There are times when I do wish I had Worzel Gummidge's unique ability to swap his head whenever the need arises. Instead, I've only managed to acquire his passion for cake.
Writing both serious art historical books and satirical fiction at the same time isn't difficult in itself. I start work on a book and slip into the right frame of mind, and if I'm working on more than one project at a time I just pop back and forth. The problems only arise when I am speaking to people about my work. Now, I don't know who's responsible for this, but there is an unwritten law, apparently, that requires art historians to be serious... and to a certain extent boring in company. Well, I may be frighteningly serious when I'm writing, or just plain frightening (my husband is nodding so this must be true), but in conversation I am far from it. As I have a whole range of emotions at my disposal, I see no need to remain in a serious frame of mind when I'm not engaged in serious work (I reserve extensive frowning for when I'm cleaning the toilet), and I would prefer not to cultivate the art of being boring (if I change my mind I'm sure that Pat Guppy would coach me in this regard, as she's an expert, ha ha!).
When I visit a museum or art gallery, I smile at paintings. I've been known to talk to them, laugh aloud at them, and exclaim that I would really like to poke them. I get excited, I giggle, and sometimes I skip a bit... I reserve dancing for department stores and the banks of the Seine. During my visit to the National Gallery, I could be heard singing songs from the Muppet Show every now and then, although rather quietly as I don't know all of the words.
Still, I have been informed that I would be better off being more 'arty' (I can't find a definition of that word that fits the description given by my advisor... Oxford has let me down) and serious when in company. And this is where the head-swapping comes into play. I need one that is just the right amount of serious, peppered with a dash of pomposity, and infused with the ability to bore coma patients. Am I being sarcastic? Is there any doubt? Heck, I would rather paint my bottom pink and moon at the Queen than give up humming 'I'm just a little black rain cloud' whilst perusing a selection of Van Eycks!
Causes Gina Collia-Suzuki Supports
The World Wildlife Fund
Cancer Research UK