-work policies which just don't work for many. Absolon's pictures - many in this style and on this theme - seem born out of the awful experience of sitting in places like Job Clubs and feeling, well, skeletal, living dead.

    I don't really like the picture - it's not the sort of picture anyone would like - but I've chosen it (a) in celebration of the Stuckist ethic, grassroots creatives all, (b) in remembrance of my days on the dole which though a long way off now still sensitise me a little to the plight of those in that situation today, and (c) to mark the campaigning work of Church Action on Poverty who promote Poverty Action Sunday in February and whose campaigning work does what Absolon does, in a very different way - provokes the comfortable classes to take note of the issues.

    Other pics of the month - click here to see index