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Alasdair Gray

Alasdair Gray &
Stuart Murray

27th October - 19th November 2006

 

Dear Stuart Murray,

This is Thursday morning. Last night Morag gave me your three bound publications and envelope of printouts of fourth. On the Street, Seven Week Filing Job, People I've Met When Working and Work (32 Post Office drawings) are very great achievements. Text and drawing perfectly balance each other. It has often been noted that if Arthur Sullivan had been a greater musician and W.S. Gilbert a finer poet, the Gilbert and Sullivan operas would never have been such splendid works of art. Had you been keener on very fine draftsmanship or fonder of writing your own social commentaries instead of reporting the words of others you would not be such a successful, Almighty Gods, spy. I wish I was rich enough to pension you to do other reports on people in hospital waiting rooms - in poor pubs and posh pubs - in Merchant City restaurants AND THE KITCHENS BEHIND THEM - in the High Court lawyers' common room - in police stations - newspaper offices - banks - estate agents - advertising agencies - the stock exchange floor (Glasgow has a stock exchange) and the council corridors. Alas, although sometimes referred to as an influential kind of chap, nobody in authority takes anything I say seriously. Fellow writers do, but they have no political power and like me are mostly family people whose erratic incomes amount annually to no more, and sometimes much less, than the national average - £19,500 for women and £24,000 for men, which sounds a fantastic lot to me who grew up in the fifties when apprentice engineers were demonstrating for a minimum £5 weekly wage, and bank clerks who earned £1000 a year thought themselves on the edge of the affluent middle class. I am sorry I can only talk on your behalf but you have the copyright of this letter, show it to anyone you like.

I see that On the Street has both an ISBN number with a tiny Glasgow City Council badge above it. Does this mean your fine survey of street beggars received some official support? I doubt if it was much, but that you got any at all is remarkable, since nowadays national and local governments and most public servants deal with the outer world - which used to be called society before Mrs Thatcher pointed out there was no such thing - through publicity offices whose only job is to announce that everything is in the best possible hands and the public need do nothing but support their bosses.

Yours truly, Alasdair Gray

 

Alasdair Gray
Alasdair Gray - Faustus In His Study (detail) (1958)

Alasdair Gray
Alasdair Gray - Faustus In His Study (1958)

Alasdair Gray - Installation Shot - Embassy Gallery
Alasdair Gray - Installation View

Alasdair Gray
Alasdair Gray - Juliet In Red Trousers (1976)

Alasdair Gray
Alasdair Gray - Night and Day Break
(2003)

 

 

Stuart Murray
Stuart Murray - 'People I've Met' Artist's Book

Stuart Murray
Stuart Murray - 'In Pubs' extract

Stuart Murray
Stuart Murray - Installation View

Stuart Murray
Stuart Murray - 'In Pubs' extract



read a review of this exhibition here