The Cultural Relevance of The Pearl Necklace (Tales From Filching-under-Luddley, part 1)

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Revenge

As the long nights drew in and then drew out again, the ‘bottle of Greed’, now nothing more than a hazy yet somewhat expensive memory, lay undisturbed. A more pressing concern now consumed me. In my haste, whilst creating ‘bottled Revenge’, I had misguidedly seen fit to use my own hair and clothing to produce the wax effigy, all silly superstitious fears had been pushed aside as I dispassionately pierced the effigy of myself with pins. My bravado may have been misplaced because since the creation of ‘bottled Revenge’ I had unwittingly become the initiator of a series of social blunders leaving those around me, hurt, betrayed, confused and perhaps a bit cross. I began to feel that I had been possessed by a demented demon hell bent on malevolent mayhem.
A fine example of this was my first foray into ‘Bottled People’ (a new and exciting concept at www.wonky-words.com) and involved my best friend, Jules. My brief was to bottle her essence, to create a bottled representation of her character, of her soul, of her very being; to produce an object that reflected her innate charm, poise and sophistication. The pearl necklace bursting through the neck of her bottle is obviously symbolic of her sparkling, frothy personality, an idea conceived in what I believe was a moment pure unadulterated artistic genius.
Jules, inexplicably, didn’t see it this way.
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Bottled Jules

first published 2 February 2007

Newspaper Extract 09/03/2025

. . . had left misleading, often completely meaningless clues via her website. These included visual clues, whereby bottles would be photographed in unusual places, the most daring of which was ‘Bottled Flight’, whereby a bottle containing three large eggs rests precariously within a bird’s nest, 60ft aloft. Other clues were encoded within quotations and in a fictional story about village life. It is still unknown as to whether ‘Bottled Greed’ actually exists, indeed some remain sceptical as to whether Scarlet Blue actually exists, but an understanding of her work leads one to believe that the possibility of ‘Bottled Greed’ existing is highly likely . . . .

18 January 2007

Money Speaks….

“Money speaks sense in a language all nations understand” – Aphra Behn (1640 – 1689)

“The whole is more than the sum of the parts” – Aristotle (384 – 322 B.C)

“O what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive” – Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832)

“It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations” – Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

30 December 2006

The Big Idea (Tales from Luddley-cum-Mogwash part 5)

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Greed

As Sebastian sat huddled in the bus shelter, drowning his sorrows in a bottle of Campari, hiding from marauding Mogwashian Mimers; Moonchild Etherington-Smythe was conversing with her ironing board and was expressing ironing boardness onto canvas. As Taramind Dewhurst took delivery of twelve pink sponges decorated with assorted plugs and plugholes and puzzled over the instability of representation; I was sitting at my kitchen table next to an ancient Rayburn, in my cosy country kitchen designing a website as an exhibition space for my bottles.

Although viewing life from different perspectives, what Sebastian, Moonchild, Taramind and myself all shared was belief in our own personal vision. At long last I had conceived what I considered to be ‘The Big Idea’. In my hands I held a glittering bottle, a smorgasbord of treasured trinkets, a bottle filled with priceless family heirlooms. This was a bottle of ‘Greed’. It was time (1.05am) to hide this bottle within the vicinity of Luddley-cum-Mogwash . . . time to put my cunning plan into action . . . of course it’d been done before, but what the hell . . .

Overwhelmed with gleeful delight at my sheer brilliance, I buried the bottle of Greed. It was sometime later that the fatal flaw, or to be more precise, flaws in my plan became apparent to me. In my excitement I had neglected to tell anyone of my fiendish scheme, furthermore, even if I had, I had left no indication as to how the bottle could be located. I hung my head in shame, how could I have been so stupid?

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Greed

And so was born the cunning plan within the cunning plan. Via my excellent website www.wonky-words.com I would leave my faithful loyal viewers a series of ingenious clues, engaging them in a fascinating, insightful, often informative, and some might say challenging journey, which would eventually lead to the ultimate reward, the bottle of Greed . . .

29 November 2006

Christian Boltanski

“For me the most interesting period is the one in which the spectators are not yet aware that what they are experiencing is art. During this moment – which is relatively short – you can engage spectators by presenting them with something that is art without saying that it is art. But very soon they realise that it’s art, complacency sets in, and all they see is an outer form. That’s also quite sad, because out of all you’ve created, the only thing left is the outer form. Everything you’re trying to say disappears.”

Christian Boltanski From Art Actual Skira Annuel. Geneva: Skira, 1975 pp.146-148

The Cultural Relevance of Pot Noodle (A moment of self doubt)

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Pain

My attempts to curry favour with gallery owners and curators are best described as ill advised moments of insanity. Possibly for personal amusement, Taramind Dewhurst, the Chloe clad, immaculately groomed curator of ‘The Onion’ gallery, sacrificed some time to see me.

Ushering me towards a vast fibreglass sculpture of what appeared to be a rabid representation of a cat in decline, Taramind purred, “It’s sublime isn’t it? Such a poignant reference to the transient quality of life and the finality of death in such an inescapable way”.

I adopted what I considered to be a knowledgeable pose and nodded sagely. Tracing a finger across the belly of the cat, Taramind turned to me, a smile playing on her glossy lips, “So tell me about your bottles”.

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Misery. Time to hit the bottle and get smashed.

I managed to cobble together a stuttering of words relating to semiotics, structuralism and of my position within popular culture, but I knew I was out of my depth. Taramind gazed at me, slightly flirtatiously, but with just about the right amount of derision to ensure the onset of an anxiety attack.

Sometime later, whilst recovering in my car it occurred to me that if Picasso was a culinary four course extravaganza, served in only the best restaurants in town, then I was the artistic equivalent of Pot Noodle, a grubby secret, instantly gratifying but leaving no lasting impression. I recognised my place in the food chain, something had to be done and so began the machinations of my masterplan.

17 November 2006