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Letter from Barry Brickell - December, 2014

by Barry Brickell

I am not into all this Chrismassey stuff - it has lost its original meaning, the annual celebration of Christ's birth, celebrated by most Christian Churches on 25 December, marked by present giving, family reunions, eating and drinking.  My reason for running away from modern day Christmas Day is because it has become so commercialised.  Gifting, drinking and eating has become a 'godsend' to commercial interests, hell-bent on capitalising on peoples' gullability.  This is why I refuse to buy Christmas presents.  Instead, I prefer to make them an expression of my natural generosity towards children in particular, who need love and respect rather than cheap entertainment.  I see no need to give Christmas presents to adults.  There is no biblical evidence of the date of Jesus' birth.  The date of Christmas Day may have been chosen to facilitate the conversion of followers of older religious, many of which held pagan festivals around this time, celebrating the winter solstice, (adapted from the Oxford Reference Dictionary).  So, I make pots or do drawings originating from my own heart as Christmas presents to those whom I feel may value them;  a form of communication without words and money.  Art is personal, well beyond money.  So, on Christmas Day there is a chance to give kindly of yourself.  What a huge amount of packaging and material pollution this would save!

Rod McLeod has spent the last week setting up the next exhibition in our Driving Creek Art Gallery.  It is stunning with a display of my recently acquired works, many with gutsy flourishes of paint as well as more considered expressions within NZ contemporary art.  The opening coincides with the launch of Lindsay Garmon's book 'The Intriguing Story of Coromandel Granite', on Saturday evening, 13 December, in the art gallery.

Verry merry Christmas indeed.  I shall set a good example by keeping off the road and toasting the Almighty.  Father Xmas will abandon his heavy red winter garb and dispatch his presents wearing a T-shirt and shorts.  It could be hot!

Barry Brickell