Ken Bolton
Head Supernumerary



In the 14, 15th &

16th centuries it was

all happening in Italy

artistically tho by the 17th

other countries had joined in.

By the 18th

Italy was definitely off the pace.

Still, I happen to think Tiepolo

was a major artist

tho employed mostly

by palace owners

to fill space -

before the invention in our own time

of the smoke machine

that so readily solved this problem -

for disco proprietors, rave

parties etcetera. In the last week of

third year old Bernard

pulled out all the stops

in the lecture on Tiepolo. I was there.

Not alone, but almost.

(Others were at home, preparing

for exams, finishing

last, overdue essays.) Like Professor Smith's

lecture that no one heard

Tiepolo was designed

not to be looked at.

Like the smoke the machine

pumps out: billowing cloud

… some armour … flesh &

garments - the suggestion of

excitement - that no one buys -

least of all

the lonely type,

who can't dance

& stands, staring into

a corner

at a trick of the light.

Tiepolo's Three Angels Appearing

To Abraham in the Venice Accademia

is like that. He is the dud guy

bottom left - kneeling, dirty feet,

beard. The angels, thin limbed,

glamorous, surf up

on their rubber dinghy of cloud -

& look down incuriously -

except to remark, perhaps,

the dirt - & vouschafe a glimpse of

beauty - a limb dangled

Abe's way, silhouetted against cloud.

As if to say,

You can go home now,

Abe, patron-at-disco, better not

to wait for more.

You've been catered for -

it costs a lot,

but they've got everything here.

Here today, gone tomorrow.

Which doesn't solve your problem.