Thursday, 10 December 2015

Supreme Court: the Treasury Singers

The Treasury Singers are an annual fixture in the Supreme Court foyer, where they sing Christmas carols, this year for Centrepoint. The new conductor optimistically lets us join in if we know the words, which I do thanks to years of school assemblies and choral singing.

Talking of which... I’m concerned about proposals to abandon the compulsory act of worship in schools because - leaving aside arguments about faith/s - you can then wave goodbye to a) an experience of communal silence and b) knowledge of the Bible, which upholds the canon of western art, music and literature. Art galleries already have to spend limited caption space on explaining who Noah was.

My life is lived without religion, so a dusty wind howls about the place. The thing about the canon of art history is that someone has already seen what you are seeing and has tried to interpret it, which makes you feel less alone.

Photo outside the Bataclan (Christian Hartmann)

Deposition by Hans Memling (left wing of diptych), 1492-4, Groeninge Museum

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