08 September 2014


It makes me so happy. To be at the beginning again, knowing almost nothing ... A door like this has cracked open five or six times since we got up on our hind legs. Its the best possible time of being alive.
Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

Photo by Kathleen Riley
Two months after first sporting my Slap Dash suit in the shade of the Burlington Arcade, en route to the Summer Exhibition, I returned to the Royal Academy to collect my painting. The pomp and ceremony and excited jostle of Varnishing Day were replaced by the quiet efficiency of a large ‘backstage’ area where, in a matter of minutes, I was handed ‘The Conductor’ carefully wrapped in RA-emblazoned plastic. Sans Slap Dash suit, but nevertheless cutting something of dash with my artwork tucked under my arm, I again made my way through the Burlington Arcade and past the gates of the RA, in my own little valedictory procession (captured on Kathleen’s iPhone), as the bells of St James’s tolled as if to announce the end of summer and the coming of Kiefer.

Photo by Kathleen Riley
It was not a sad farewell and just two days later I was rehearsing in Walworth Road for the revival of My Perfect Mind, ready as ever to set forth with Paul Hunter on the unworthy scaffold.

The Financial Times joined us one day to film excerpts and interviews for a ten-minute featurette on the show. Tomorrow night is press night at the Young Vic.

Summer may be drawing to a close but with George Eliot’s Middlemarch to keep me company on the Tube journey to Southwark and the Bard to speak each night, I might say with Eliot ‘Delicious autumn!’

Photo by EP of his Lear portrait painted in the show
(Saturday night
s edition)

Part Three of our State of the Art triptych has been slightly delayed but not forgotten. Coming soon ...


  1. I like how no one turns and looks at you with your artwork in tow. In my very provincial part of the world no one understands the easel, the paintbrush or canvas. It is an anathema.

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