TLF – the future.

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  • #10635

    marlowe
    Participant

    Perhaps I am softening up in my old age but it might be fair to say that whilst I want to see his paintings I would like to hear his ideas.

    Eureka! 🙂And you can Krauser, they're there IN THE PAINTINGS!!

    #10636

    TheWolfman
    Participant

    Perhaps I am softening up in my old age but it might be fair to say that whilst I want to see his paintings I would like to hear his ideas.

    Eureka! 🙂And you can Krauser, they're there IN THE PAINTINGS!!

    I should have said 'but not necessarily at the same time'.The paintings I like are the figurative pieces and portraits all of which can be taken literally - and furthermore many of them were obviously intended as such. Even some of the project work can be viewed this way. Case in point and as good as many of the completed paintings are, the addictive behaviour works are at their base level fairly academic paintings of people holding items. The ideas behind said project might be very in depth indeed with the painted work only scratching the surface but the surface is what I am interested in. The layers are still there for all else to enjoy.

    #10637

    marlowe
    Participant

    Congratulations Krauser. I have to admit you had me fooled. I've only just realised it was a spoof all along! :-[

    #10638

    TheWolfman
    Participant

    Congratulations Krauser. I have to admit you had me fooled. I've only just realised it was a spoof all along! :-[

    I have neither the energy nor the enthusiasm for lengthy pretence but thanks for the 'compliment'.

    #10639

    billy budd
    Participant

    I presume today is the last day for questions. Francis – a few more, if I may.I am interested to know what plans you have for the Bristol exhibition and what you hope to achieve by it, over and above what was done by the Ben Uri exhibition and the other one a few years ago (can't remember now the name of the gallery) in London. Are you hoping that the 'Banksy' effect will rub off on ROL following that successful exhibition, also in Bristol? Given the logistics and 'full-time' nature of organising loans for a Lenkiewicz display (which you admit for the Bristol exhibition) I am still none the wiser about the Plymouth gallery plans. You expressed confidence in its initial phase in very general terms, but can you be more specific? As it takes time to organise exhibitions/displays, presumably there will not be much going on for several months besides what TLF has inherited. What support and plans are in place and what thoughts have you on its longer term sustainability?What role do you envision the surviving books playing in a new gallery set up? Are these being kept for sentimentality's sake as set dressing or are these the basis of a research library? If the latter option, does TLF intend to augment the collection with an acquisitions policy and budget to match? ROL's library is already near 10 years out of date, as it were, and a static collection is not of a great deal of value, particularly as much of the significant antiquarian material was sold. What are your thoughts on this? I also think ChrisK's question above is pertinent, i.e. who do you think your audience(s) are and what do you intend to do to reach them? Ultimately, aside from preserving assets, your aims and objectives need to reflect how you plan to engage people. Have you carried out audience surveys, or is the plan to throw out enough material and hope that some of it sticks?

    #10640

    TLF
    Participant

    I have no problem in keeping the thread open for a day or two if there are still relevant and intelligent questions being asked. Firstly, in reply to Chris, I can assure him that the current board of eleven trustees is absolutely united and has delegated me to speak on its behalf in this debate.So, let me first of all return to Krauser’s point as, unlike Marlowe, I think it’s significant and representative. It’s crucial to the questions raised by Krauser, Billy and Chris to remember that TLF is an educational charity. Hanging paintings on the wall isn’t in itself educational, neither is ‘marketing’ an artist and his work, nor exhibiting an embalmed corpse. TLF’s charitable status depends upon what it can deliver in educational terms. Now, I am quite prepared to accept that not everyone is going to be interested in ‘sociological and philosophical enquiry’ or even in Robert’s ‘visual means’ (i.e. academic painting) but TLF is not intending to ‘dumb down’ Robert’s interest in the human condition to attract an audience for the sake of it. In other words, it’s the content which will drive the presentation. That brings us to our perennial favourite, Diogenes. Robert saw him as the ultimate ‘memento mori’ and, within a proper and serious context, TLF has no problem with his display.Having said that about marketing, an obvious reason for a large exhibition in Bristol is that TLF firmly believes that given wider exposure, Robert’s work and ideas can communicate with people of all types: from art lovers to those who have little interest in art per se but recognise in Robert’s paintings their power to cause them to reflect at different levels upon their own experiences and existence. Apart from the RWA’s in-house marketing team, TLF hopes to utilise the knowledge of marketing professionals with whom we have already spoken. Two new trustees also have valuable expertise in this area and this is one reason we are trying to develop the breadth of skills on the board. Regarding TLF’s plans for a venue in Plymouth, I have to say that until we have finalised the premises it’s difficult to say what will be done. The plan at 25 The Parade was for two floors of gallery space with a library and archive on the top floor. This brings us to your question Billy over the books and Marlowe’s over the archive.As you know, the most comprehensive collections of books are on philosophy and art/art history. There are also smaller interesting collections on other subjects: death, fascism, religion, the occult, psychology, music, literature etc. Since the cost of space is going to be an issue, we feel that the library needs to be relevant to Robert’s themes and TLF’s educational purpose. We have discussed running courses on philosophy for instance but we need to be careful of straying too far from TLF’s remit and engaging in activities which others already cover better (and are funded to do). Again, on acquisitions, it’s a case of using finances and resources most effectively.The archive comprises of project notebooks, ‘relationship’ notebooks, exhibition records, diaries and journals, correspondence, photographs, press cuttings. Only a superficial assessment has been made at this stage, as it has been packed and placed in secure storage. We envisage the project notebooks being made available most likely as an online resource.

