The video is Tony Hancock in The Rebel, 1961. And the picture below is of the Tony Hancock sculpture by Bruce Williams, 1996, which sits in Old Square in Birmingham.

My first year tutor at Northumbria  showed us all that film when we started university. I can't think why. As far as I remember it just seemed to take the piss out of the whole idea of being an artist. I think he wanted to warn us of the pitfalls of pretension but it might have backfired. 
  My tutor was from somewhere round here. Not Birmingham, but maybe one of the surrounding towns. Anyhow, he was a lovely guy, and for me and a few other students, he was a good tutor. He challenged our arrogance and assumption at every opportunity. But for others, those who maybe just needed nudging in the other direction, towards tougher decisions and more commitment to their ideas, he was an awful presence. His main mode of critical reflection was piss taking, and he veered from wildly liberal ideas about the content of art, to super conservative views on skill and the value of various methods of production.
  He left halfway through my second year (and halfway through the first year students' term, leaving them with no tutor for half an academic year, which was a bit of a shit...). His ex-wife died and left him everything, so he retired, set up a studio and drew cartoons for the local paper. I saw him a few times after that. He was much happier, at the pub, going to gigs, or at his studio listening to records and drawing. He had a beautiful girlfriend as I remember. Art stressed him out.


Yesterday I began to construct a maquette for a monument to the stolen Henry Moore sculpture. I'm not very good at paper macheing. I seem to have an in built capacity for failure when it comes to handy crafts. No matter, I'm looking forward to seeing it finished, all wonky and peeling as it pisses into itself, sat on a dodgy plinth.
  I also attended a group grit held at the Lombard Method by people from Eastside Projects. We all looked at work by Matt Foster and Kate Hattley.
  Gavin Wade, Ruth Claxton and Elizabeth Rowe from Eastside seemed to be the main sources of critical feedback. I was really interested in the debate that developed around Matt's work with geometric shapes; the implications of an artist getting involved in a discipline such as mathematics and how to counter what can become a sort of scientific orientalism. 
  I mentioned Junto, the artist's group I am involved in, and the Liz Lurman technique, a method for structuring critical discussion that we often use. It begins with neutral statements before moving on to questions and finally to opinions. The crit last night had a visceral quality which I liked. The first thing Robin Kirkham, of An Endless Supply, told Matt about his work was that he didn't like it, which I thought was quite an exciting, if confrontational, way to start a crit.
  Anyway, no blood was spilled and the artists were very happy with the feedback. We drank beer on their roof until late, and then walked home. I ate some chicken. It was of poor quality.