On last week’s Culture Show, Tom Dyckhoff decided to fly the flag for that ancient construction, the tent, actually the oldest structure of mankind. Originally, “we” draped animal skins over (mammoth?) bones. These structures later developed into the elegant yurt and the majestic tepee. With Glastonbury approaching, Dyckhoff punched the air for eco-friendliness and portability in matters of accommodation. The plus points of the tent are myriad. In less developed societies, tents are made of the detritus of everyday life; wooden poles, animal skins and pieces of felt. Tents can be erected and dismantled with the minimum of disruption to the environment. Tent dwellers own the minimum of possessions and are less likely to be the carbon guzzlers of this earth...the pluses just go on and on.
During the course of the broadcast, Dyckhoff became so excited, that he seemed to be positing the tent as the answer to all of our housing ills. For a brief moment in time, I almost agreed with him. Then, I remembered those intractable human habits of having to wash and use the loo, of needing gas and electricity for eating, heating and lighting and of simply and stubbornly wanting to settle down and in one place – and how dare we. But even if we could get over all of this, it is my guess that it would not make a darned bit of difference to the shortage of affordable housing. If tent chic caught on, this form of accommodation would become every bit as exclusive and expensive as the house, the flat and the garden shed. Just imagine what the billboards might say: - exclusive new tent development - Field of the Cloth of Gold – view our show tent today – from £1,000,000 for a two-compartment tent...what do you think?
The idea for a book combining colour theory and Greek mythology, which has always held my fascination, occurred to me just over two years ago.I have now launched Mythical Colouring. The majority of colouring books provide colour enthusiasts with patterns for essays into pure colour. However, even imagination requires a helping hand when matching and contrasting shades. The introductory notes and the guidelines that accompany every story serve as a springboard for the aspiring colourist.
Each story consists of two images, an A4-sized image and a smaller – though enlarged - detail from that image. Many enthusiasts may prefer to experiment on this detail before moving on to the full-sized picture. I have also provided blank squares at the outset of the book for pure colour experimentation.
Beginning with the story of a prehistoric deluge, the reader is taken through a montage of scenes from the lexicon of Greek mythology that include the pastoral worlds of Hyperion and Endymion, to the subterranean realm of Medea and the adventures of Hercules. In the accompanying guidelines, I explain how to attain the requisite atmosphere through the use of colour, and reminding the enthusiast that he or she is free to experiment.