    #10641

    gbl
    Participant

    Hanging paintings on the wall isn’t in itself educational, neither is ‘marketing’ an artist and his work, nor exhibiting an embalmed corpse.

    #10642

    TLF
    Participant

    I take it you're still going to have to be always involved in marketing in one way or another, which is additional to your other obligations, such as maintaining charitable status.

    I suppose, speaking personally, it's a reflection of the times that for many people 'marketing' means as much to them as the essence of what you do. As I said before, this discussion was intended to debate the WHAT and the WHY, the HOW and WHO FOR come after.

    Presuming you need to come up with an idea on how to present Robert's work with the things you inherit, this will involve, for want of a better term, coming up with a 'product'. A product that will both fulfill its role for the charitable status, and also be something tangible that the public will understand (or at least, be interested enough to visit). In a nutshell, I'd say that the 'TLF team' is going to have to do some 'brainstorming' in order to come up with a 'product', which, if you like 'sells' (or appeals at least), and at the same time, fulfills its educational role.

    #10643

    marlowe
    Participant

    Already the dosser's Christmas dinner has morphed into a country house garden party for wanna be snobs, that says it all really.

    Apologies for my lack of ability to quote but posting from an iphone in this context is not easy.

    😉

    #10644

    gbl
    Participant

    Presuming you need to come up with an idea on how to present Robert's work with the things you inherit, this will involve, for want of a better term, coming up with a 'product'. A product that will both fulfill its role for the charitable status, and also be something tangible that the public will understand (or at least, be interested enough to visit). In a nutshell, I'd say that the 'TLF team' is going to have to do some 'brainstorming' in order to come up with a 'product', which, if you like 'sells' (or appeals at least), and at the same time, fulfills its educational role.

    #10645

    TLF
    Participant

    Yes, you've got the snappy title sorted out! But when it comes to having a good solid plan it seems you don't quite yet:

    Perhaps this, gbl, which has been emailed to all Friends will explain the situation in a bit more depth:

