There is surely a symbiosis between the arts and civilisation. If creative endeavour, be it from the artist, the jeweller, the baker of the artisan loaf, are squeezed out then what is left other than the perfunctory? This is why it seems good to support the small independent business. I had a nice time Thursday night doing that with my sister. Firstly we ate in a small Italian restaurant whose name escapes me, but whose fare does not. Simple culinary artistry and service that is sadly dying. Then we attended an art opening in a modest creative facility that must compete for income with the commerce that is - as Blake foresaw - settling on every nearby tree.
Photographs, the genre at the exhibition, are not my passion but I left with a pair of hand-made cufflinks. For the same price I could, earlier in the day, have purchased an item of mass-produced nothingness. The one action places a little money in the hands of a creative person, the other merely adds to the bottom line of some faceless chain. William Morris urged us: “have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful". This is good advice and somehow, despite ubiquitous commerce, the brown paper bag into which our discerning purchases are placed tells us that unique items are still being created and bought in London and elsewhere.