Towards Better Democracy

Good words, well written, better the world. Good literature betters the world immeasurably.

The Artist and His Heritages


There are two heritages: the Personal and the Cultural

The Personal Heritage

Having begun reading books from the age of four onwards and having a reading habit where reading was conducted on a daily basis from bedtime until 04.00 am in the morning for decades, one accumulates a vast amount of works having been read. The quality of this reading has aways been of the classics and world’s best authors, the variety and range does not allow any kind of listing and it would be invidious to do so.

The house in Edinburgh where the artists grew up in was occupied by a father who was deeply, deeply scholarly and worked on his scholar projects every day for long hours deep into the night. The range of subjects varied across the various precuccujations that he had. Within a short space an injustice is performed to try to cover that range. Suffice to say that he possessed 30,000 books. You may need to read that figure again. Growing up in that house was a particularly formative experience. At the core of this is the centrality of Attic Greek culture and their importance based on their own merit and the importance that that culture plays in our own: our present way of life is indivisible from our Greek Heritage. There is not overstating the importance of what those Ancients have bestowed upon us, the vast range of gifts we are the possessors of, given by them. The vast majority of people around us are unaware, maybe even completely unaware of just how deep and vast this Heritage is. But some of us know. Some of us are aware. Only education gives this knowledge. That knowledge begins with Plato and Aristotle, authors who admittedly are not for everyone.

There is one important factor to mention which ruled on how the artist was going to lead his life on leaving the parental home. The scholar father never earned a penny in his life from the point where he was fired from his job as the Private Librarian to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The reasons for his being fired need not detain us here, nor the fact that the income he drew from the position allow us to live the very best part of Edinburgh, 13 Rothesay Terrace. That story has no place here. The result was the the family, the Munro family of which he was the head, went overnight from being rich to complete and utter poverty, with the added proviso that the poverty was genteel, that is to say, we had a home, a secure one, his mother. Food on the table was the only necessity required. However, books came first. Hunger being less important than knowledge.

The author writing is of the cast of mind that he be a self standing, self supporting person. That, on leaving home, he select a career, a profession that allowed him to lead a live which gave a good income and allowed  a fully functioning life to be led in the public realm, rather than being tucked at home all day long poring over books.

In June of 1964, the artist approached his father to obtain permission to attend an interview with what was then the British Aircraft Corporation, now BAE Systems, in Warton, Lancashire.

“Didn’t you think I had plans for you. I thought you might become a scholar.”

On the thirty-first of December, 1973, the artist left the United Kingdom and went to live in South Africa.

The Cultural Heritage

Since that time, until February, 2015, when the artist left his career as an engineer, he spent every hour outside his engineering duties studying a wide range of subjects and engaging in a multiplicity of activities, all of them arts or humanities oriented, which have led to, as of this writing, a deeply, deeply enculturated person.

In December, 2016, the artist began to pursue what he had, and has, always wanted to do: be an artist. There is a person not so far mentioned and that is the artist’s mother. The artist’s mother was a person who, in words written elsewhere, “dripped art,” but who was never given an opportunity to realise herself as one. That really is my personal heritatge.

The writing of this piece marks the stepping of the artist into the professional world of the creating of art works. With this background and given the quality of the work, the artist is well qualified to do so.

Malcolm D B Munro
Saturday 18 August, 2018
Copyright the artist. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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