    TLF wants to hear your views:As we announced in the August newsletter, TLF is currently answering questions about the future direction of The Foundation on the discussion forum http://www.lenkiewicz.org in the thread called TLF – The Future. Judging by the number of views of the debate thread, now approaching the 1000-mark, a great many people are interested in the issues. However, it’s also apparent that just a handful of ‘regulars’ are participating in the discussion — it appears, for instance, that not a single ‘new user’ has registered to join in the debate.We realize that internet discussion forums aren’t to everyone’s taste so to give a wider audience a chance to express their opinions about the future of TLF we are inviting our Friends and newsletter subscribers (or indeed anyone) to e-mail The Foundation to express their views on the direction that the charity should take going forward. For obvious reasons, we will not be able to respond individually to each e-mail received but your views will be circulated amongst the board of trustees and taken into account.The e-mail address is info@lenkiewiczfoundation.org. Just drop us a line telling us what your priorities are with regard to the charity’s activities.Aims & ObjectivesWhy is The Foundation canvassing the views of its members and the public now? Given that the assets within the Estate were transferred to TLF on 30 June, this seemed like an ideal moment to reflect upon the mission statement of the charity. Although TLF must still await the final outcome of the Estate (and the Inland Revenue) to know how much money it will have – which will, of course, affect the scope of its activities – the size of the permanent collection is now known.The Foundation has also been recruiting new trustees to expand its range of experience and experience.All charities are required by law to periodically review the Aims & Objectives for which charitable status was awarded. They may, if they deem it necessary, seek to vary the Objectives (with permission of the Charity Commission) to better suit the charity’s present circumstances. The current Objectives (in summary) are these:(1) To advance the education of the public in aesthetic appreciation and the study of human behaviour:• By the maintenance and provision of a library containing the collection of books, writings, paintings and other artefacts of Robert Lenkiewicz: • By the education, encouragement, funding, teaching and training of artists and scholars who wish to undertake research into human behaviour or to improve their artistic or philosophical standards or tastes: • By making available reading rooms, studios and other facilities for the use and benefit of such persons: • By acquiring and preserving for the benefit of the public books, paintings, and artefacts of antiquity, rarity of significant value relevant to the study of human behaviour. (2) To provide relief to the poor, the infirm and the aged and in particular by the provision of a Christmas Day meal in the City of Plymouth.The questions which the charity must ask itself are:a) Are the current objectives achievable?b) What changes, if any, need to be made to reflect present circumstances?c) Do the present Objectives restrict the charity unduly in any new roles it wishes to pursue?The present Objectives were written in 1997, some five years prior to the artist’s death. At the time, the Charity Commission was aware that the artist was in possession of one of the finest private collections of antiquarian books on the themes of Witchcraft and the Occult – a collection deemed to be of “national importance”. The Foundation also expected to inherit upward of 700 original works of art, not including innumerable drawings. The focus of the charity’s and the Commissions’ thinking was, for obvious reasons, how to house and provide access to this vast collection. The legacy which passed to TLF on 30 June is very different. A small number of oils and a few dozen works on paper. This means that most exhibitions organized by TLF will depend upon collectors being willing to loan their paintings. And during the administration of the Estate the antiquarian library was sold by the executor to pay debts, though the modern books are almost intact. But there is also an omission from the Objectives which is so glaring it may be hard for the uninitiated to spot. Nowhere is there any provision for promoting the wider appreciation of the artists’ work! The reason for this is simple: the Charity Commission was obliged to ensure that a living artist could in no way benefit from the existence of a charity bearing his name. If for no other reason, this is clearly a time for re-appraisal.

    It's fairly obvious why it wasn't possible to make a full reassessemnt of these issues before there was some certainty over the final settlement of the estate.

    #10646

    marlowe
    Participant

    What role do you envision the surviving books playing in a new gallery set up? Are these being kept for sentimentality's sake as set dressing or are these the basis of a research library?

    If this thread is still going I'd be interested to understand what research that might be? Is there much not available in other libraries now the antiquarian books have gone?

    #10647

    gbl
    Participant

    Funnily enough, the running title for the RWA is 'Memento Mori'. Now the 'Mad Men' have hinted it could be a bit downbeat to pack in the punters...

    I'm struggling to think of an 'upbeat' title for one of Robert's exhibitions!!! Let me see, based on Robert's own exhibitions, there's: 'suicide', 'old age' 'death & whatever'....nope, can't think of any 'upbeat' theme to coin Robert's work! Perhaps when you think that 'Momento Mori' sounds like something you'd hear in a 1970's US sitcom when someone walks out the room, a guy says to a fat guy walking out following a witty exchange; "remember your mortality!" (canned laughter as he says it). As 'remember your mortality' does seem a bit 'and dont forget folks, remember your mortality' ie; it sounds like a walking-out the-door-goodbye-type line, rather than a hello-this-is-what-the-exhibition-is-about-type line! (hope that makes sense!).But seriously, I suggested 'death' as it tends to broadly encompass most of the work ROL did, so in that respect it would be quite versatile. But as I write, I can't really think of a cheerful

    #10648

    gbl
    Participant

    What role do you envision the surviving books playing in a new gallery set up? Are these being kept for sentimentality's sake as set dressing or are these the basis of a research library?

    If this thread is still going I'd be interested to understand what research that might be? Is there much not available in other libraries now the antiquarian books have gone?

    ...Probably mainly art students doing their essays! But then, don't they just all use Wikipedia these days, and google stuff?....Hey, now there's an idea to solve the library premises dilema - a Lenkipedia website!

    #10649

    TLF
    Participant

    But seriously, I suggested 'death' as it tends to broadly encompass most of the work ROL did, so in that respect it would be quite versatile.

    Exactly, gbl!

    Perhaps when you think that 'Momento Mori' sounds like something you'd hear in a 1970's US sitcom when someone walks out the room, a guy says to a fat guy walking out following a witty exchange; "remember your mortality!" (canned laughter as he says it).

    Alternatively, as wikipedia says, 'the phrase has a tradition in art that dates back to antiquity'.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memento_mori

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