Coales' Notes: Taking art to the streets

MONDAY: I have hardly dared go out all weekend. Dave Curley called, still convinced that an underground arts festival is under way. I said to him: 'Now look, Mr Curley - please believe me when I assure you that there is no art anywhere in this city. It's actually the situation that you, as arts correspondent of the Herald, have been trying to bring about for 10 years. And now your dream's come true. So why can't you just be grateful?' He said: 'You may say that, Gordon. But it's not what it says in my article.'

TUESDAY: Fiona had the utter nerve to ring me today. 'What we have done, Gordon - with your help of course - is to mobilise a wider interest in the arts than we have ever done before. People are now actually looking. And now nobody will be able to say that this city doesn't need an arts centre. Have you seen the paper?' At that stage, I had not.

ART FEVER SPREADS

THROUGH CITY

'Art fever gripped the city centre over the weekend, as rumours spread that a city-wide arts festival had been spontaneously organised by staff from the suspended Wormwood Centre. But with reports that dozens of artists and works of art were arriving in town, the message from residents and tradesmen alike was simple but resounding - 'No way]'

'Workmen repairing Folsom Street were closely questioned about a row of bollards which a local art-spotter described as 'suspiciously regular'. On Saturday night, several people were ejected from the Rabbit and Firkin pub for singing too well. And, in a serious incident, an out-of-order telephone box was removed from outside the Co- op . . .'

And so on. It is a very confused report, and presumably much exaggerated. Moreover, one must suspect that a purely hooligan element has taken it as an opportunity to inflict gratuitous damage on property under the guise of iconoclastic zeal.

All in all, a disgraceful series of incidents. But perhaps the most staggering thing is the placing of this article - third item on Page 1. I don't believe the Herald has ever given such prominence to an arts story before.

The lead item was devoted to the cracking of the local fraud ring, of which - it now emerges - our Terry was only a minor if very active member. It looks as if the Centre got off lightly. I am, of course, entirely innocent, but it strikes me that it may have serious repercussions for my future employability. I never want to hear the word 'entrepreneur' again.

WEDNESDAY: So, basically, one has to face the facts. That's it. We're finished. As I said to Rowena this evening, we're only waiting now for the Leisure Committee to put on its collective black cap and pronounce sentence. She asked if I had heard anything more from Alan. Naturally not. And besides, on reflection, how could he realistically have been offering me a job? The man is an artist.

THURSDAY: Today I got a call from someone whose name I didn't quite catch. He had the kind of voice that I can only describe as 'commercial' - one of Terry's confederates, I supposed. I asked him what his business was. He said: 'You may have heard of me. I believe we have a mutual acquaintance.' I told him to stop right there. I didn't want to know anything more about it. I was now going to put the phone down. And if he tried to contact me again, I would feel obliged to inform the police. I cannot afford to be sucked back into this maelstrom.

FRIDAY: Well, good news at last, tempered by a little embarrassment. Alan has rung.

I told him how delightful it was to hear his voice again, terribly sorry to have been so insulting on the last occasion, under a lot of pressure, all meant in good part etc.

He said: 'Now you are still definitely looking for a job, right?' I said definitely, now more than ever, in fact.

He went on: 'Well, I hope you don't mind, I gave your name to a friend of mine in London.'

I said (in some excitement) no, not a bit - and if this friend wanted to ring me at any time, I would be only too happy to speak to him or her.

Alan said: 'I see. Because he already has. But he was a bit thrown by you threatening him with the police.'

I explained that I was still under a tremendous amount of pressure, but hoped that he would feel able to try me again. Alan thought it was best if I got the details from the horse's mouth, but I gathered that his friend had some kind of 'arts- entrepreneurship thing' going, which would, of course, be of great interest to me, though I seem (once more) not to have caught the man's name.

I am furious that the dustbin I keep my coal in has been removed by someone. I can only presume that this is because it had painted on it the words: 'This is not a dustbin.'

Arts and Entertainment
'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tvReview: Bread-making skills of the Bake Off hopefuls put to the test
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Cliff Richard performs at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on 17 May 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Educating the East End returns to Channel 4 this autumn

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush

music
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Mark Crown, DJ Locksmith and Amir Amor of Rudimental performing on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park, Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Capaldi and Chris Addison star in political comedy The Thick of IT

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judy Murray said she

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Seoul singer G-Dragon could lead the invasion as South Korea has its sights set on Western markets
music
Arts and Entertainment
Gary Lineker at the UK Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Bale as Batman in a scene from
film
Arts and Entertainment
Johhny Cash in 1969
musicDyess Colony, where singer grew up in Depression-era Arkansas, opens to the public
Arts and Entertainment
Army dreamers: Randy Couture, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and Jason Statham
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tvReview: It's not going to set the comedy world alight but it's a gentle evening watch
Arts and Entertainment
Umar Ahmed and Kiran Sonia Sawar in ‘My Name Is...’
Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
This year's Big Brother champion Helen Wood
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Full company in Ustinov's Studio's Bad Jews
Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Harari Guido photographed Kate Bush over the course of 11 years
Music
Arts and Entertainment
Reviews have not been good for Jonathan Liebesman’s take on the much loved eighties cartoon
Film

A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend

Arts and Entertainment
Untwitterably yours: Singer Morrissey has said he doesn't have a twitter account
Music

A statement was published on his fansite, True To You, following release of new album

Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

    Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

    Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home